Monday, April 17, 2006

Almond and Lamb Loaves

I wanted to make something holiday-ish today, and lamb seems to be what I'm eating lately. I had a recipe for Almond and Lamb Loaves that I got from the internet.

I was a little disappointed in how it came out, but that's mostly my fault. The first problem is that the recipe has European (or British, I'm not sure which) measurements and I know I translated the amount of meat incorrectly. It said 1 kilo, which I thought was 2.5 pounds, but it's 2.2 pounds, and I actually got 2.7 pounds from the butcher (at the time, .2 pounds over didn't seem like such a huge amount, but .5 pounds makes a much bigger difference). The amount of meat should also have clued me in to the possibility of cutting the recipe in half, but I thought I might freeze the second loaf and have it on hand for another time.

Mistake two was that I got sliced almonds instead of the slivered almonds the recipe called for. That wasn't such a big deal for the ones that go into the loaf, but as you can see in the photo the sliced almonds are just kind of laying on top, not really doing anything. Half of them fell off. And the other half fell off when I cut into it.

I also didn't buy any mint at the grocery store yesterday because I thought I had some, but I now have this faint memory of deciding that I'd had it too long and throwing it out. I'm a lot smarter about those kinds of things now; I don't throw out old spices until *after* I've replaced them. But I wasn't about to go out just to get some mint so I decided I'd do without. Not major, but I think it would have tasted better with the mint.

I also couldn't find white malt vinegar, so I used white wine vinegar instead. (Boy am I going to feel stupid if I find out that's just the non-USA word for regular old vinegar.)

It's a pretty cool recipe. You cook down the onions, garlic, ginger, and spices with tomatoes, vinegar and tomato paste. Here's a picture of what that loooks like.

You cook it until it gets thick and let it cool down and mix it in with the meat, some bread crumbs, parsley, eggs (and the mint, which I didn't have). It's kind of like a home-made ketchup, which is in a lot of meatloaf recipes I've seen.

You can see how much there is in that pan, though. I had to use my biggest bowl to mix everything together.

The upshot is that the amount of meat I used made for way too much for two loaves, so I had to make three, which meant that they took longer to cook and got too dry and burned on the outside. It was really hard to get them off the foil, too. Next time I'll just use my loaf pans (duh).

But the insides tasted pretty good, so I think I might try this again (once I've worked my way through the two-plus loaves I have right now). But in the future, I'll cut the recipe in half and just make one loaf. Much easier to manage.

I also made some new potatoes oven-roasted with olive oil, garlic (lots), and summer savory. Those came out perfectly. For my vegetable, I wilted some spinach in olive oil, then tossed it with a little lemon juice and an herb blend called Sunny Paris I got at Penzey's.

I'm not going to post this recipe until I've worked on it. If you want it anyway, leave a comment.


Anonymous said...

Never fear, malt vinger is a particular kind, usually used to flavor fish and chips. I don't think I have ever seen it an ingrediant and not a condiment.

Terry made this awesome of leg of lamb yesterday. If I can find the piece of paper with the recipe I will pass it on.

dejamo said...

Hmm. Maybe I can get some from the Red Lion.

Leg of lamb sounds yummy. Yes to recipe, please.

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