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Sunday, December 19, 2010

The Supper of the Lamb Chez Nous: Leftover Love

The Supper of the Lamb: That is a famous book by the Episcopal priest/cook Robert Farrar Capon (his real name!). It is a wonderful read: Capon cooks some lamb, and then provides recipes for several more meals with the leftovers. As might be expected from his vocation and from the title of the book, Capon includes lots of spiritual content. He also provides lots of opinionated information on knives, stoves, and the like. So wonderful is The Supper of the Lamb that it was reprinted in the Modern Library series of food writing.

We had a leg of lamb last night, thanks to the Dairy Store at LSU, which sells the products of the Ag School. It was fine. Frugal Son braised it and we had garden greens and couscous on the side. Now comes my favorite part: leftovers. Although I don't share Capon's religion, I do find cooking--especially with humble ingredients and leftovers of luxurious ingredients--an enterprise imbued with spirituality.

Eventually, we will have Scotch Broth, which means we will make stock from the bone, add onion, carrots and barley, plus whatever scraps of meat remain.

Tonight, I am thinking of making Diana Kennedy's yogurt sauce, which I've written about before. I've only had it with chicken, though she says it's good with lamb too. Here's the recipe, copied from my blog post of yore.

From Nothing Fancy: Recipes and Recollections of Soul-Satisfying Food. It's called Syrian Yogurt Sauce with Cooked Meat. Kennedy notes that it's especially good with cooked lamb or chicken. Hence it would be great for a rotisserie chicken, a fairly cheap boon for college students and harried working people.

Cook 1 onion in 2 TBS butter--caramelize it.

Put 1 beaten egg in 2 cups plain yogurt. Cook over lowish heat, stirring till it bubbles and thickens.

Add 1/4 cup (optional) broth to yogurt mix.

Add 2 cups cubed, cooked meat, salt and pepper. Stir till heated through. Sprinkle with dried mint.

Kennedy forgets to mention the onion again, but either stir it into the melange or use as a topping.

Serve with bulgur or brown rice...or white rice...or couscous. All would be better than pasta.

The next day, I will make pita sandwiches with lamb, feta, yogurt, maybe some olives and roasted peppers. The best thing is that none of the lamb recipes requires any shopping. We will be cleaning out the cupboards too.

The only other thing I want to make is a Chinese dish. I seem to remember reading a recipe for Hunan lamb somewhere. I just found a recipe, which I can adapt to leftovers.

How I love leftovers. I have had acquaintances who throw leftovers away as unworthy of a second chance. Are leftovers coded poor? perhaps, like beans and greens, they deserve another chance.

I look forward to my upcoming meals.


hostess of the humble bungalow said...

This is making me hungry!
Sounds delicious.

I am the working poor. said...

Using lefovers just makes sense environmentally and economically.

Shelley said...

I love my leftovers! Something about recombining new foods - or leaving the original combinations to marinate overnight - just enhances the flavours. I would truly miss not having leftover food to experiment with; it would be like eating in a cafeteria every day. Boring!

Duchesse said...

I sometimes make something b/c I crave the leftover dish, such as osso bucco, with pasta sauce made from the leftovers. I don't have a big leftover lamb repertoire- moussaka is pretty much it.

When one son was small he called leftovers "restovers", a terms that made sense to me: they give you a rest.

Frugal Scholar said...

@hostess--We had the lamb in yogurt sauce last night--it was great. I'm getting hungry thinking about it.

@Iamworkingpoor: I think aesthetically also, strangely enough.

@Shelley--Exactly! Well put.

@Duchesse--I've always wanted to make osso buco--can't get the meat here. Lucky you to live in such a cosmopolitan city.