“Lamb Meatballs with Herbed Yogurt” from Dinner: Changing the Game”

In the past, people have noted that they can tell how much we love a cookbook by how early and often we post recipes. While that’s often true, that is not the case this month.

Even though it’s already the 13th of the month and this is the first review I’ve posted, I’ve already cooked at least eight dinners out of this book. I know it’s not the end of the month yet so I can’t give my final verdict, but I can say that it’s been a very tasty month so far. The reason why I haven’t posted as much as I would have liked is only because life (work, children, etc.) has gotten in the way. It happens.

We made these meatballs for Sunday night dinner (See how far behind I am? And when I say Sunday dinner, it wasn’t even this past Sunday!) and they were delightful. They were tasty but straightforward to make. They had an air of Ottolenghi about them– in the best possible way– but didn’t seem as much faff as many of his recipes.

Tim made Jamie’s chapatis to go with, which enabled the teenager to make multiple wraps with the meatballs and sauce, while enabling me to mop up the herby yogurt sauce.

Delicious. 10/10 would eat again. And happily.

If you’d like to try this yourself, Google Books has indexed “Dinner: Changing the Game” so you can find the recipe by clicking through this link.

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“Lamb Meatballs with Herbed Yogurt” from Dinner: Changing the Game”

“Lamb, Saffron, Dried Lime and Cumin Spiced rice” from “Sirocco”

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Tom: Oooo. Yum! This is kind of like a biryani.

Kirstin: It is, isn’t it? I forgot to take a picture of this with all the bits and bobs. Apologies as it looked so very pretty.

Tom: The lamb is very juicy!

Kirstin: Ah yes. That will be the two hours of cooking beforehand which I didn’t realise until quite late. Oooops!

Tom: This is really great. I could really see this at a party too.

Kirstin: I could tell you were going to like this as you kept coming into the kitchen to see how things were going. And you’ve been hovering next to the oven for the last 20 minutes.

Tom: So Miles, you like paella. This is a bit like it. Do you like it?

Miles: I really like this! The lamb is yum!

Ella: I really like this too! It tastes delicious!

Kirstin: Another winner. And very good for parties, provided you you take the two hours into consideration beforehand. And so pretty too!

“Lamb, Saffron, Dried Lime and Cumin Spiced rice” from “Sirocco”

“Lamb Stuffed Sweet Potato” from “A Year of Good Eating”

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Anna: Well this was perfect for a freezing cold Sunday night in January. Proper comfort food. Pretty easy, though I was a bit suspicious of the additional step required of mixing the cooked potato with the lamb and then popping back in the oven for half an hour or so. But it was really worth it. The potato lid goes crunchy. Parts of the lamb and potato go sticky and caramelised. Which elevates the whole thing. I didn’t entirely follow the recipe to the letter however. Nigel left out a key ingredient. What goes better with lamb and the sweetness of sweet potato then salty feta? You think Nigel would have worked that one out himself! So I recommend you try this recipe. With my secret ingredient.

“Lamb Stuffed Sweet Potato” from “A Year of Good Eating”

“Broad Bean Puree with Feta Relish and Cumin Flatbread” and “Lamb Kebabs with Georgian Adzhika” from “A Change of Appetite”

CBAMLambKebabsMaureen: Let me tell you, this dinner truly was a labour of love.

Tim: What do you mean?

Maureen: Well, first I had to pod the broad beans. Then, after I cooked them, I had to take the skin off. Diana Henry even says, “It’s a bit of a pain at first, but quite soothing when you get into a rhythm.” Respectfully, I disagree. It’s just a pain. I never found it soothing.

Nicholas (10): I like the pita.

Tim: I’m not so sure about the pita. I think we have other recipes for flatbread that were better.

Maureen: I’m with you on that. These are fine, but we’ve made better. The fact that it took yeast and needed a few hours for it to rise was a real minus.

Andrew: The kebabs are good.

Maureen: I agree. They’re nice. I also like the feta relish– that’s delicious. This other stuff [pause to look up the name] the Georgian adzhika is also good.

Tim: Did that take long to make?

Maureen: Nope. That was a quick whizz in the food processor.

Tim: So what do you think?

Maureen: I would make again everything but the pita and the broad beans. The pita is just OK and I lost the will to live making the broad beans.

Tim: Agreed.

“Broad Bean Puree with Feta Relish and Cumin Flatbread” and “Lamb Kebabs with Georgian Adzhika” from “A Change of Appetite”

“Lamb Kofta Tagine”, “Golden Couscous” and “Butterscotch Apple Pudding” from “Rachel’s Everyday Kitchen”

Louis: Aunty Woffy meatballs! Louis eat meatballs with Aunty Woffy!

Kate: I’m flattered to be associated with meatballs.

Anna: Kofta actually. But he knows meatballs, so that’s what I’ve told him they are. I’ll be interested to see if he eats them.

Peter: This is nice.

Anna: How many meatballs would you like Louis?

Louis: Two.

Anna: How much couscous?

Louis: No. No couscous.

Kate: Well I like it. In fact I’ll have a few more meatballs.

Anna: The pudding is a bit of a failure I’m afraid.

Peter: It tastes fine.

Anna: But there’s no sponge to speak of. It’s a sweet soggy mess. I think the cooking apples gave off too much moisture. It’s similar to Bill Granger’s banana butterscotch pudding recipe but doesn’t work as well. Oh well.

“Lamb Kofta Tagine”, “Golden Couscous” and “Butterscotch Apple Pudding” from “Rachel’s Everyday Kitchen”

“Greek Lamb with Yogurt Mint Sauce” from “How Easy Is That?”

If you would like to make this yourself, click through on this sentence to see the recipe, as posted on FoodNetwork.Com.

This was absolutely yum. We all–even the boys– went back for seconds, and in some cases, thirds. This surprised me since they’re not huge lamb eaters, but hey, it was delicious.

Having lamb was at the request of my parents, who are visiting. They live in The Middle of Nowhere in the United States, and apparently it’s impossible to find lamb there. For me, I can get lamb only after a two-minute journey to my local butchers, Dring’s. Wanting to keep my parents happy, we got the lamb.

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In the U.K., lamb is getting expensive. The butcher explained the reason why. In the past, the British would be big eaters of lamb from New Zealand but in recent years, the Kiwi lamb has been going to Asia and is not reaching our shores. For that reason, the lamb we’ve got left is becoming more expensive.

This dish requires a bit of foresight because you have to marinade it. I marinated it about three hours, but as with all marinades, the longer you do it, the  better it will be. But once that’s done, all you have to do is throw it on to the barbecue or, in our case, under the broiler/grill for 10 minutes and Bob’s Your Uncle.

The yogurt mint sauce is an option, but I would definitely make it if I were you. It was simply a matter of throwing nine ingredients in a food processor and you’re finished. Again, it helps to do it a few hours ahead of when you’ll want to eat it so that the flavours can get to know each other before you eat them.

Will I make it again? Definitely. Another winner from the Barefoot Contessa. I have to say, this month hasn’t been incredibly inspirational, but it has been delicious.

“Greek Lamb with Yogurt Mint Sauce” from “How Easy Is That?”

“Turkish Flats, Shred Salad, Feta & Herbs” from Jamie’s 15 Minute Meals

Time taken: 23 minutes

Peter: Every time I put my fork in this the flatbread shatters. Perhaps a knife and fork aren’t the right implements for this.

Anna: I agree it’s a bit messy to eat. But at least it took less time than the other recipes. I knew it would be relatively short. I even had time to clean up the kitchen a bit while the flatbreads were cooking. So that’s a first.

Peter: It’s very filling. It’s quite nice. There does seem to be a plethora of ingredients, as usual.

Anna: Yes. It’s not an easy meal to make, though easier than the other recipes we’ve done. Had to get the food processor out of the back of the cupboard. Again. Thank you for helping me with that.

Peter: I don’t need to have this again. The Mary McCartney tortillas are much better.

Anna: And we’re having them next week!

“Turkish Flats, Shred Salad, Feta & Herbs” from Jamie’s 15 Minute Meals