Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Finding Inspiration

I spent the morning feeling a distinct lack of inspiration. Lots of reasons, a lack of rain, a lack of funds and a lack of sleep (and that's the main reason I'm sure) to name a few. But I did my chores, went for a walk, read a little online and then went outside to plan a few things in my mind while I worked. And in the process, I found inspiration to do what I do.
Bees and bottlebrush

 I took this picture yesterday when I was having new tyres fitted on my car. Oh my, what an expensive exercise that is. I was at the fire station taking a picture of poor Tim for today's photo of the day. Which by the way, I am participating in on my personal Facebook page. Of course if you are a blogging friend then you are more than welcome to send me a friend request so you can see the pictures or just to be friends .

Last week I decided to use a rather underused ingredient. I know the humble quince when made into a paste is popular  on cheeseboards but I decided to use it in a savoury casserole type of dish. And because it is tart and sweet at the same time, I coupled it with lamb and spices in a Moroccan inspired combination.

Spiced Lamb with Quince
1kg lamb meat, fat removed(leg is good but chops are cheaper), chopped into chunks
olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp ground coriander
2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground cardamon
1/2 tbsp brown sugar
2 cups vegetable stock
1 quince, peeled and cored. No quince, use a cooking apple, it works.
500 grams of pumpkin/ sweet potato, peeled and chopped into chunks
juice of 1 lemon
5 dates, pitted and chopped
Preheat oven to 180degC.
Heat a small amount of oil in a frying pan and brown the lamb. Transfer the meat to a casserole dish.
Add the onion to the pan and cook until softened.
Add the spices and garlic and cook for a couple of minutes.
Add the stock, sugar,  and dates and bring to the boil.
Pour over the lamb and place covered in the oven for an hour.
Remove from the oven and add the juice, quince and pumpkin and bake for another hour. Remove the lid for the last half hour to reduce the liquid.

This time I served this with mashed potato and steamed vegetables but couscous and salad are nice too. A piece of crusty bread for mopping up the sauce is good too.

Tonight however dinner is looking a little less successful. I made a batch of baked beans using a recipe(from a popular television chef) which looked good but really hasn't turned out as expected. This is his last chance, I don't think I will be tempted by the pretty pictures again. They are still ok but not the wow that they promised.


Jan said...

I haven't had any quinces this year yet but love them. Until a few weeks ago, I hadn't thought about using them in Moroccan cooking, but my mind says this would work well.

I was very fortunate. A fellow blogger gave me a jar of the most delicious looking and equally delicious tasting quince jelly. Perfectly clear, a gorgeous co;our and well set. I am enjoying it on toast.

Mu sister is housesitting at Burra, out of Queanbeyan and possibly colder than your way. Certainly a good deal colder than Canberra. She discovered owners had picked several dozen quinces before they left for three months. She's about to make paste and stew some.

Jan said...

Sorry for double comment. I don't know what your bean recipe was, but baked beans are much improved by adding a small amount like a tablespoonful of molasses or malt. Or perhaps a bit more of maple syrup. You won't taste it as such, but it gives a good flavour to the dish.

shez said...

thankyou for sharing your recipe Tracy it looks very yummy.xx

Blore said...

Leave the baked beans to Heinz...those celebrity chefs, it's all in the styling!!!

Lisa said...

I've never tasted a quince - the recipe sounds so good.

Fiona said...

love the bee picture... great colours in it...
the lamb and quince sounds amazing... yummy. I hardly ever see quince so I will use apples...

Jeanette said...

Thanks for the recipe Tracy. I usually make the quinces into jelly but an eager to try your recipe. Hugs,xx.

trishie said...

I've only ever had quince paste before so it's nice to find a new way of cooking/eating it!