I recently had my friends Charet and Marco over for Sunday lunch. For dessert, I served my Daring Bakers Opera Cake. However, for the main meal, I served roast lamb - but not just any old roast lamb. I marinated my lamb using a recipe by Karen Martini from Where the Heart Is.
The marinade gave the lamb an interesting flavour which made it a little more special than if I had just roasted it in the oven seasoned with salt and pepper. Although I personally would have cooked the lamb for longer than recommended by Karen (as I found it too rare for my taste), I enjoyed this dish, and my guests said they did too.
To make this lamb dish, you will need:
2 bay leaves
8 cloves peeled garlic
1/2 cup vegetable oil
zest and juice of 2 lemons
1/2 cup almond meal
salt and pepper
One of the problems that you have with a large piece of meat and only three people is that you have a lot of meat left over. For a couple of nights, I was content to continue to eat roast lamb. However, I soon became quite sick of the same thing every night. That is when Peter of Kalofagas came to the rescue with his recipe for lamb giouvetsi. Hooray!
If you would like to make your own lamb giouvetsi, you can find the recipe here on Peter's site.
I had all of the ingredients except for the pasta, which I picked up at the grocery store. Unfortunately, my grocery store does not sell Greek pasta (orzo), but I figured that risoni would be very similar, so this is what I used. It also does not sell Greek cheese, so I used grated cheddar. My final variation was to use vegetable stock instead of lamb stock, because I had a huge carton of it in the cupboard that I bought in a fit of false enthusiasm for a risotto that never was.
Finally, I wanted to show off my wedding gift for Charet and Marco that I completed when I wasn't cooking, blogging or off on some other project. It is the largest single piece of cross stitch that I have completed to date. As you can see from the date on this piece, Charet and Marco were married about a month ago, and I bought them a bottle of French bubbly to enjoy on the big day. However, I only finished sewing this last night after about 2 months of on and off work. It took much longer than I anticipated - when I finished the cross stitch, I hadn't counted on how much back stitch there was, and how long it would take me to complete it.
There are a few mistakes in this piece where I wandered from the pattern, but you can't tell from looking at it (relief!). However, it was not a good idea to go off on a tangent, simply because it made everything harder as I could no longer follow the pattern exactly. As a result, I had to take a fair bit of artistic licence by following the picture on the packaging to complete the piece. I have now mounted and framed this piece, and intend to give it to the happy couple when I next see them. I hope that they like it!