One of the hardest parts about giving up six main food groups and items for baby A (she has protein digestion issues so I’m not eating dairy, wheat, eggs, fish, soy or peanuts) is finding quick, easy weeknight meals. Through a lot of trial and error, J and I have learned that some meals that look easy aren’t and some that look time-consuming are actually simple. This is a simple one. We’d put off making Lamb Tagine with Potatoes and Chickpeas from Williams Sonoma because it looked complicated. We were throughly surprised to learn it was easy and perfect for a busy weeknight.
Lamb Tagine with Potatoes and Chickpeas
In a small fry pan over medium-low heat, toast the cumin and coriander seeds, stirring frequently, until fragrant, about 5 minutes.
Transfer to a spice grinder, add the peppercorns, paprika, ginger and the 2 tsp. salt and grind until well combined. Set aside. If using ground, skip the grinding step and just combine in a small bowl. Mix with a fork.
In a tagine over medium-high heat, warm 1 tablespoon of the olive oil until almost smoking. Working in batches, brown the lamb on all sides, 3 to 4 minutes total. Transfer to a plate. If you don't have a tagine, we used our most favorite pasta pot.
Add the remaining oil and the onion to the tagine or pot, reduce the heat to medium and cook, stirring, until translucent, about 8 to 10 minutes.
Add the garlic and the spice mixture, reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is caramelized, about 2 more minutes.
Add the lamb, water, potatoes and the 1/4 cup cilantro and bring to a simmer.
Cover the tagine or pot and adjust the heat so the mixture gently simmers.
Cook for 45 minutes, then add the chickpeas and lemon juice.
Continue cooking until the lamb is tender, about 45 minutes more. Taste and adjust the seasonings with salt and pepper.
Garnish with cilantro and serve. Accompany with couscous or rice.
I LOVE this dish. It’s flavorful and warming and just delicious. It’s as good cold as it is right from the stove.
Life with a newborn (now technically an infant!) was hectic before I went back to work. Now, it’s even more of a whirlwind and I started looking for shortcuts for many meals, especially breakfast. Since my usual dairy laden cereal and breakfast bar are now out due to baby A’s milk protein issues. Enter my favorite kitchen appliance (aside from the food processor): the crockpot.
With some steel cut oats, the applesauce I made and froze this fall and a few other ingredients I had an easy breakfast that I didn’t have to think about! Even better, it was automatically dairy free!
Overnight Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal
Spray the crockpot with non-stick spray. Add the apple sauce.
Add the water and cinnamon and sugar.
Stir to combine. Just make sure the oats are all in contact with the liquid.
Cover and cook on low for at least 7 hours.
I accidentally cooked mine for 9 and it turned out fine. This is what it looked like when I woke up.
Spoon into bowls and enjoy!
Optional: If you are using plain applesauce, plan to add some cinnamon. You can also sweeten with honey or white sugar if you prefer. You can also add nutmeg.
Delicious, easy and filling. I can’t wait to try more overnight breakfast options especially as baby A grows! It also reheats well if you have leftovers.
In case you haven’t guessed, I love bread. I especially love fresh from the oven, homemade bread. While at Langlois Culinary Crossroads in New Orleans for cooking school, I learned just how easy it is to make delicious, wonderful bread at home. From scratch. Even though it officially takes two days, I promise it is really worth it.
Note: The most important ingredient is a clay or cast iron dutch oven or clay pot with a tight-fitting lid. We found this one from Lodge on sale and couldn’t be happier.
Langlois Crusty Bread
Wish together the flour, salt and yeast in your favorite mixing bowl.
Add the water and mix until a "shaggy mixture" forms.
As Chef Matt said when showing us how to make this, it should look like a wet dog.
Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and set aside for at least 12 hours or overnight. Longer in this case is better.
The next day (or 12 hours later) place the dutch oven and lid in a 450-degree oven so the pot and the oven are heating at the same time.
Turn out the dough on a heavily floured surface and shape into a ball.
When the oven (and the dutch oven) reach 450 degrees, place the dough in the center of a piece of parchment paper and put the whole thing in the dutch oven with the parchment paper side down.
Cover with the lid and either return to the oven, or slide the wire rack back in and close the oven door (I find the second way to be the easiest rather than trying to lift the super hot dutch oven in and out of the oven more than once).
Cook covered for 30 minutes.
After 30 minutes, remove the lid and reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees.
Bake for an additional 30 minutes.
Remove the bread from the oven and place on a cooling rack. (This means take it out of the dutch oven.)
There are directions for stuffed bread, but I haven’t tried it yet. I want to get the basics down first. In my first few trials (and errors!) I learned valuable lessons, like the difference between iodized and kosher salt, that sometimes the times are off and it is ok to cook bread a little longer to get a more golden crust. If you do accidentally use iodized salt and the bread is a bit on the salty side, treat it like a bagel and just don’t salt the eggs for the bagel, egg and cheese sandwich (it evens out in the end). It’s been hard not to make this every single weekend since we returned!