Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Braised Leg of Lamb with Morel, Trumpet and Shiitake Mushrooms

It has been a while since I braised lamb. I had a vision of braising a leg of lamb with variety of mushrooms. So few weekends back I did exactly that. Here is my recipe.


1.5 lb of deboned leg of lamb
10 morel mushrooms
2 trumpet mushrooms
10 shiitake mushrooms
Hot water
1 large onion, half mooned
1 carrot, peeled and cubed
Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper
1 tablespoon of fresh finely chopped thyme and few sprigs


1. Preheat oven to 375F. Generously rub the leg of lamb with 2 tablespoons of olive oil, fresh thyme. Salt and pepper to taste. Sear in a pan on all sides. I used medium heat. Set aside.

2. In a different pan on medium heat saute mushrooms and onions with 1 tablespoon of olive oil for about 10 minutes stirring from time to time. Salt and pepper to taste.

3. In a large ovenproof pot combine mushrooms, onions, carrots, lamb and few sprigs of fresh thyme. Pour hot water, just enough to almost cover the lamb. Bring to a boil. Cover with a lid and transfer into the oven. Let braise for about 2.5-3 hours. Check after 1 hour to make sure there is enough liquid and lamb is not burning. Turn the lamb over. Amount of liquid will reduce with cooking but there should be some left. To make the sauce richer use beef stock instead of water. Serve with potatoes.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Porcini Mushrooms and Potatoes for dinner

To my great surprise my local co-op had porcinis this weekend and of course I just had to get few of them.

I cooked them as I always do in olive oil with some diced shallots for about 30 minutes. I also steamed some yukon gold potatoes. The meal came out very "home-like" potatoes with mushrooms served with sour cream and fresh dill.

Pork Tenderloin with Apricot and Mustard Sauce - Martha's recipe

This is a very simple pork tenderloin recipe that I found by Martha Stewart, in which I can use some of my apricot preserves. I had to modify cooking time so that the pork comes out a little bit pink in the middle. Both my husband and I do not like overcooked pork. Plus I used regular Dijon mustard instead of spicy brown mustard. Here is a slightly modified version.


1 pork tenderloin (a little over a pound)
1/2 cup of apricot preserves
1/8 cup of Dijon mustard
Salt and Pepper
1 tablespoon of Olive Oil


1. Rub pork with oil. Salt and pepper to taste. Line a cooking sheet with aluminum foil and broil pork on it in the oven for 3 minutes a side.

2. In a meantime, in a small sauce pan combine apricot preserves with mustard and on medium heat bring to a boil. Stir not to burn. Once boiling take the sauce of the heat and split into two small cups. Use one half of the sauce to brush pork and the other to serve.

3. Brush pork on one side with sauce and broil for a 1.5 minutes. Take out of the oven and turn over, brush the other side with sauce and broil for another 1.5 minutes. Pork will have some blackened spots. Let the pork rest for 5 minutes before slicing. Slice and serve with some sauce on a side.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Apricot Preserves

Apricot preserves are my favorite and I make them every year once fresh apricots make an appearance in the grocery store. This is a recipe I learned from my mother, which have proven to work for me very well. Here it is.


3 lbs of fresh apricots, cut in half and seeds removed
3 lbs of white sugar


The whole process takes about 3 days. I usually start in the evening on Day 1.

Day 1: In a large pot pour sugar over the apricots. Leave uncovered overnight for the apricots to release the juice. 

Day 2: In the morning using a large wooden spoon stir the apricots and sugar well. Put pot on a stove and turn heat on low and continue to stir until sugar starts to melt. Be very patient - you don't want sugar to burn. Once sugar has dissolved increase heat to medium and bring to a boil. Once boiling the foam will start to form. Your job is to skim the foam while preserves are boiling. Stop skimming once there is not much foam left. Total boiling time should be 20 minutes (including the foam). Turn the heat off and take the pot of the heat, let the preserves cool uncovered. I usually let them cool and sit uncovered until the next day.

Day 3: Bring preserves to a boil stiring to not burn. Simmer for about 10-15 minutes removing any extra foam that forms. Take preserves off the heat and let them completely cool. Once cool transfer into the glass jars and store in a fridge. Enjoy on a toast, yogurt or in sauces.