Tuesday, 7 July 2015

#CookBlogShare round up... and some news


Today's #CookBlogShare comes with a big announcement that is a little sad but at the same time hopeful. Sad because after creating and hosting this wonderful link party for over a year I have decided the time has come to pass the torch on to another host – or, I am hoping, a group of food bloggers that will not only keep #CookBlogShare going but make it even stronger and better than it has been so far.

I have enjoyed getting to know so many of you through this link party and getting a glimpse into your kitchens and lives. But as the party has grown bigger and more popular I have also become unable to cope with the demands of keeping it going. This has never been more true than right now as I have just started a new full time job. To say that I am utterly exhausted would be the understatement of the year – I have a hard time staying awake in the evenings, never mind blogging, cooking or doing anything other than lie on the sofa and pretend I don't still have a ton of (freelance) work to do.

I sent a group email out to ask if any of you would be willing to take over and have received a few responses. But for those who didn't get the email, please get in touch if you are interested. The party will be hosted here one the last time (sob!) and it will stay open until July 21st. Please link the recipes you are proudest of and let's make it one last linky to remember. I will announce the details of who will be taking over on the same post. Thank you all, so much, for coming back and sharing your posts with #CookBlogShare, for commenting here and on each others posts. What I was hoping to achieve when I started this was to create a sense of community and get to know other bloggers. I hope the party will live on even if I only watch from the sidelines.

Enough of me though. I am getting emotional. Lets take a look at this week's superstars...
1. Rhubarb and strawberry meringue pies with lime, pistachio & cardamom pastry from Kate of Gluten Free Alchemist – such beautiful seasonal flavours.
2. Have you ever wanted to make cheese souflés? Lili's cakes has you covered with a very extensive post complete with illustrations. Don't they look wonderful?
3. How can I resist these scones Angela of My Golden Pear created for National Cream Tea day?
4. Hannah of Domestic Gothess has created and linked so many wonderful recipes recently that it is incredibly hard to single one out. Still, these peach, pistachio and rose tarts really are near the top of my list.





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BBQ Marinated Butterflied Leg of Lamb

BBQ Marinated Butterflied Leg of Lamb

I recently attended an event to celebrate the launch of the 'Lamb. Tasty, easy, fun' campaign which aims to raise the profile of lamb in the UK, Ireland and Europe. As I sat there, enjoying the delicious food prepared by Cyrus Todiwala at Café Spice Namasté, I realised he was preaching to the choir. Going back through the blog archives I seem to have published many lamb recipes, from a chuck-it-all-in healthy stew to one-pot Greek Lamb and I realise that I actually pick lamb over chicken in my weekly grocery shopping. This is not the case with most consumers however, causing lamb farmers to give up on their flocks and rare breeds to fade away. 

One very easy way of supporting them is to buy more lamb (well, duh!) and fully realise the potential of the various cuts, from easy, versatile mince,  to shanks to, my favourite, butterflied leg of lamb. I love this cut so much as it provides the most succulent meat and cooks in record time making it suitable for even quick weekday dinners. Here I have cooked it on the barbecue (before the demise of our BBQ - see also recent ribs recipe) but it can be made on the stovetop as well provided you have a cast iron griddle pan (Le Creuset do a fabulous one). The recipe comes, with minor tweaks, from the Meat Cookbook and it is both O-M-G delicious and very easy. Do marinate the lamb overnight and if you are unsure about cooking times invest in a cheap meat thermometer – it really helps!


BBQ Marinated Butterflied Leg of Lamb

Ingredients
Serves 2, generously
900g | 2lb boneless leg of lamb, butterflied


For the marinade
200ml | 7fl oz red wine
3 tbsp orange marmalade 
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 red onion, very finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, mince
1 tsp fresh rosemary leaves, very finely chopped
sea salt and freshly ground pepper


Method
  1. Pat the lamb dry with some kitchen towel and reserve the marinade. Place fat side down your barbecue and cook over medium heat for 10 minutes. 
  2. Turn over and brush with the marinade. Cook for another 10 minutes.
  3. Once again, turn the lamb over and brush with the marinade. Cook for a total of 40 minutes, basting with the marinade as you go.
  4. Remove from the heat and leave to rest for 10 minutes. Carve the lamb into slices and serve with chilli jam, sriracha or hot pepper jelly and a big green salad. 
To cook on the stovetop
Heat a large griddle pan and brush with vegetable oil. Keep the heat medium-high and cook as instructed above, brushing the griddle pan with a little oil if it becomes very sticky. Cooking the lamb in this way can get quite smoky so open a window if you can... or risk the fire alarm going off!

BBQ Marinated Butterflied Leg of Lamb