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Chanakhi (Georgian Lamb and Eggplant Stew)

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Chanakhi1 lb boneless lamb shoulder, cut into small strips (save the bones for stock)
1 large yellow onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, cored and chopped
1 large eggplant, cubed, unpeeled
6 plum tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped
3 cups lamb stock (*see below the recipe)
5 cloves garlic, pressed
3 yellow waxy potatoes, peeled and cubed, or small salad potatoes, peeled (immerse them in cool water until ready to use)
1 tbsp khmeli suneli (**see below the recipe)
1 dry cayenne pepper
1 tbsp fresh dill
1 tbsp fresh parsley
1 tbsp fresh cilantro
3 tbsp cooking oil
salt and pepper to taste
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Lamb Meatballs With Lemon-Dill Rice And Roast Tomato Salad

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Lamb Meatballs

2 lb lamb (do not trim the fat), coarsely ground or minced by hand

1 large Spanish onion, minced

salt and pepper to taste
vegetable oil

– Combine the meat with onions and mix well.

– Season with salt and generously with freshly ground black pepper. You can check the seasonings by cooking a teaspoonful of meat in the microwave.

– Separate the meat into baseball-sized portions and shape them into thick, slightly oblong patties (they will take on a more spherical shape as they cook).

– Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Brush the meatballs with oil and roast on a rack set over a pan of water for 1 hour 15 minutes, flipping them over after the first 45 minutes. Alternatively, you can grill the meatballs until the internal temperature registers 165 degrees.

Lemon-Dill Rice

2 cups medium or long-grain rice, cooked according to package directions (but still better if just slightly undercooked)

freshly squeezed juice of 1 large lemon
1/2 cup melted butter
3 tbsps minced fresh dill
salt and pepper to taste

– Stir the lemon juice, butter and dill into the rice. Adjust the seasonings.

– Sprinkle with additional dill before serving.

Roast tomato salad

1 beefsteak tomato, stem removed, sliced into thin wedges
1 small onion, halved and sliced
1 clove garlic, thinly sliced
2 tbsp melted butter
1/2 tbsp sugar
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
salt and pepper to taste
2 tbsps sunflower oil

– Place the sliced onions into a non-reactive bowl and pour vinegar over them. Cover and let marinade, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes.

– Lightly oil a cookie sheet, and arrange the tomato slices on it in a single layer. Brush with melted butter, sprinkle with sugar and broil until the surface just begins to caramelize. Remove from the oven and let cool somewhat.

– Drain the onions. Transfer the still-warm tomatoes to a shallow serving dish and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Arrange the onions over them, sprinkle with garlic slices and drizzle with sunflower oil.

– Sprinkle with dill before serving, if desired.