Wednesday, March 3

The States, via Ethiopia.........

It’s been an eclectic couple of days at the dinner table in our house. Tonight was “Mac ‘n Cheese”......or Macaroni Cheese down this end of the world. Creamy, cheesy, with a delish crispy bacon breadcrumb topping. I added a green salad with a tangy vinaigrette and tried to pretend it was slightly healthier. Who am I kidding? I may be having an attack of some kind of seasonal disorder, but it’s March, and I am ready for autumn. I love living in a country that has real seasons, but not crazy extremes, especially as I am essentially a weather wimp. Auckland never really gets very hot or cold, but varies enough that falling leaves and a subtle drop in temperature makes me start thinking about soups and risottos. And boots and wonderful winter coats, hurrah!

Last night was an all together spicier affair. I made a version of the Ethiopian Lamb recipe from a wonderful cookbook called The Hungry Girls. This is a totally handmade gem (two volumes actually, this is from Vol. 2) from three Australian girlfriends, originally as a gift for family and friends. Check it out here. The Ethiopian recipe is actually a quick cooked lamb dish, using a wonderful mix of Paprika and various spices called Berbere. I made the spice mix, as per the recipe, but I had picked up lamb shoulder chops from my butcher, rather than the fillet or backstrap the recipe called for. So rather than the quick cook version, all a lovely lamb fillet requires, I added extra tomato for moisture, and cooked the whole mixture for longer, more like a traditional curry. Topped with tangy yoghurt, cucumber and lemon, and some steamy basmati rice, it was warm, spicy, and totally tasty. Try it!

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