Ah Sunday.  When a day starts like this:

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And ends like this:

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Things are right with the world.

As I mentioned Eric and I have been walking quite a bit around Santa Cruz.  This Sunday, we intended to go hiking but neither of us felt like getting in the car to go somewhere, so we set out on foot (neighborhood hiking?).

We walked through the park, down to the board walk, out the pier and back home. 020 023027028032

I pretty much never go to the boardwalk anymore, but there’s something about an empty boardwalk that feel so delightfully eerie in the morning.

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In total we covered about five miles.  I couldn’t believe how tired my legs were!  Slow exercise is a whole different ball game.  This actually made me sleepy.

Sunday night I made an old favorite around this house:

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Nigella Lawson’s Aromatic Lamb Meatballs.

Adapted to Suit my spice preference

Ingredients

  • 1 pound ground lamb
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped scallions
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2.5 teaspoon ground cumin
  • Several grates fresh nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons semolina
  • 1 egg
  • Vegetable oil, for frying

Directions

Put the lamb into a bowl and add the scallions. Sprinkle over the spices, salt, and semolina, and then beat the egg adding to the bowl. Work everything together thoroughly with your hands, and then cover with plastic wrapand leave in the refrigerator for half an hour.

Line a baking sheet with plastic wrap and scoop out a scant teaspoon of the mixture. Roll in your hands to form the meatball and place on the lined baking sheet. Have a bowl of cold water beside you to dampen your hands with; this helps them not get too sticky for rolling the meatballs.

When you are ready to cook them, heat about 1/2-inch of oil in a frying pan. Line another baking sheet with kitchen towel, and when the oil is hot, fry the meatballs in batches without overcrowding the pan. Cook them for about a minute a side, or until golden brown all over.

I positively love this recipe.  I love Nigella in general, but this is one of my faves.  The meatballs are so aromatic and well seasoned with the nutmeg, cinnamon and cumin.  The spice level in the original recipe is a bit low, so I’ve upped it and swapped fresh nutmeg for all spice.

I’ve had a few people (one) ask me if I substitute the semolina flour.  I bought some semolina a while ago for about five dollars and have been using it for ages.  I use it exclusively for this recipe, honestly.  I am not sure what you could substitute but I would go plain bread crumbs.  041

She says this makes 78 meatballs, I say, yeah right.  I got about 24 out of this batch.  Mine were decidedly too large this time but the most I’ve ever gotten in like 45.

Served with sliced, salted avocado

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and roasted broccoli with lemon olive oil and garlic salt.

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All together:

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My plate:

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I know, ideally this would have a dipping sauce but I felt lazy.  I’m trying a yogurt one soon and will report back!  I’ve served this a couple ways over the years.

Plain with yogurt dipping sauce

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This sauce wasn’t good so I won’t share it.

I once made a delicious sandwich with arugula and tomatoes:005

This was awesome.

I’ve also made the recipe as Nigella does, as part of a Fatoush Salad but don’t have a photo (stupid non blogging 2010).

I’m still experimenting to get it perfect.

You should try and tell me what you come up with!

We ended the evening with the first strawberries and whipped cream of summer:

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My my was this good.

Alright all, I’ve got some gentlemen here playing video games and I offered to make Salmon Croquettes, so I must be going.

Happy Wednesday!

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