Tuesday, August 2, 2011

cumin lamb stir fry/melted leeks

Sometimes it's good to make something a little different, and when you work until 6:00, it's good if that something different is also something EASY. That's where Mark Bittman comes in, with his seemingly endless supply of fast, cheap, tasty meals from all across the globe.

Nathan picked out this particular dish from Bittman's last Bitten column, in which the writer had compiled a list of his 25 favorite recipes published over the years. It's a damn good reference and I really should look to it more when trying to decide what to make.

I don't do a lot of stir frying, so that made this Asian inspired lamb dish a bit of a departure for me from the start. When I cook meat, it's more often than not on the bone, or cut into large steaks or filets. Here, the lamb shoulder is cut into cubes, which is a great way to cut down on cooking time in the evening.

So far so good, for sure, but fairly boring I'll admit. What makes this dish exciting is the bold flavors that come from toasted cumin seeds, scallions, cilantro and red chili pepper flakes. The lamb should marinate with the cumin and red pepper, garlic and soy sauce before being cooked briefly over high heat with the scallions. It tastes great over rice and is ready in minutes.

I served it with some leeks that I tried to caramelize. They were good, but Bittman's lamb was certainly the star.

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