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Last week I was looking through my cookbooks and marking (with little sticky notes) some of the recipes that I'd like try in the coming weeks. I'm finding more and more that if I plan ahead of time, there is more chance of me trying something a little more out of my comfort zone (with ingredients that I don't necessarily keep on hand).
On a side note: I'm also finding more and more that planning is KEY in ALL areas of my life... that if I write down the things I want to get done around the house, that if I plan out my meals for the week, that if I make an actual "schedule" for the renovations were doing in the basement... basically if I treat the home management tasks the same as I would my work related tasks... there's more chance of things getting done and there's a much higher likelihood of me being efficient at home (note that I say a higher likelihood... it's not a sure thing!).
So as I was looking through my copy of Jamie's Food Revolution, and salivating through the section on Easy curries, I remembered that a few weeks ago I had picked up a jar of prepared "Rojan Josh" sauce by President's Choice. I quickly located the jar, scanned the instructions found on the back of the label, scanned Jamie's recipe... both of which asked for cubed lamb leg. But I was already thawing some ground lamb. What to do? Then I remembered the lamb kefta recipe I tried back at the beginning of the year...
And I improvised... and figured out my own recipe... I "wung" it (can you even say that?)
The result? We had our friends Shawn and Charlene and their little Lincoln (who is just over 1) join us for dinner. All the kids ate this up without the teeniest hesitation or complaint and Shawn's comment (which I told him I would quote word for word) was "this is the best thing I've eaten all week". YES! I'll take that! Thank you President's Choice, Thank you Jamie Oliver, Thank you Easy Hot & Spicy.
I put together this meal in two steps. Layla helped me to roll the kefta (aka lamb meatballs) earlier in the day. About 20 minutes before dinner I brought it all together to simmer as I prepped the rice and veggies.
Step 1: PREPARE KEFTA
1 lb. finely ground lamb (or beef)
1 onion, finely chopped or grated
a small bunch of flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
1-2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper , or 1 teaspoon paprika
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
To make the kefta: (preheat oven to 400 degrees)
1. pound the ground meat with your knuckles in a bowl. Using your hands, lift up the lump of ground meat and slap it back down into the bowl.
2. Add the onion, parsley, cinnamon, cumin, coriander, and cayenne, and season to taste with salt and black pepper.
3. Using your hands, mix the ingredients together and knead well, pounding the mixture for a few minutes.
4. Take pieces of the mixture and shape into walnut-sized balls, so that you end up with about 16 kefta. (NOTE: These can be made up to 3 days ahead and kept in the refrigerator)
Step 2: Bring it all together
1. Open jar of President's Choice prepared Rojan Josh sauce.
2. Empty contents into saucepan and bring to simmer.
3. Add kefta, toss to coat.
4. Continue heating while you prepare rice and naan bread.
5. Throw a handful or two of frozen peas a couple minutes before serving.
...Seriously easy... seriously yummy... and a real hit with the kiddies!
I will be making this one again for sure. Maybe I'll even try to make my own Rojan Josh... maybe.