Lamb Tagine with green Olives

Let me start by assuring you , a Tagine is optional in this recipe , in fact , a covered Dutch oven works great . This recipe appeared quite recently in the New York Times , created by chef Andrew Carmellini . It is delicious and the warm spices fill the air with a heady aroma . The spice mixture called for here is one I like to keep on hand , but if you have trouble finding “ras el hanout ” , you can easily make up your own spice mixture with the recipe below.


3/4 tsp ground coriander

1/2 tsp ground cumin

1/8 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp paprika

Generous pinch cayenne

pinch saffron

Stir all the spices together , set aside


1/4 cup  extra virgin olive oil

2 lbs lamb stew meat , cut into chunks

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 tsp pepper

1 medium onion , sliced into medium width pieces ( about 1 cup )1 clove garlic , peeled

1 tbs diced fresh ginger ( from about 1 inch )

juice of 1 orange

1  14 oz can diced or chopped tomatoes

1  2 inch long piece of orange peel

2 cups chicken broth

1 tsp honey

1 medium carrot , sliced 1/2 inch thick ( about 1 cup )

1 celery rib , sliced 1/2 inch thick ( about 1  cup)

1/4 cup sliced almonds

1  1/2 tbs sesame seeds

8 green olives , sliced into quarters ( about 1/4 cup )

In a large , ovenproof stew pot or Tagine , heat oil over medium high heat . Season lamb all over with salt and pepper . Add meat to pot and stir to coat in oil . Brown for about 5 minutes , stirring occasionally to make sure the meat browns evenly on all sides . Transfer the meat to a bowl and set it aside .

Lower the heat to medium and add the onion , stirring to coat . Saute for about a minute , until it begins to soften . Add the ginger and garlic and add the meat back to the pot . Stir everything together . Squeeze the orange juice into the pot and mix well . Add the tomatoes , orange peel , spice mixture , chicken broth and honey , mix well . Raise the heat to medium high and bring the mixture to a simmer, then cover the pot and put in in the oven  . Cook for 1 hour or until the meat is half cooked.

Stir in the carrots and celery and return the pot to the oven . Cook for another 30 to 40 minutes , until the sauce is thick and reduced and the lamb is tender.

While the tagine is in the oven , in a small pan  until golden , stirring  regularly to make sure the almonds don’t burn .

Remove the garlic and orange peel from the tagine . Add the olives and spoon the tagine onto a large serving plate . Sprinkle the almonds and sesame seeds on top . Serve immediately .


Joanne Woodward’s Cereal

If  , like me , you are tired of all the unneccessary additives in your food , you would understand my love for home made cereal . This is just the best way to start the day . The cereal is full of fibre and protein from the nuts . Make a big batch and keep it refridgerated ( it keeps for several weeks ) , that way its always on hand to start the day !

Paul Newman

1  1/4 cups oil ( I use canola )

1  1/2 cups water

2 lbs Honey

1 lb oats

2 lbs almonds

1 lb sunflower seeds

1/2 cup sesame seeds

1 cup chopped cashews

1 cup chopped walnuts

4 cups wheat germ , roasted

Preheat oven to 325*F

Mix oil , water and honey together .

Mix dry ingredients together . Combine all .

Spread thinly on cookie sheets.

Bake in 325*F oven and keep turning until golden brown ( about 20 to 30 minutes ) .

Cool and keep in tins.

Eggless , Butterless , Wonderful Spicy Raisin Walnut Cake

I was amazed at how delicious this cake was . At first glance , this recipe just seemed to contain it all , but after testing it , I realized every component gave it character. Give it a try , I am sure you will not be dissapointed , especially since the recipe comes from Paul Newman !

Makes 1 loaf cake

Paul Newman

1 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup Molasses

3/4 cup milk

1/4 cup very strong coffee

4 tsp baking powder

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp each : nutmeg , clove , allspice , mace

2 cups whole wheat flour

1/2 tsp salt

1 lb raisins

2 cups walnuts

Preheat oven to 350*F

Combine sugar , molasses , milk and coffee . Stir dry ingredients together , saving 1/4 cup flour. Dredge raisins in 1/4 flour .

Mix dry ingredients with liquid ingredients and add raisins and walnuts .

Pour into well buttered  8 1/2  by 4  1/2  by  2  1/2 inch loaf pan and bake in a preheated 350*F oven for 45 minutes to 1 hour or until top is browned and toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

Chile -Lime Crab salad with Tomato and Avocado

While trying to put together a menu for my son’s upcoming graduation party , I came upon this recipe amongst my many clippings . This is a vibrant , somewhat spicy salad from up and coming chef  Sue Zemanick . It is always a pleasure to prepare something so delicious and easy to make , it is , however important to use good lump crabmeat .

Serves 4

Sue Zemanick

5 Tbs fresh lime juice

2  1/2 Tbs extra -virgin olive oil , ( I use Monini brand , available at speciality food stores )

2  1/2 Tbs vegetable oil

1 Tbs very finely chopped Jalapeno

1 Tbs chopped cilantro , plus cilantro leaves for garnish

1/2 Tbs honey

1/2 tsp minced garlic

salt and freshly ground pepper

1/2 lb lump crabmeat , picked over

1  1/2 Hass avocado , diced ( 1/2 inch)

1/3 cup minced red onion

1 Large heirloom tomato , cut into 4  1/2 inch thick slices

Tortilla chips for serving

In a small bowl combine the lemon juice with the olive oil , vegetable oil , jalapeno, chopped cilantro , honey and garlic . Season the dressing with salt and pepper .

In a small bowl toss the crab with 3 Tbs of the dressing and season with salt and pepper .

In a medium bowl  gently toss the avocado with the red onion and 2 Tbs of the dressing ; season with salt and pepper .

Place a tomato slice on each plate and season with salt . Top with the avocado and the crab and garnish with the cilantro . Drizzle the remaining dressing on top and serve with the tortilla chips .