I was born and raised in Kansas and learned to cook alongside my mother. Now, along with my wonderful husband, I have taken the plunge into the city life in New York. These are my food adventures: in my own tiny kitchen, and in the many restaurants of the city.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Lamb and Cauliflower Curry

I oftentimes find myself in a slight food rut. It's not that I can't think of anything to have for dinner or can't come up with something new, it's just the recipes I do come up with seem to circulate the same themes or cuisines. I find it hard to break away from cooking things based on French, Italian, Spanish foods. This comes from a lack of knowledge in cuisines outside Western Europe, where food is much more within the confines of my comfort zone. I can slightly blame growing up in a place where the most exotic cuisine options nearby where China Buffet and Taco Hut, but now that I live in New York City I really have no excuse.

I've been better about getting out and trying food that isn't familiar to me and lately have been craving new dining experiences like an Ethiopian restaurant in the neighborhood I have been meaning to try and a Georgian restaurant in another Brooklyn neighborhood I was excited to find out about yesterday (where the menu is apparently in Russian). As I branch out more and more I hope my kitchen inspiration follows suit.

Perhaps in my journey to widen my horizon I will ask for a couple of ethnic cookbooks for Christmas and until then will start focusing in on some good blogs with unique perspectives. Any suggestions?

In the light of trying something new, I made this lamb and cauliflower curry. I had the lamb meat but wanted to do something different than a traditional stew, so scoured the internet and let the inspiration take over. It is my own take on the dish, and is fairly simple and unscary if you are looking to take the leap into unfamiliar cooking territory yourself.

Lamb and Cauliflower Curry
serves 5-6

1 TB cooking oil
1 lb lamb stew meat (chopped into 1 1/2" cubes")
salt and pepper
1 medium onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, chopped
2 carrots, sliced
4 TB finely chopped ginger
1 TB powdered curry
1/4 t. Chinese 5-spice
1/8 t. cardamom
1/4 t. chili powder
14 oz. unsweetened coconut milk
1 c. chicken stock
1 1/2 c. chopped cauliflower
1/2 c. golden raisins
1 c. spinach

Heat the oil in a large pot over medium high heat. Sprinkle the lamb meat with salt and pepper and then, when the oil is hot, add the lamb to the pan. Sear quickly on all sides just to brown the outside of the meat and then remove the lamb from the pan and set aside.
Add the onion to the pan and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Then add the garlic and cook for a minute more. Next add the carrots and ginger and cook for about 5-6 minutes. Add the curry, Chinese 5-spice, cardamom and chili powder and stir for about a minute. Then add the coconut milk, chicken stock and lamb and bring to a boil. Cover the pot and reduce the heat to medium-low. Allow to simmer until the lamb is super tender and could be pulled apart with a fork (about 1 hour or so). Add the cauliflower to the curry and cook until it is tender, about 8-10 minutes. Finally add the raisins and spinach and cook just until the spinach wilts, about 2-3 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste. Remove from heat and serve over top of rice or couscous.


That Girl said...

funny, I never noticed your cuisine to be confined to Western Europe.

Mary said...

oh boy, oh boy!!!! This one looks fan-freakin-tastic. My sister-in-law is just getting her blog up and running that you might be interested in. It has more to do with home-brewing, but she is a huge foodie so it all relates in and, since Kurtis and I officially started our first batch of beer today...I will have spent grains that I would be happy to share! Her blog is rutherfordsbrew.blogspot.com

Emily said...

How was the Ethiopian food? I'm curious about it. This curry looks delicious!

Ann Marie said...

Made this last night. Served it with couscous. It was very good. Goes on the keeper list to make again. Thanks for sharing it.