BALSAMIC & HERB LAMB CHOPS, FRENCH FOUGASSE…& PEACH & MIXED FRUIT CRUMBLES!

“Talk of joy: there may be things better than beef stew and baked potatoes and home-made bread – there may be.”
David Grayson
We had a good meal … it was yummy. I was in a mood to cook LOTS, & the lad joined in with his requests! At the meat shop yesterday, while I was trying to find direction in what to buy, he requested for lamb chops … “like you had made earlier Mama”, he said, “and the ‘French fries’ too!” Those refer to Greek Roasted Potatoes that I often make from Kalofagas. I sometimes do a variation on them … an addition of lots of garlic, & some red chili flakes. I simmer the olive oil with the ingredients to get a deep flavour, & then leave it to cool while the flavours mature. Toss the potato wedges in the oil, & bake till fork tender, about 30 minutes. The request didn’t end there of course. “If you are making bread Mama, then can you make the one you made with walnuts the other day? I really loved that one.” Back to making French Fougasse, which is indeed delicious & addictive! You can play around with the stuffing as you like. The crumbles, I must admit, were my own calling, & they were also deeply satisfying!!
MARINATED BALSAMIC & HERB LAMB CHOPS
Ingredients:
750gms Lamb Chops (about 10-12)
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tbsps balsamic vinegar
2 tbsps roasted garlic paste
Handful fresh herbs, chopped (I use lots of oregano, & some basil & thyme)
Salt & pepper to taste
1 tbsps each phalsa concentrate & plum sauce (or any berry sauce)
Balsamico Glaze to serve (optional)

Method:

  • Whisk the oil, balsamic vinegar,garlic paste, salt & pepper & half the chopped herbs, & marinate the lamb in it for at least an hour, though overnight is better.
  • Turn into the cooker & cook under pressure for 20 minutes on medium till lamb is tender.
  • Allow the steam to die down, then simmer the lamb in the juices, with the berry sauce & remaining herbs. Once the sauce is nice & thick, add the balsamico glaze if using.
  • Serve with French fougasse (recipe follows), or focaccia, Peter’s Greek Roasted Potatoes @ Kalofagas or a cold sweetcorn-potato salad in buttermilk ranch yogurt dressing, steamed green beans, a Romesco dip

I’ve been on a positive bread baking high these days. Found some fresh yeast in a store I was visiting, & have timidly begun experimenting. I can say that baking with fresh yeast is a totally satisfying experience. WOW … the first time I made the dough it rose so much, it frightened me.It’s a bread that I have now to hide from the kids. Made 4 loaves, & 1 was history before I knew it, coz the little mites are having a nibble each time they passed by the cooling racks. This is the second time I’ve made it, on popular request. Helen said the other day that she loves fougasse, & grew up on it. I wasn’t that lucky, but hopefully my kids shall repeat her words one day.I used a firm cottage cheese within in place of Roquefort. This is a bread worth experimenting with. Use your own fillings. The one in the main picture is one in which I rolled & twisted the dough into a spiral to see if it would hold the filling. It did, & looked rather rustic & moreish. The other loaves are as explained below!!
A fougasse is a lattice-shaped, flattish loaf from the South of France. it can be cooked as a plain bread, or flavoured with cheese, anchovies, herbs, nuts or olives. This Fougasse has been Yeastspotted, & is off to Susan @ Wild Yeast!

FRENCH FOUGASSE
From The Practical Encyclopaedia of Baking, pg 444
Ingredients:
450gms all purpose flour
280ml warm water
20gms fresh yeast
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tsp sea salt (+ a little extra for sprinkling on the cottage cheese if using)
200gms firm cottage cheese, crumble (or 50gms Roquefort cheese)
1 cup walnuts, chopped
Freshly ground black pepper
Olive oil for brushing
Method:

  • Take 4 tbsps of water from the 280ml, & dissolve the fresh yeast into it. Stir the salt & 2 tbsp olive oil into the remaining water.
  • Make a well with the flour, & pour the dissolved yeast & water mixture into it. Knead to a dough, kneading further on a floured surface for 8-10 minutes, till it gets smooth & elastic.
  • Place in an oiled bowl, cover the bowl with cling wrap & leave in a warm place for about an hour until doubled.
  • Punch down & divide into 4 balls of dough (or 2 if you have a big oven)
  • Roll out to about an 8″ circle, sprinkle with walnuts, & 1/4 of the crumbled cottage cheese. Season lightly with sale & pepper.
  • Fold over the dough 2-3 times on itself to incorporate the stuffing. Shape each back into a ball.
  • Flatten each & fold the bottom third up, & top third down to make an oblong.
  • Roll 2 of these long rectangle shapes & cut 6 slits. Stretch the dough to look like a ladder.
  • Roll 2 into ovals with a flat base, cut slits diagonally, three on each side. Pull slightly to open the cuts.
  • Place on oiled baking sheets. Cover with cling wrap & leave to double for 35-40minutes.
  • Preheat the oven to 220C, brush the loaves with olive oil, & bake for approximately 25-30 minutes till golden brown. Cool on racks.
  • Serve warm or at room temperature.
  • Note: A suggested sweet variation is to replace 1 tbsp of water with 1 tbsp of orange flower water, & include 50gms of chopped candied peel, & 25gms of sugar.
With the main meal done, in our home, there’s always room for dessert! Judy mentioned the other day that her peach pie is perfect for any fruit looking like it’s about to rot. Can’t happen to me I thought, but foodie that I am, eating my words is becoming very second nature. Decided to clear out the fridge. Hmmmm…did she say ‘fruit ready to spoil’? I dug a cartload out. I had a bunch of peaches which were fine, & had been bought for a peach crumble (along with brown sugar). Behind them, came tumbling some more fruit crying to be used – apricots, cherries, mangoes … all ready to crumble. Chopped up everything in a frenzy, with the daughter helping with pitting the cherries … (I spent a good 5 minutes picking the pips out that she kept dropping in ‘by mistake’). Once everything is chopped, this dessert is a cakewalk. You can find the recipe for Apricot & Cherry Mini Crumbles here, that I made just a couple of days ago from Judy’s @ No Fear Entertaining. The only change from my earlier post is that I used a variety of fruits here, as mentioned above, & brown sugar this time. Once you got all the fruit chopped up, the sugar & flour in, taste the mixture for sweetness. There’s nothing else to this beautiful, addictive dessert … other than a scoop of ice-cream or a dollop of whipped cream of course!!

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Comments

  1. meeso says:

    Looks like you had an awesome meal… You people are eatin’ good ;)

  2. Nicisme says:

    Lovely post – you have been busy! Putting the rest of us to shame.

  3. Half Baked says:

    Wow That looks like a wonderful meal! I love your fougasse. It turned out beautifully!

  4. Manggy says:

    Whoa. I can’t tell which one I’d want to have first in my tummy. The mixed fruit crumbles (with mango, of course) might be it. But then I think about the sweet, sticky glaze of the chops with the spicy taters. Then I think about the hearty, filling, cheesy bread. Dilemma!

  5. I feel sooo full now D!! ;) Thanks for the yummy meal!! :)

  6. Dragon says:

    What a wonderful and beautiful feast! You are talented woman, my friend.

  7. noble pig says:

    What a beautiful meal, i wish my picky eaters would request food like that!

  8. Look at this food you’ve made Dee. I would be so happy to come and visit you anytime. Your Fougasse look so delicious, and the crumble ahh……so mouth watering.

  9. Happy cook says:

    I can believe you had a yummy meal after seeing that first pic, it looks like a feast going on that table.
    I hav eneve rmada fougasse at home, should try them also.

  10. Why did I hit publish before I even finish? duh…..!

    That lamb looks gorgeous, did you know that I love lamb so much but not loving the beef? Yummmmm.

  11. The Cooking Photographer says:

    Your shots are so beautful Deeba. The food looks wonderful too, but the photography is stunning!

  12. Kerstin says:

    What an amazing meal! Your French Fougasse looks really yummy!

  13. Peter M says:

    Deeba, where do I begin to comment? You’ve virtually by way of the internet fed us very well!

    Everything is superior and the roasted potatoes look fab but the stand-out is the lamb…excellent!

    I do hope that you will dedicate a post to each dish soon – they deserve it.

  14. lisaiscooking says:

    What a great meal! Your fougasse looks amazing with the walnuts, and those potatoes are making me hungry!

  15. Bellini Valli says:

    This sounds like a perfect way to end the day Deeba. Lamb chops are a favourite around here as are crumbles.

  16. Helene says:

    You did such a beautiful meal for your family. Those potatoes are always a hit in my house. Love your bread also.

  17. Terecita says:

    Wow! Everything always looks so good here! I just I could just click on a picture and the food would appear in front of me! Good stuff!

  18. Nachiketa says:

    I really need to go jogging after reading this post…. I would have taken in all those calories just looking at those pictures……..

    Love the food n the thought that goes in….

    I so envy ure kids…..

    Cheers.

  19. NĂºria says:

    You are really busy girl!!!! With all that cooking and baking! Aren’t your kids lucky? Mmmmmmm I’m loving it all!

  20. Arwen from Hoglet K says:

    It’s a great compliment that your son asked you to make things again. Nice that your daughter helped with the fruit too. It sounds like they’re enjoying your new recipes.

  21. Curry Leaf says:

    Awesome.The fougasse looks amazing.I am not sure whether I should look at the pics or the recipes.Too AWESOME

  22. Teanna says:

    WOW what a phenomenal post! I have never heard of fougasse , but you’ve got me totally wanting to try that out now! All of the photos are so stunning!

  23. Gloria says:

    Deeba all look soooooo wonderful and beauty. I love fugazza, as well, all is pretty and yummy really and i love soo your pics. xoxoxoxoxoxGloria

  24. glamah16 says:

    Where was my invite to this amazing meal?

  25. That meal looks and sounds amazing from start to finish. Love the lamb chops.

  26. Bunny says:

    Wow Deeba you have been cooking and baking up a storm! Everything looks terrific!

  27. what a great meal. it’s really not the best thing to read ur blog hungry cos then i’m just feeling about ten times hungrier. sob!! x

  28. Susan/Wild Yeast says:

    Have I ever told you I am amazed by all the deliciousness that comes out of your kitchen? Seriously.

  29. What a marvelous meal! Where do you live? I’d love to come for dinner. We’ll bring wine.

  30. MaryMoh says:

    Wow…this meal blows my mind away. Looks awesome!! Thanks for showing.

  31. best rated web hosting says:

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  32. Wow, what amazing ideas you have. I absolutely love this post.

  33. Bev's Cakes says:

    I respect your work , thanks for all the useful posts .

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