Lamb Stew with Chickpeas, Preserved Lemon and Saffron

Pressure Cooker Lamb Stew with Chickpeas, Preservred Lemon and Saffron-1

What would winter be without snow?  (The Bahamas, that’s what.)  Winter with snow is what made Currier and Ives famous, what gives New Englanders character, and what causes some people to regard year-round Maine residents as a bit dotty.  I, for one, was happy to see the snow a couple of weeks ago.  I want at least one weekend when walking down the sidewalk in front of my house resembles McMurdo Station, when everyone exercises the exquisite protocols that dictate who first steps aside, and who passes.  This week’s recipe is what all of us hope to find when we come inside from shoveling,  a dish that fills the air with aromas as good as a back rub,  Lamb Stew with Chick Peas, Preserved Lemon and Saffron.

Lamb Steaks with Herbs and Caramelized Garlic

Truth be told, we eat more red meat as as a flavoring in a pasta sauce or a stir-fry than we do as the straight-up center of attention. However, Lamb Steaks with Herbs and Caramelized Garlic make a great indulgence, especially with the Puglian wrinkle of using olive oil scented with rosemary, sage and thyme instead of a butter sauce.  The aroma of lemon, herbs and olive oil is a Proustian ticket to the sun-drenched Adriatic coast of your choice–and you’ll definitely want some bread to mop everything up.

Grilled Lamb Blade Chops with Hot Mint Chutney

Nobody hates lamb blade chops.  People either love them, or they’ve never heard of them.  Viewed from a diner’s perspective, lamb blade chops are to loin chops as  pork ribs are to pork loin.  There’s fat, gristle, a bit of bone, and you need to work a bit more to get the good stuff.  The reward is heaps of flavor.  If you fall into the never-heard-of-‘em group, then this week’s Grilled Lamb Blade Chops with Hot Mint Chutney is your opportunity to step-away from the fancy-dress dinner party of loin chops, leave your champagne flute of civilisation on the veranda, and stride across the lawn through the baffled croquet players as you peel off your tuxedo and enter the forest.

Saucy, with a Chance of Meatballs

You could draw a culinary Venn Diagram with two overlapping circles. Label one circle Comfort Food. Label the other Goofy Food. Where the circles overlap would be the Meatball Zone. That’s where you’d find Lamb and Pork Meatballs with Simple Tomato Sauce. Good, but funny.