A completely unexpected delight which has stemmed from creating this little blog has been opening up my ‘WordPress Reader’ each morning to discover what my newly-found blogging friends from around the world have been creating in their own kitchens. Their musings, recipes and photos are at once delicious and provide more inspiration and encouragement than they can possibly imagine. For this, I thank you all dearly! You so frequently bring a smile to my face, illuminate light bulbs in my mind and bring calm to my heart in the knowledge that I’m not alone in this passion for all things food related. It’s like discovering a family out there, that I never new I had!
Each and every day, I think about how best to feed my own family – my two children are no longer toddlers, not quite teenagers, but certainly young enough to have determined palates that on the odd occasion will knock a dish down with a single bite. I do encourage them regularly to try new dishes and for the most part with considerable success, but I am forced to realise that my current reality of kitchen capers is not going to be as inspiring in it’s use of ingredients as I would necessarily like. Progress is made slowly, but surely… and for that I must, for the time being, be grateful. All in good time…
If I can encourage even a small number of families out there to give more thought as to how they nourish their children, I’ll be accomplishing what I set out to do… It’s hard not to become despondent at times when you see what others are placing into their supermarket trolleys or see the number of people queuing up for the drive-through of fast food outlets. I have a vivid and still quite sickening picture in my head of watching a toddler sit down, diagonally across from me, on a 9am internal flight within the USA and be handed a cheese-burger to eat (for his breakfast!?). Apart from being offended by the unnatural smell wafting through the cabin at that time of morning, I also felt a deep sense of anger and incomprehension towards the mother – she was allowing her poor innocent child to grow up believing this to be normal. I do realise that this child at least had something going into his stomach, which may not be a daily certainty for all the children of the world; but if getting up a little earlier to have breakfast at home wasn’t an option, perhaps a piece of fresh fruit or a granola/muesli bar from one of the other airport food outlets might have been a wiser choice.
Cooking at home and from scratch needn’t be complicated, time-consuming or expensive. With a little forward-planning and an understanding of which ingredients work well together, we can move towards a much healthier and flavour-rich way of eating. Our children deserve it… We also owe it to ourselves…
Our family enjoyed the following dish over the weekend just gone – I was proud of our eldest child who drizzled some of the yoghurt dressing over his lamb (hooray!), though the youngest opted for some tomato sauce instead (thankfully not so much for the lamb, but for the roasted kipfler potatoes that he’s still not quite sure if he likes…) C’est la vie!
Greek-Style Butterflied Lamb with Yoghurt Dressing
- 1 Boneless/Butterflied Leg of Lamb
- ¼ cup Olive Oil
- 2 Cloves Garlic (crushed)
- 1-2 Tablespoons each of Fresh Rosemary and Thyme
- Sea Salt and Black Pepper
In a small mixing bowl, combine the olive oil, garlic and herbs. Season the lamb generously on both sides with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, then rub all over with the marinade. Cover and place in the fridge for at least a few hours or if possible overnight.
If, like me, you prefer to bring the lamb to room temperature before cooking, remove from the fridge approximately an hour in advance of when you wish to commence cooking.
Pre-heat the barbecue to about 220°C. Grill the lamb for a few minutes on each side until nicely coloured, then turn down the heat to 180°C and continue cooking for another 15 – 20 minutes (depending on the size of your lamb), or until cooked to your liking.
Rest the meat for approximately 10 minutes, before slicing.
Serve with Yoghurt Dressing, roasted potatoes/veggies and some lightly-steamed greens. A fresh salad and crusty bread would also be wonderful if you’re lucky enough to be heading into summer!
For the Yoghurt Dressing:
- 250g/1 cup Full-Fat Greek Yoghurt
- ½ cup Fresh Mint (Finely Chopped)
- 1 Tablespoon Lemon Juice
- 1 Teaspoon Ground Cumin
- 1 Clove Garlic
- Sea Salt and Black Pepper (to taste)
Mix all ingredients together in a mixing bowl. Cover and place in the fridge for an hour or two before serving to allow all the wonderful flavours to infuse the yoghurt.
- Other cuts of lamb will work equally well in this recipe – just be sure to adjust the cooking time to the thickness and cut of your meat.
- The choice of herbs is interchangeable as well – though I find that when grilling on the barbecue – thyme and rosemary (along with the garlic) combine so incredibly well with lamb.