- Recipe(s): Mad Moroccan lamb (page 170) & The ultimate fruit meringue with vanilla cream, hazelnuts and caramel (page 394)
- Prep: Moderate & Moderate
- Taste: Excellent & Very Good
Way back on August 31, 2014 we prepared a two course meal for my partner’s parents at their home in Maple Ridge. We made a lamb dish for the main and a meringue for dessert. Both were excellent choices for the evening.
The prep for the lamb was time consuming and for this reason I have ranked it as moderate. I always struggle when a recipe is not technically difficult but is time consuming because I don’t know whether to rank the prep as moderate or easy. In this case, I choose the prior.
There are actually three separate parts to the prep for the lamb. The easiest part is prepping the meat, rubbing it down with spices and getting it into the oven. In this instance we actually didn’t have a mortar and pestle or a flavour shaker to make the spice rub, so I put all the spices into a zip lock bag, took them into the garage and pulverized them into a powder using a hammer. Improvisation at its finest. The other two parts to the recipe take a little bit more time but are equally easy. The chickpeas and onions cook on the stovetop, as does the couscous. I’m always surprised at how quick couscous cooks. It is amazing.
The prep for the dessert was also moderate. The most painful part of the prep was trying to peel the skin off the hazelnuts. This was an impossible task. If we were to make this again we would definitely try and find the pre-peeled variety. We ended up giving up trying to get all of the skins off, which meant we were picking skins out of our teeth for a good portion of the night!
The finished lamb dish was excellent. Not only did it look amazing, it also tasted amazing. It had a great range of flavours that independently were delicious but combined with each other were even better. The best part of the dish was that no one flavour stood out more than any other. There was a decent amount of acidic flavours, coming from the roasted lemons and the balsamic vinegar. There were also bits of sweetness from the dried fruits. There was a nice creaminess from the yoghurt and couscous. All this and I haven’t event talked about the lamb yet. Well…it was very, very delicious. It was literally falling off the bone and onto our plates and straight into our bellies…so yummy. The combination of spices used to rub the meat had cooked down into the finished product giving it a nice earthiness. Adding fresh cilantro on top was the toping on the cake, so to speak. The dish was supposed to serve 6-8 but between 4 of us we almost finished all of the lamb! We couldn’t help ourselves.
Before I get into the taste of dessert I wanted to let everyone know that when making this dish it would be a good idea to put the cooked meringue onto your serving platter before adding all of the toppings. It becomes quite difficult to move when it is fully loaded. So, how did it taste? While it didn’t quite receive an excellent rating it was a worthy following to the lamb dish we had for dinner. Even though one of the main ingredients is whipped cream the dish didn’t seem too heavy. The combination of berries was both sweet and tart (blackberries and raspberries) and the meringue was nice and creamy but with a good amount of crispiness in its crust. All in all it was a nice dessert. It could probably be made with any combination of berries and still taste great.
It was fantastic meal with great company and we would probably make both of the dishes again.