Lamb Meatballs with Pepper-Tomato Broth

It’s been an interesting few weeks – we made the move from big-city Brooklyn to the suburbs of New Jersey.  I’ve been busy with all the things people need to do when they move, especially from one state to the other. Between making sure my husband had a way to commute to his job on Brooklyn everyday to finding ways to keep our children (9, 7, and almost 6) entertained, I am just starting to settle in. It took a bit of time to get used to my new kitchen, but things are coming together and delicious food is being made once more!

When I made this recipe, I served it with polenta (and it was completely delicious!) You could serve this with your favorite grain or starch – rice, pasta, or even quinoa would be just as tasty. Or you can eat it as is for a delicious, light summer soup.

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For the Lamb Meatballs:

2 lbs ground lamb

10 oz plain panko crumbs

3  extra large eggs

1 Tbsp salt

1 Tbsp garlic powder

1 Tbsp onion powder

1 Tbsp dried tarragon

1 Tbsp dried parsley

1 tsp black pepper

1 tsp rubbed sage

1 tsp porcini powder

1. Combine all ingredients well. Form into golf-ball sized balls.

2. Chill in fridge raw to firm up until you are ready to cook, about an hour. Make 3 dozen small meatballs.

 

For the Pepper- Tomato Broth

4 large beefsteak tomatoes, chopped

3 yellow bell peppers, sliced

3 orange bell peppers, sliced

2 medium white onions, sliced

1 750 ml bottle of Chardonnay ( you will want one not aged in oak -I used Abarbanel)

32 oz vegetable stock ( I used Imagine Foods Organic)

6 oz tomato paste

3 oz each dried tarragon and dried parsley

Salt and pepper to taste

Oil for sauteing

1. Heat a large stockpot (at least 12 Q) and add oil. When oil is hot, add onions and cook on high for 5-7 mins, stirring often

2. Add the tomatoes and peppers, lowering flame to medium low. Cover and let vegetables sweat for 10-15 mins, stirring once or twice.

3. Add the wine, stock, paste, as well as the herbs and spices. Stir well to incorporate and bring to a simmer.

4. Simmer vegetables covered for 30 mins, stirring once.

5. Using an immersion blender, blend all ingredients well, making sure they are no large pieces left behind.

6. Raise tempertaure so a few, lazy bubbles appear on the surface, and add  the previously made meatballs directly into the broth. After 3 mins, take a spatula along the sides of the pot to stir carefully.

7. After 5 -7 mins, remove one meatball and cut in half. If the meat is cooked all the way through, it is done. Serve while hot.

Sour Cherry Lemon Iced Tea

So one of the perks of my job, besides being surrounded with the most current and amazing things for a kitchen, is the ability to purchase what I’d like for my kitchen at a significant discount. For now, I have a whole list on order. That’s because what I want, (Wusthof knives, Staub Dutch ovens, a Wellness gel floor mat, a full set of All-Clad stainless steel pots and pans, and that is just the start of the list) I need serious money. But every now and then we get in something that I just have to have. I try not to indulge too much – good thing too, as we get new merchandise in at least once a week. But I had my eye on a Primula Flavor It 3 in 1 system. It comes with a fine mesh insert for loose-leaf tea, a filter for infusing fruit into the water, and even a freezable insert that you can put inside the pitcher to chill the drink without ice cubes. I had to get this, and when I did, one of the first drinks I made was this sour cherry lemon iced tea.  Super refreshing, not too sweet – this iced tea is perfect anytime you can get fresh sour cherries. This was my first time using this fruit, and I know I will be using it again. 016 Ingredients (this makes about 3/4 of a gallon) 16 sour cherries, stems removed and squished between your fingers 4 tea bags 2 and a half lemons cut into quarters 3 to 5 oz of honey  (I find that blueberry, or wildflower varieties work best. ( Clover honey I found to be too sweet for my liking)   018 1) If you have a pitcher like mine, make a layer of cherries, then lemons, then teabags, then the remaining lemons. Add the honey over the fruit and teabags, and fill pitcher with boiling hot water.  If you don’t have a pitcher, use a pot, add all the ingredients, then fill with water. 2)Leave the fruit and tea in the water til the water cools to just above room temperature. Stir the insert inside the pitcher or stir your ingredients once or twice. I like to leave my insert in for about an hour, but for weaker iced tea leave the fruits and tea in the water for less time. 3) Remove the insert, or strain your tea mixture into a pitcher. Make sure to press down gently on the fruit and tea so you get as much liquid from it as possible. Chill and serve. 

Red Currant Coulis

To say that this summer has been insanely busy is an understatement.  In June, I started a new job – I’m the shipping manager of a high-end kitchen utensil store in Boro Park called Kitchen Couture.  It’s a candy store for foodies like me – all the best brands, anything you’d could want for your kitchen.  It’s a fantastic job, and I love it – it’s just a lot of hours.

Starting in September, I’ll be working even more hours. The weather will be getting cooler as well, and soon I’ll also be filling orders for chocolates again.  So while I will definitely still continue to blog, I cannot promise how often it will be.  Right now I am hoping to get back on schedule and blog weekly, but if I blog two or three times a month, I will be happy as well.

One recipe I did make (and I was really happy to do, because I never worked with this fruit before) was a red currant coulis. I have plans with this as a base for a filling for chocolates, so stay tuned to find out if I am successful.

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In the meantime, let me give you the recipe for the coulis. If you want it sweeter, add more sugar – since I plan to mix it with fondant, I intentionally added less sugar.

Ingredients:

2 lbs fresh red currants, stems removed and rinsed 

enough cold water to just cover over the fruit

2 cups of sugar

2 tablespoons of kirsch

1) In a large non-reactive pot, add all the currants and water and bring to a boil until the fruit is soft and wilted.

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2) Drain the currants and reserve the liquid. 

3) Pass the currants through a food mill or pour the fruit into a strainer and press firmly against the sides of the strainer, scraping the bottom to get the fruit puree. Incorporate this with the reserved liquid. 

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4) Bring the puree to a boil and add the sugar and kirsch. Boil for five minutes, then remove from the fire and let cool.