Monthly Archives: November 2009

ricotta pie

I am actually a pretty horrible baker, for many reasons.  One, I like to add things to the recipe, which sometimes works but less so with baking.  Two, I always add things in the wrong order.  Three, I get so excited and always check on things a million times while they’re cooking.  Four, I really can’t resist sampling while I make treats, which definitely throws off the recipe.  Anyway, I don’t bake too often, but this recipe looked like it might turn out alright, and I tweaked it enough so that even if it didn’t work, it maybe would only sort of be my fault.

The original recipe is from Tessa Kiros’s Falling Cloudberries, which is a beautiful beautiful book, and is actually for a ricotta tart with a chocolate crust.  Because of my super basic baking skills, I didn’t feel up to making a crust from scratch.  I also kind of hate store bought crusts, so I decided (with help! best idea from Kristina!) to make a phyllo crust.

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For the crust:

  • a package of phyllo
  • 4 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter

First off, because I was sort of making this up as I went, I’m not so sure about the measurements.  But you just grease a pan, with butter (or I guess a pie plate would be so pretty but I’m way better with straight lines), and then lay down a sheet of phyllo.  Mix the butter and honey together.  Using a pastry brush (one of the very few times I prefer silicon to a more natural material since it cleans so much better than a brush), spread on the butter honey mixture to cover the phyllo completely.  Add another sheet of phyllo, and repeat as much as you’d like.  I think I did about eight sheets but it’s really up to you.

For the tart

  • 2 cups ricotta
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1/2 cup superfine sugar
  • 2 dozen cardamon seeds (really as many as you’d like)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat the oven to 375.  Whisk all the ingredients together and pour the filling into the pie plate.  Bake for 30 to 40 minutes until it looks set and a bit golden on top.  I can’t lie, this is a good dessert and a really amazing breakfast. The cardamon makes it taste like you are maybe having a chai instead of dessert for breakfast.  Next time I’m going to add cloves, too.

lamb salad

I suppose the notion of lamb salad is a bit much, but this is really so good.  Also, it’s an exciting way to eat carrots.  Don’t get me wrong, I am into carrots, but I am really really into shaved carrots, apparently.  Anyway, this salad is a whole meal, it’s filling but not too heavy, it comes via Jamie Oliver (swoon!), and it looks pretty (I think).  Basically, amazing.

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  • many carrots, peeled in long strips
  • garam masala
  • 1 pound ground lamb or lamb sausage
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds, toasted if you want
  • a bunch of picked cilantro leaves
  • a bunch of picked mint leaves
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 3 shallots, diced very finely
  • zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 teaspoon grated ginger
  • olive oil

Heat a large frying pan and and fry the ground lamb with as much garam masala as you want, depending on the spice level.  Stir the lamb and fry it until it’s crispy.  Once the lamb is cooked, remove it from the pan, but keep the rendered fat and lightly fry the shaved carrot.

For the dressing, dice the shallots as finely as possible, and add the lemon zest and juice, grated ginger, ground cumin and a bit of salt.  Add as much olive oil as you think you need, and then pour the dressing over the carrots.

Arrange everything on a plate with the mint and cilantro first, then the lamb, topped with the carrots and finally with the sesame seeds.

This is really lovely with naan or a bit of spicy yogurt.