Lamb Stew with Black Beans

As the weather gets colder, hearty stews are often on the menu. Their initial cooking time is fairly short, and then all that is needed is to place the pot in the oven for a few hours.
Beans are the perfect addition to such hearty stews, and I decided to add some to the pot. I usually pair lamb with white beans and Mediterranean herbs, but, when I realized I only have black beans, I decided to go with this option. After that, the addition of Mexican/Caribbean flavors was only natural. So, spices such as cinnamon, cumin, and cocoa powder, found their way into the pot, along with the original herbs. The result was a very rich, flavorful and aromatic stew. Served with white rice, and fresh additions such as cilantro leaves, avocado, pomegranate seeds and lime wedges, the dish was even more colorful and tasty. Try it and enjoy.

Makes: 2-4
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 3 hours

Ingredients:
1 medium onion
1 celery stick
2 medium carrots
2 Tbs olive oil
2 tsp salt
½ tsp freshly ground four pepper mix
3-4 bay leaves
½ fresh rosemary sprig
2-3 fresh thyme sprigs
1 lbs (455 grams) lamb shoulder blade chops
1 can (15.5 oz/440 grams) black beans, drained
1 can (14.5 oz/410 grams) diced tomatoes
1 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp dried oregano
2 tsp cocoa powder
½ tsp cinnamon powder
1 Tbs Harissa paste
1 Tbs chopped fresh cilantro
2 cups beef or vegetables stock
For serving (optional):
Freshly cooked basmati rice (see instructions HERE)
Fresh cilantro leaves
Sliced avocado
Pomegranate seeds
Lime wedges

1. Dice the onion, celery and carrots, and place in a wide pot. Add 1 Tbs of the oil, 1 tsp salt. pepper, bay leaves, rosemary and thyme, and mix. Sauté over medium-high heat, mixing occasionally, for 2-3 minutes.
2. Move the vegetables to one side of the pot, and add the remaining 1 Tbs of oil to the clean side. Once heated, add the lamb and season with the rest of the salt. Sauté until golden-brown on both sides.

3. Add the beans, tomatoes, cumin, cocoa powder, cinnamon, harissa paste and cilantro, and mix well. Add the stock, mix gently, and bring to the boil. Lower the heat, cover the pot and cook for 20 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed.

4. Preheat the oven to 220C (105C). Place the covered pot in, and braise for 1 hour. Lower the heat to 180F (80C) and braise for another hour.

5. At this point, the stew is ready to serve. However, it will taste even better the following day. If choosing this option, bring to room temperature before placing, covered, in the fridge. When ready to serve, reheat over medium-low heat. Serve with rice, avocado, cilantro leaves, pomegranate seeds and lime wedges.

Chicken Thighs with Green Peas and Herbed Rice

Chicken Thighs with Green Peas and Herbed Rice Ronit PensoI always liked the combination of peas and mint, and I make THIS green peas and mint soup often. So I thought that the same combination could work with chicken and rice as well. Continue reading

Herbed Fish Cakes

Herbed Fish Cakes Ronit PensoThese fish cakes are loaded with fresh herbs and Asian inspired flavors. They are quick and easy to make and are perfect as a light appetizer or as part of brunch buffet. Continue reading

Zucchini, Lettuce and Herbs Soup

As I’m off on a three weeks’ vacation, ; I’ve decided to use the opportunity to re-post a few of the very first posts in this blog, that didn’t get much attention back then.
I hope you’ll enjoy these posts and please accept my apologies for not commenting on your posts as often and not answering your comments promptly.

Tasty Eats

Zucchini, herbs and lemon soup Ronit penso

For those who love lemony soups, this quick and easy soup is just perfect. It’s fresh and has a velvety texture, even though it has no cream or butter in it. The secret for this texture comes from the lettuce.

Cooked lettuce leaves may not be so common in many cuisines, but in the classic French cuisine, lettuce is added to pea dishes or baked with cheeses and the result is delicious. Following this tradition, I’ve decided to add lettuce to the soup and the result is just as delicious.

* Make sure to wash the greens thoroughly (check under “TIPS”), or you’ll end up with a sandy texture rather than a creamy one…
* The soup can be served hot or cold.

Prep time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 30 minutes
Ingredients:
3 Tbs light olive oil
1 white onion, roughly chopped
1 Tbs salt
Freshly ground black pepper

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Herbs and Feta Cheese Fillo Triangles Tasty Eats Ronit Penso

Herbs and Feta Cheese Filo Triangles

Herbs and Feta Cheese Fillo Triangles Tasty Eats Ronit PensoMany people find working with Filo dough to be complicated, but in fact, it is very easy once you get the grip of it.
The great thing about this thin, paper-like dough, is that it allows you to control the type and amount of fat you want to use, and it can be formed into many different shapes; from the traditional triangles, as shown here, to squares, layers, cups and more. The variety of fillings is also endless, from savory to sweet. Continue reading

Zucchini, Lettuce and Herbs Soup

Zucchini, herbs and lemon soup Ronit pensoFor those who love lemony soups, this quick and easy soup is just perfect. It’s fresh and has a velvety texture, even though it has no cream or butter in it. The secret for this texture comes from the lettuce. Continue reading