Sunday, November 18, 2018

Thanksgiving menu have you stumped? Try some of our favorites!

Thanksgiving may have a different meaning from family to family. For ours, it means love, being thankful for all with which we’ve been blessed, and sharing our favorite recipes.

When it comes to the ‘feast’, ours takes a slight detour from the All-American menu. We sprinkle-in some of our family’s Armenian treasured recipes, passed down from our loved ones.
Midia Dolma
Cheese Boregs
For instance, our appetizers often include Midia Dolma, cheese boregs, homemade hummus, assorted olives, Armenian string cheese, and lavash or pita bread.

Sometimes a Roasted Leg of Lamb (recipe below) is the star of the show, but, when we do roast a turkey, it’s filled with Armenian Stuffing (recipe below), rather than the usual bread or cornbread-based varieties.

Dessert is more likely to be Apricot Pie, rather than apple or pumpkin, and for good measure an occasional plate of Boorma (or paklava) would adorn the table.

Image result for armenian apricot pie
Technically, this is my apple pie, but imagine it with an apricot filling!

No matter what you serve, the main thing is to share and give thanks.

Happy Thanksgiving from our Table to yours!

Roasted Leg of Lamb
Yield: approximately 6 servings

1 leg of lamb, bone-in, 6 to 7 lbs., untrimmed
2 Tbsp. Coriander seed, freshly ground
1 tsp. salt
½ tsp. ground black pepper
2 medium onions, roughly cut, skin on
4 cloves garlic, whole, skin on
½ cup water

1. In a small bowl, combine the ground coriander, salt, and pepper. Blend well and set aside.
2. Place the oven rack as close to the center as possible, then preheat to 350° F.
3. Line the bottom of a roasting pan with heavy-duty foil.
4. Spread the cut onions, garlic, and ½ cup of water on top of the foil. This will impart a lively flavor, and fragrance to the recipe during roasting.
5. Place a roasting rack over the onion mixture.
6. Place the lamb on the rack, fat-side up. Leaving the fat on will flavor and moisten the meat.
7. Sprinkle the coriander, salt and pepper on the surface of the lamb, gently rubbing them in.
8. Roast the lamb for about 2 1/2 to 3 hours, basting periodically with the juices from the bottom of the pan. (There is no need to turn the meat during roasting.)
9. Remove the roast to a carving board, allowing the meat to rest for about 15 minutes before slicing.
10. Serve with pan juices that have been skimmed of fat.

Special Note
Do Not discard the juices at the bottom of the pan! When cooled, strain the juices into a food storage container, discard the onion & garlic.

Refrigerate overnight. Remove the layer of fat which hardens on the top. What’s left is a flavorful broth to use as a base for soup or sauces.
Armenian stuffing
Armenian Stuffing
Yield: Enough to stuff a 10-12 lb. turkey – or serves 6 or so as a side dish

½ lb. ground lamb (ground beef or ground turkey may be substituted)
½ cup chopped onion
4 Tbsp. butter, divided
1½ cups long grain, parboiled rice (Uncle Ben’s works well in this)
Salt, pepper, to taste and allspice (about 1 tsp.)
3 cups water or chicken or beef broth
1 Tbsp. Better Than Bouillon paste (optional)
¼ to ½ cup toasted pine nuts (optional)

1. Brown the meat in a large pot with a little salt, pepper and one tablespoon of water. Drain off any grease. Remove meat from pot and place in a bowl. Melt 2 Tbsp. butter and sauté onion until soft. Return meat to pot and stir.
2. Bring the water or broth to a boil. Add the rice and butter; stir. Reduce heat to low, cook, covered, until liquid is absorbed, and rice is tender, about 20 minutes. Remove pot from heat and allow to rest for 10 minutes.
3. Using a fork, fluff the rice and add the allspice, and more salt and pepper, if needed, and toasted pine nuts, if using.
NOTE: This recipe is used as a stuffing, but makes a delicious side dish, as well.

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