Thursday, April 28, 2011


Easter was a lovely day, you know, aside from being thousands of miles away from all of my family and my husband spending the day at work. But I got dressed up anyway and schlepped off to church where I had to park a bazillion miles away because I didn't get there an hour ahead of time. On the upside, it was another warm sunny day, mass was outdoors under a giant tent, and the choir sang, I kid you not, the version of Joyful, Joyful from Sister Act 2 (minus the rap obviously and possibly unfortunately). The reason I recognized it? Sister Act 2 happened to be one of my sister's and my favorite movies when we were teens. We had practically every line memorized. Embarrassing, maybe, but who doesn't have a guilty pleasure movie...or 5?

I cooked a nice dinner too (although in my mind, I usually cook a nice dinner!) One thing I re-learned: don't roast a leg of lamb to 163 degrees. Seriously, Trader Joe's, I knew that was too high, but I followed your package instructions anyway. Dry lamb just isn't as good as juicy pink lamb. The leftovers made decent tacos though!

Lamb Tacos:
1. Simmer cut-up lamb in 1 cup water, 0.5 cup ketchup, 1-2 chopped chipotles in adobe, 2 crushed garlic cloves, oregano & salt & pepper.

2. Serve on corn tortillas with queso fresco or feta, lettuce, and other desired taco fixings.

One of my taco fixings was the nopales (cactus pads) I mentioned last week. 

Luckily, the needles had already been scraped off when we picked them up at our CSA. I experimented with this foreign food by searing them in a hot frying pan and slicing them up. 

Unfortunately, the amount of slime that came off the sliced cactus was alarming. They tasted good - surprisingly lemony - but the texture was similar to okra (kinda icky). Next time I have the chance to cook them, I'll try another method I found online: chop raw, boil in salted water with baking soda, rinse, and then sear in a hot pan.

Have you cooked with any adventurous ingredients recently?

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