Thursday, June 30, 2011

Dinner with Friends

We were really excited to have our first lazycook guests last week. After scanning through couple of cookbooks, we decided to go for a lamb dish (in Turkish 'tandir') and bean salad (both from Jamie); and grilled asparagus, our usual mixed salad and brown rice to accompany them. This time as a change we made a simple dessert and in fact we were successful at it (as generally we are not!)


We boiled the beans for 4-5 minutes and prepared the French dressing with mustard, white-wine vinegar and olive oil. Then seasoned it with salt and pepper and added shallot and capers (optional but definitely recommended). The trick with this salad is that the beans should be steaming hot when you put the dressing on top, otherwise they don't take it. And  it should be served warm. 

French dressing and capers..
bean salad served hot!

Grilled Asparagus with Olive Oil, lemon and parmesan

We grilled the asparagus in our griddle pan and dressed them with lemon juice and three times as much with olive oil. We seasoned them with salt and pepper and added shaved parmesan on top. Best way to serve asparagus!


The incredibleness of this lamb is coming from its slow roasting. After we prepared it with garlic and rosemary, we put the lamb in the oven (covered tightly with tinfoil) with 170 degrees and left it for 4 hours. After 4 hours we checked if the meat was pulled apart easily and it was like Turkish delight! (this is a Turkish expression indicating its softness). We put the lamb on chopping board, covered it with tinfoil and then tea towel and left it there for resting, as it is written in the recipe. Meanwhile we prepared the gravy with the sauce from its roasting tray, vegetable stock, capers, fresh mint and red wine vinegar. By the way, it is a big change for us to be able to use red/white wine vinegar here as they don't sell them in Dubai. When our guests came after babies went to sleep, we put the lamb in the microwave for couple of minutes to warm it. And served it with gravy and brown rice.


While shopping for our dinner, I saw big red plums in the market but unfortunately they really tasted sour and then I decided to try this dessert from Nigel Slater (see the recipe at the bottom of the page from It is really simple to prepare with white toast breads and we served it with vanilla ice cream. The sourness of the plums actually made it better and I didn't put much sugar (less than what is written in the recipe). We had another dessert from our friend - apple torte, which was really tasty as well.

I think our first lazycook night went well! But everybody's favorite was the bean salad.

Now we're thinking if we should go for Turkish since we are in Istanbul now. What do you think?

Monday, June 20, 2011

'We're Glad to be Back' Chicken Roast Pasta and very Green Salad

Yes, we're really happy to be finally back to the lazycook kitchen. In these last couple of months that we disappeared we changed countries - moved back to our home country after living in Dubai for almost a decade, added a new lazycook junior to our family and he is now 2.5 months old and built our new kitchen where we will cook and create lots of new recipes to family and friends.

The first of these recipes is a chicken roast from Jamie's Dinners 'Everyday Crispy Chicken with Sweet Tomatoes' which we served on top of pasta. It was easy to prepare as you can see from its website but resulted in a very delicious pasta dish. 

Pasta with Crispy Chicken Roast
And as a side dish we chose a rich, green salad with asparagus, avocado and goat's cheese from our Comfort Book which will definitely be added to our basic menu list. 

For the salad, we seared the asparagus in our griddle pan with a little olive oil and seasoned it wilt salt and pepper. 

We peeled the avocados, cut them in half and drizzled with a little lemon juice to prevent the discoloring. We placed the halfes on top of rocket leaves and top with asparagus and goat's cheese. For the dressing, we combined some balsamic vinegar, olive oil, 1 crushed clove garlic, 1 teaspoon honey, 1/2 teaspoon mustard and salt and pepper and whisked them all. Simple and perfect..

Afiyet olsun!