Thursday, December 1, 2016

warm hummus with spiced lamb.

I've tried to find things to make me laugh over the past couple of weeks.  John Oliver helped, so did the Biden/Obama memes that are circulating.   Hearing about all the people donating to Planned Parenthood in Mike Pence's name is about as genius as it gets.  But even with all of this, the election still hurts.  I think it will for some time. 

I've also spent a lot of time in the kitchen; looking for ways to find comfort in the everyday and the things I can control.  I spotted this hummus recipe on David Lebovitz's blog and everything about it was calling to me.   Warm hummus paired with spiced and fragrant lamb eaten with toasted pita is my kind of ethnic comfort food. It's the perfect dish to be served as part of a large mezze smorgasbord which means it begs to be served at your next party.  

Warm Hummus with Spiced Lamb
Recipe adapted from David Lebovitz 

The hummus should be served warm along with the spiced lamb. This is one of those places where the often-maligned microwave oven could come in handy, to rewarm it before topping it with the spiced lamb mixture. Conversely, you can warm the hummus is shallow baking dish, in a 300ºF (150ºC) oven, covered with foil for 15 minutes. 

8 ounces (225g) ground lamb

1 tablespoon olive oil
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup (110g) canned chopped tomatoes, with liquid
1/4 cup (60ml) chickpea cooking liquid, chicken stock, or water
4 scallions, chopped (white and green parts)
1 1/2 teaspoons harissa
A squeeze of fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
2 tablespoons toasted pine nuts
Hummus for serving (this is my go-to recipe)   
Additions: Pita or other flatbread, good feta, pickled carrots 

Heat the 1 tablespoon of oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the lamb, season with the salt, and cook it, breaking it up as it cooks, until it's almost cooked through, about 4 minutes.

Add the allspice, black pepper, cinnamon, tomatoes and 1/4 cup (60ml) chickpea liquid. Cook until the liquids are slightly thickened, about 3 minutes.

Stir in the scallions and harissa and cook for another couple of minutes, until the liquid is reduced (but the meat is still very juicy) then remove from heat and add a squeeze of fresh lemon juice. Mix in the flat-leaf parsley.

Serving and storage: To serve, spoon the warm hummus onto a serving plate or bowl and use the back of a soupspoon to make a crater in the middle of it, leaving a rim. Spoon the spiced lamb into the middle of the hummus and sprinkle with pine nuts.

Both the hummus and lamb sausage can be made in advance and refrigerated up to 3 days.

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