Friday, January 27, 2012

Pide Lahmajun aka yum

So I put out the call the other day on Twitter for recipe suggestions for ground emu. We've had a pound of it lurking in the freezer from our meat CSA for a little too long and I was determined to use it this week. I took a cursory look on the interwebs for suggestions, but searches for ground emu recipes turned up endless Kraft era suggestions that drowning it in cream of mushroom soup or smothering it with creamed corn, bottled salsa and cheese. Other suggestions recommended using it however you would ground beef.

I wanted something that would taste good but wouldn't completely mask the taste since I had never tried emu before. I received the perfect suggestion from Ryan who had tried it before and said it was gamier than beef, so lamb recipes might be a better fit. He sent me this link to a recipe for Pide Lahmajun from the blog My Kitchen Moovement. If, like me, you have never heard of lahmajun, you are in for a treat. According to Wikipedia, it is Syrian in origin and is a round thin piece of dough topped with minced meat, most commonly beef or lamb. I completely fell for the Kitchen moovement blog — I really like the style and substance of this fellow in the kitchen. He offers a few other variations on this recipe that I can't wait to try, including one with egg, spinach and cheese. I didn't have time to try his dough recipe so used this really fast one  that turned out perfectly. So thank you both to Ryan and My Kitchen Moovement for this tremendous recipe. I made it for a friend for lunch the other day and we both gave it rave reviews. I can't wait to make more pide!

You can see how dark the emu meat is — it has virtually no fat in it,
yet didn't dry out on this recipe.

Pide Lahmajun
via The Kitchen Moovement

1 lb ground lamb
2 roma tomatoes, seeded and diced
1 jalapeño or serrano pepper
1 medium onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 small bunch flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
1 tablespoon butter
1 teaspoon coriander
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
feta cheese optional
sesame seeds

Heat a sauce pan with a dollop of butter and sauté the onion and garlic until translucent. Don’t forget to season it with salt and pepper early. Remove from heat and let it cool.

Meanwhile, combine the lamb, tomatoes, jalapeno, parsley and spices in a bowl and mix with your hands. Add the cooled onion and garlic mixture to the bowl and combine well. Cut the dough into 6 even sized pieces. Roll each piece flat, making a longish, oval shape.

Smear the lamb mixture across the dough in a thin layer being careful not to tear it. I couldn't resist sprinkling a little crumbled feta on top. 
Fold the edges of the dough over the lamb (as seen in the pictures), brush with olive oil and sprinkle with sesame seeds. 

Bake for about 20 minutes on 425º F.

Serve with a generous squeeze of lemon. Yum.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Garden & Gun love

I don't know what started it or how I landed there, but I've been combing through the Garden & Gun web site for three days now. I've never seen the print magazine, nor had I even heard of it. But now, I'm hooked. I've had multiple tabs open and keep obsessively returning to them throughout the day. There is a wonderful piece about Wendell Berry, seen above, by Erik Reese. It is a lovely meandering essay that spans six internet pages. Unheard of, right? Most welcome.

And then, in contrast, I skip over and check out the 50 best Southern bars or the 50 best Southern foods—and watch a video on how to make the perfect Rum Swizzle. I'm telling you, Garden & Gun has the best variety of content with excellent writing, photography and design. I'm in love.

And then, just when I thought I'd had enough, I discovered these beautiful Southern-made items:

The Iron Scissor Collection
from The Old Wood Co. in Asheville, NC 

Bourbon barrel table and stool
from Jason Cohen Wood Artisan in Louisville, KY

Lawrence Pulley
from Machine Shop Lighting in Austin, TX

Convinced yet?