Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Lamb with Garlicky Tahina, Passionfruit Fool

152. Lamb with Garlicky Tahina
153. Passionfruit Fool

Tonight's dinner came by way of Nigella's Fast Food chapter, and was chosen, mainly, because it enabled me to use up the half-tub of cream in my fridge from Quickly-Scaled Mont Blanc. It sounds strange, but I find it immensely satisfying to finish off half-empty cartons of food before they have a chance to go mouldy and die on me.

I got the lamb from Rendinas butchery, after uni today, and asked my mother to go to the supermarket to get the rest of the stuff. To tell you the truth, I was considering a short-term boycott of Rendinas following their selling my dad mince instead of topside last week. However, in my agricultural economics lecture today, we learnt about the outbreaks of BSE (aka Mad Cow Disease) in Europe, the UK, Canada and so on... Which sent me running back to Rendinas, who have organic, biodynamic meat, and who get their beef from people who grow them in proper pastures, feeding them normal things and not MINCED UP BITS OF GODDAMNED BEEF! How fucked up is that?!

But, in all fairness, I have no idea if the meat farmers who supply Australian supermarkets engage in this feral practice... I should probably look into it. At any rate, I am a huge fan of the lamb from Rendinas, and prefer it, taste-wise, to supermarket lamb. (FYI, Coles lamb chops are particularly disgusting).

So, the lamb. Nigella says to use noisettes. I don't know what that means, but I've seen her make this on the first series of Nigella Bites, so I figure she means individual slices from a rack of lamb. I tried making these once before, after seeing her make it on the show, last year sometime, but they sucked... I think the main problem was that I used bloody Coles lamb chops, which were stringy and smelly and just generally feral. Yurgh.

Tonight, no such problem occured, thankfully.

Burghul, Lamb, Plate of spinach, Garlicky Tahina

The lamb is marinated in oil, onion, lemon zest and cumin, then seared on either side and baked for 10 minutes. The sauce is tahini (sesame paste), mixed with garlic, salt, lemon juice and water to form a runny paste. Nigella suggests serving it with "a plate of lemony spinach" and some burghal. Ooh, I just remembered that I finished off a half-full packet of burghal for tonight's dinner. Score!!

I've read a few negative reports on the Nigella.com forum about the tahini sauce - that it's too gluggy, too sticky, too rich. You're all crazy, I say!! We loved it, absolutely loved it. But we eat heaps of tahini regularly, so we knew what to expect. We have it on toast all the time, and my mother, in particular, is enamoured with its nutty, oily taste, and the liam liam (Hokkien for "sticky") way it sticks to the roof of your mouth. She puts it on absolutely everything.

The sauce is particularly fantastic in the way it brings all the elements of the meal together, deliciously.

One plate

The quantities specified for dessert are intended to feed 4 people. The recipe is originally from Stephen Saunders' Shorts (sic) Cuts, and he uses the same amount of fool to feed 6, but Nigella says that it's so good there's no point downsizing. I halved the quantities for 3 of us, and they did make quite meagre servings.

It has to be put together at the last minute (or so Nigella says), but it's nothing to stress over. Simply whip some cream, and fold in icing sugar, Cointreau, lemon juice and passionfruit pulp. I have to admit to using tinned passionfruit, because fresh passionfruit were extortionately expensive ($1.25 each!), and we needed six. It still tasted fab though, and we could easily have eaten more. So it's probably a good thing that I only made a small amount, seeing as I'm trying to restrict calories right now.

Passionfruit fool - served with savoiardi biscuits

We loved it! This dinner was wonderful - all the flavours and textures matched really well, and was it satisfying, but not bloating. It's a very good menu, and easy to put together. Highly recommended!

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