Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Grilled Lamb With Guajillo Pepper And Spinach

I confess that while the spirit of this recipe is completely in-line with modern restaurant dishes prepared by Native American chefs it is not really a Native recipe at all.  But....the spirit is so close and it reflects a number of things published long after this recipe was.  It comes from a book entitle Peppers:  A Cookbook by a trio of then chic as hell New Yorkers, one a professional chef, one a professional photographer and one graphic designer.  It is a book part of a series.  Years and years ago I purchased their book Berries:  A Cookbook; it was not until recently that I realized that they had published a series of books in the same vein; so naturally I purchased the one book that was based solely on a food from the New World.  I confess a weakness for cookbooks that have serious professional photographers listed as part of the authorship.  And, while many of the recipes are not authentic native recipes, some like this one have a pedigree.  For example, a non-native chef (in fact he's English!), John Sharpe made it into an edition Native People's Magazine's  food section when he debuted a serious lamb dish in the very same vein, featuring beans from Native Seed Search and Churro Lamb from the Navajo Reservation.  This particular dish could be made totally native by substituting the spinach for amaranth greens and the rice for wild rice. This is a skewered meat affair and is definitely better with fresh spinach.  Information in parentheses is mine.

1/2 lb. lamb from leg cut into cubes
2 skewers
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 guajillo pepper, soaked in hot water (not boiling) for 30 minutes, seeded
   and julienned
1 1/2 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
10 oz. fresh or frozen spinach--thawed and drained
Salt and pepper to taste

1.  Prepared grill.  This dish may also be broiled.  While waiting for the grill, skewer the lamb.  Grill the lamb to desired doneness (I'm a rare meat kinda gal myself, especially the lamb).

2.  While lamb is cooking, heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat.  Add the guajillo and saute for 3 to 4 minutes.  Add the cumin and thyme and saute for another minute.  Add the spinach and cook until just hot.  Season with salt and pepper.

3.  Arrange spinach on 2 plates.  Unskewer lamb over spinach, serve with rice, barley, couscous, pasta or potatoes (looks great with the bed of spinach over a bed of rice, this would also be really good with some native red beans, cooked and surrounding the whole dish).

Note:  This divides easily if you are looking for a nice one person meal.  Just buy some heat and serve brown rice.

These Can Be Made With Chops

Navajo Churro Ram

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