At Special Fork, we don’t often write posts about planning ahead, because our goal is to solve the dinnertime dilemma: what to cook at 4 p.m. for dinner that day.
We know that meals planned around recycled leftovers are timesavers. If you can cook something one day and turn it into something else the next, you’re ahead of the game.
However, if you’re late from work that next day, or kids have an unexpected event that necessitates a speedy takeout dinner, or if you just don’t feel like cooking, that second effort might never happen and the leftovers end up wastefully, in the trash bin.
Recently, though, I had such a good success with a planned over meal that I had to share it. It starts with a boneless leg of lamb Steve bought from Costco, that turned into two very different and very delicious meals.
First I roasted the leg, which took 1½ hours. Something to do a weekend, perhaps. Since I planned to use the leftovers for a couscous dish, I wanted to keep the flavors of the roast simple, limited to salt and pepper, so that spices for today’s lamb wouldn’t corrupt the seasonings for tomorrow’s couscous.
However, I wanted to coax a little more flavor from the roast, so I took 10 minutes and some dried plums I had on hand to make a quick chutney to go with the lamb. With carrots, onions and potatoes roasted with the lamb, it was a satisfying Sunday supper.
The next day I cubed some of the remaining lamb, added Moroccan spices, chickpeas and other ingredients and simmered the whole thing to serve over couscous. It was as good as – or even better than – the original roast!
I also had enough lamb slices from the roast to make sandwiches for lunch. They were moist and tasty, spread with Sun-Dried Tomato Dip, used as a sandwich spread.
Here are the recipes for the roast lamb and chutney. Next week, I’ll post the recipe for the couscous.
Roast Lamb with Vegetables
1 boneless leg of lamb (about 4 ½ pounds)
Kosher Salt and freshly ground pepper
4 large carrots, cut in half crosswise
4 medium potatoes, cut in half crosswise
1 medium onion, cut in 1-inch wedges
2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
Remove lamb from the refrigerator an hour before roasting, if time allows.
Heat oven to 400 degrees F.
Wipe lamb dry with paper towels; season liberally with salt pepper (you’ll need about 2 teaspoons of salt). Put lamb in a 9- X 13-inch baking dish, fat side up, and roast 20 minutes a pound or until meat thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the lamb registers 145 degrees F. for medium. There are many variables that can affect roasting time so begin checking the temperature about 15 minutes before the roast is expected to be done.
Meanwhile, put vegetables on a baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil and season with ½ teaspoon salt and a few grindings of pepper. After the lamb has roasted for half an hour, scatter the vegetables around the lamb. Return dish to oven and continue to roast until lamb is done.
Remove lamb and let it rest for 10 minutes; cover vegetables with foil to keep warm. After 10 minutes, slice about a third of the lamb to serve 4. Serve with Quick & Easy Dried Plum Chutney.
Refrigerate leftover lamb for sandwiches and to make Lamb Couscous.
Quick & Easy Dried Plum Chutney
1 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
½ cup diced onion
1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
1 clove garlic, minced
¾ cup chopped dried plums
¼ cup vinegar
¼ cup brown sugar, packed
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
In a medium saucepan, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion, ginger and garlic and sauté until onions are soft, about 2 minutes. Add dried plums, vinegar, sugar, salt and red pepper flakes. Simmer about 5 minutes or until dried plums break down and mixture become saucy. Serve with roast lamb, pork, chicken or ham.
Makes ¾ cup.
- Use any leftovers as a sandwich spread for roast lamb or turkey sandwiches.
- Spread chutney on flatbread, top with crumbled feta or blue cheese, and bake; serve as an appetizer pizza.
- Use as a filling for panini, with slices of Cheddar cheese.
In next Monday’s post I’ll share the couscous recipe for leftover lamb. You’ll need to set aside 4 cups of cubed lamb to make this dish.
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