Sunday, March 23, 2014

Marinated Lamb Popsicles with Fenugreek Cream Curry

The culinary highlight of our vacation a few years ago (Vancouver, Yukon, NWT, and Alaska) was an Indian restaurant in Vancouver named Vij's. I cook a lot of Indian food at home, so I'm always a little reluctant to go out for it, but I was told I couldn't miss Vij's. It was a drizzly day when we arrived to Vij's 15 minutes before it opened to find a long line of people waiting to get in. They don't offer reservations, so we dutifully waited in line only to miss the first seating. Luckily, we were close enough to the front to be taken to the bar to wait. We managed to grab a seat and some cocktails to wait out the first seating while servers came by with delicious trays of free hors d'oeuvres. The dinner itself exceeded all of my expectations, in particular this dish with delicious lamb and a fragrant, creamy fenugreek cream sauce. The cookbook experience isn't quite as magical as our dinner there, but then again, I did have to do the cooking and no one was bringing out Indian cocktails for this meal. I've included the original recipe below, but I suggest that you might want to reduce the amount of cream in the sauce a bit as this cookbook seems to like thing extremely saucy. There's a 2 - 4 hour marinade on these, but other than that, it's a quick and easy weeknight meal despite being elegant enough for a special occasion. The cookbook suggests serving these over thinly sliced potatoes cooked with a bit of turmeric.

One year ago: Dry-Fried Beef Slivers
Two years ago: Stir-fried Shrimp Sambal
Three years ago: Five-Spice Beef Stir-Fry
Four years ago: Eggs en Cocotte with Pesto

Marinated Lamb Popsicles with Fenugreek Cream Curry (from Vij's)

1/4 cup sweet white wine
3/4 cup grainy yellow mustard
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground pepper
4 lbs French-cut racks of lamb, in chops
Curry Sauce
4 cups whipping cream
1 tbsp salt
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp ground cayenne
1 tbsp dried fenugreek leaves
1/4 cup lemon juice
3 - 4 tbsp canola oil
3 tbsp finely chopped garlic
1 tsp turmeric

1. Combine wine, mustard, salt, and pepper in large bowl. Add lamb and coat well. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 - 4 hours.
2. In large bowl, combine cream, salt, paprika, cayenne, fenugreek, and lemon juice. (I was tempted to skip this step to avoid dirtying an extra dish. Don't!! The lemon juice will thicken the cream - similar to when you make a quick substitute for buttermilk.)
3. Heat 3 - 4 tbsp of oil in a medium pot on medium heat. Saute garlic until golden.
4. Add turmeric and cook for 1 minute.
5. Stir in cream mixture and cook on low to medium heat for about 5 minutes or until gently boiling.
6. Preheat a stove-top cast iron grill or barbecue to high heat. Cook lamb for 2 - 3 minutes per side.
7. Serve lamb with cream curry on top or as a dipping sauce.

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