Tag Archives: Apricots

Lamb Shanks with Harissa, Saffron and Apricots

Thanksgiving and the holiday season is here….a lot of us think about food ( I do), what to make that feeds the soul and brings a deep smile to friends and family. A lamb shank where the meat falls off the bone….just right with apricots and saffron. This has a Mediterranean flair and is a melt in your mouth recipe and guarantees second helpings ( make more:) )

lambshanks-1-2The key is good grass fed organic shanks. Ask the butcher and he will prepare them for you. I went to whole foods and got four cleaned meaty shanks.

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Use good dried apricots – just soak then in warm water while you prepare the shanks. The saffron is from Kashmir…my love affair with saffron is perpetual. If you want to get the “real thing” from the valley check out this online store as they will deliver worldwide Kashmir Box.   Soak a few strands in warm water while you are cooking.

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Harissa is such an incredible hot chili pepper paste. It adds just the right amount of heat to this dish. I found mine in a tube at the local store.

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A heavy bottomed pan is needed. You could use a slow cooker for this dish as well.

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Lamb Shanks with Harissa, Saffron and Apricots

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: moderate
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a melt in your mouth lamb shank with apricots and saffron

Ingredients

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  • 4 grass fed lamb shanks
  • 2 tablespoons Grapeseed Oil
  • 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 large onion, roughly chopped
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 head of garlic – minced
  • 2 tablespoon spoon Harissa
  • A pinch of saffron strands
  • Juice of 2 limes, about 4 tablespoons
  •  Zest of 1 fresh lime
  • Zest of 1 orange
  • 5-6 dried  apricots – halved and soaked in water for 2o mins
  •  A coupe of thyme sprigs
  • 2 fresh bay leaves
  • 6 cups hot broth or water
  • 2 tablespoons roughly chopped parsley, for garnish
  • 2 tablespoons roughly chopped mint for garnish
  • Himalayan pink salt to taste

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350F
  2. Soak the saffron with the lime juice and 1 tablespoon of warm water for about 10 mins
  3. Take the clean and dry shanks and sprinkle salt and  pepper. Rub it into the meat
  4. Brown the shanks in oil until they are evenly browed on all sides. Remove and set aside.
  5. In a heavy bottomed pan, use the remaining oil from the shanks and  sauté one chopped onion and 1 head of crushed garlic for about 3-4 minutes until the onions are translucent.
  6. Add 1 stick of cinnamon, turmeric, cardamom and 2 tablespoons of harissa. Continue to cook for a couple of minutes
  7.  Add lime zest, orange zest, thyme sprigs and bay leaves. Stir in saffron mixture. Lay in the lamb shanks and add the broth. Season with black pepper and salt. Careful not to over salt at this point, you can adjust once the broth has reduced.
  8. Once the broth is boiling, transfer pot to oven and bake for about 2 hours, covered, until meat is  beginning to fall from the bone.
  9. Adjust salt and pepper seasoning
  10. In the last half hour of cooking add the apricots. At this point you can remove the bay leaf and cinnamon stick from the liquid.
  11. Serve Shanks on a platter and pour the juice over it. Top with chopped mint and cilantro.
  12. Serve with a crusty bread or rice.

Taking this delicious dish to Angie’s where the co-hosts this week are Antonia @ Zoale and Petra @ Food Eat Love

Heavenly Energy Balls

It is a sweet sublime pleasure to continue experimenting with food and recipes. Working with your hands, imagination, the sense of smell tastes and optics. Never fails to enrich your soul, like music, like literature, like growing plants, like creating art.

Energy Balls with Nuts and Dried Fruit
Energy Balls with Nuts and Dried Fruit

Enough said. I was looking for something to take for my sister as I went to visit her in NY. It had to be decedent yet healthy and energy rich for a avid runner. My inspiration and base recipe come from Lili’s Spirulina energy balls…..just minus the Spirulina. Thank you Lili.

Make these….they travel well, refrigerate well and freeze well ( if you don’t finish them first)

The ingredients
The ingredients

The measurements are listed here for reference, but I usually just add and subtract to get the right consistency.  I also like to soak the nuts – soaking will break down the phytic acid and help digest the nuts. Use all organic ingredients to get the best nutrition out of this.

Here is what you need:

  • 1 and 1/2 cup walnuts ( soaked for a few hours and drained )
  • 1 cup dried Apricots ( chopped)
  • 7-8 Mehjool dates  ( pitted ad chopped)
  • 1 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 1 tbsp coconut nectar ( or raw honey)
  • 2 tbsp raw cacao pwd
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 tsp Almond meal
  • 1tsp Maca pwd ( optional if you don’t have it)
  • Extra coconut flakes and Almond meal for rolling
Energy Balls with Nuts and Dried Fruit
Energy Balls with Nuts and Dried Fruit

Putting it together:

Could not be simpler. Grind the ingredients using a good food processor until everything comes together in a coarse paste.

Roll the balls with moist hands and then cover with coconut flakes and almond meal you reserved for rolling.

Set in the fridge for an hour.

Snack, dessert, workout food, breakfast??

Fiesta Friday is on and I am ready. Thanks to our co-hosts are Loretta @ Safari Of The Mind and Caroline @ Caroline’s Cooking.

Energy Balls with Nuts and Dried Fruit
Energy Balls with Nuts and Dried Fruit