Grilled Lamb Sausages with Madras Curry Paste and Sprouted Wheat Naan

Local, pastured lamb is ground with garlic, cumin, sea salt and black pepper, stuffed in a casing and refrigerated overnight before being grilled with yellow onions and green chiles.  Dressed with Madras curry paste with nigella and fresh cilantro, then rolled in sprouted  wheat naan..

Grilled Lamb Sausages with Madras Curry Paste

For the Sausage

1 pound freshly ground lamb shoulder, about 75% lean, cubed
2-3 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
1/2 teaspoon freshly-ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
about 5 feet lamb casing

Combine lamb, garlic, cumin, salt and pepper together in a bowl. Wrap tightly and refrigerate overnight.  Thoroughly wash and drain casing, then place it onto the sausage maker attachment of a stand mixer.  Grind the meat mixture into the casing, twisting individual sausages off at about 4 inches.  Refrigerate until ready to use.

For the Curry Paste

1/4 cup coriander seeds
1/2 teaspoon nigella
1 teaspoon freshly-ground black pepper
1 teaspoon ground mustard seeds
1 teaspoon chili powder
2 tablespoons ghee
1 tablespoon freshly-grated ginger
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon vinegar
1/4 heavy coconut milk
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, torn

Toast the coriander in a dry skillet, allow to cool, then combine with mustard and chili powder.

Heat ghee in a heavy skillet over medium heat, then fry spice mixture until the butter oil separates, about 5 minutes.  Add vinegar, ginger and garlic and cook 2 minutes.

Add coconut milk and nigella and simmer until thickened, about 5 minutes.  Stir in cilantro and remove from heat.

For the Naan

2 cups sprouted wheat flour
1/2 cup organic all-purpose flour
1/4 cup fresh whole milk
3/4 cup plain, whole milk yogurt
1 package yeast
1 teaspoon non-refined sugar
1/4 teaspoon aluminum-free baking powder
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
2 tablespoons ghee, melted

Warm the milk in a saucepan, then pour into a bowl and stir in the yeast.  Allow to stand until frothy, about 10 minutes.

Sift flours, sugar, baking powder and salt into a bowl and form a well in the center.  Slowly add ghee, yogurt and milk and knead until soft and pliable, about 10 minutes. Cover the dough and allow to stand in a warm place until doubled in size, about 2 hours.

Divide the dough into lemon-sized balls, then roll and stretch into the shape of a 1/4 inch-thick teardrop.  Place naan on a large, flat griddle and bake in a 475 degree oven until puffy and slightly crisp, about 2-3 minutes on the 1st side and 1-2 minutes on the 2nd side.

To Assemble

Grill or pan fry sausages until crisp and brown and  the juices run clear, about 15 minutes depending on heat source.  Cook onions and chiles in similar fashion.

Place a sausage into the middle of a small naan and top with curry paste, onions and vegetables. Roll and eat hot dog-style.

Sweet Potato Gnocchi with Stinging Nettles and Parmesan Cream

Sweet and russet potatoes are boiled and mashed with sprouted wheat flour, pastured egg, sea salt and freshly-ground black pepper and served in a sauce of fried sage, shallots and garlic with fresh cream, steamed nettles and grated Parmesan.  Topped with toasted pine nuts and shaved Asiago..


Sweet Potato Gnocchi with Stinging Nettles and Parmesan Cream

For the Gnocchi

3/4 pound sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
1/4 pound russet potatoes, peeled and diced
1/2 cup sprouted wheat flour
1 large, pastured egg
sea salt and freshly-ground black pepper
bowl of ice water
olive oil

Boil potatoes until soft then use a slotted spoon to transfer them to a cutting board (reserve cooking water). Mash the still-hot potatoes with ricer or a large fork until mostly smooth, then allow to cool 5-10 minutes.

Gather the potatoes into a mound and create a well in the center. Sprinkle the flour over the top, then crack an egg into the center.  Add salt and pepper and stir into the flour and potatoes as you would regular pasta. Knead gently until nearly dry, about 4 minutes.

Roll dough into 3/4″ diameter cylinders, then cut into 1″ lengths. Squish each gnocchi against the back of a fork then drop into boiling water and cook until they float, about 1 minute. Transfer to ice bath and allow to cool.  Drain, lightly coat with olive oil and hold until ready to use.

For the Cream Sauce

1 tablespoon minced shallot
1 clove garlic, slivered
8 fresh sage leaves, torn
1 tablespoon butter
1 oz white wine
1 cup fresh cream
1/4 cup grated Parmesan
1 1/2 cups fresh nettles, steamed, drained and chopped as you would for fresh spinach
sea salt and freshly-ground black pepper

Melt the butter in a heavy skillet over medium heat until shimmering.  Add shallot, garlic and sage and fry until slightly crisp. Add wine and reduce until nearly dry. Reduce heat to medium low and slowly whisk in cream. Cook until reduced in volume by about 1/3, then stir in Parmesan and nettles.  Season to taste with salt and pepper, then add the gnocchi to the pan and heat through.

To serve, spoon gnocchi and cream sauce onto a plate or shallow bowl and garnish with toasted pine nuts and shaved asiago.

This post is part of Meatless Monday!

Ginger Pancakes with Honey Lemon Butter and Caramelized Bananas

Sprouted wheat flour, fresh ginger and kefir with bananas, Meyer lemon, cultured butter and wildflower honey..

Sprouted Wheat Ginger Pancakes with Honey Lemon Butter and Caramelized Bananas

For the Honey Lemon Butter

1/2 Meyer lemon, peeled and seeded
3 tablespoons cultured butter, room temperature
1 tablespoon wildflower honey

Pulse all ingredients together in food processor until smooth. Refrigerate until needed.

For the Pancakes (yields about 8-10 5-inch pancakes)

2 pastured eggs
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, minced
1/4 cup brewed coffee (or decaf)
2 cups sprouted wheat flour
1/2 cup plain kefir
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon freshly-grated nutmeg
2 oz (1/2 stick) cultured butter

Mix together flour, baking powder, soda, cloves, cinnamon and nutmeg.  Add eggs, kefir and coffee and stir well.  Thin with a little filtered water if too thick, add a spoonful of flour if too thin.

Oil a comal or griddle with 1 tablespoon butter or ghee and heat to 375 degrees.  Pour 1/4 cup of batter onto hot surface and cook for 2 minutes on the 1st side and 1 minute on the 2nd side.  Transfer to oven to keep warm until the last pancake is ready.  Add additional butter if needed and sauté sliced bananas until light golden brown.

Serve topped with honey lemon butter and caramelized bananas.

Stash Cookies

One bite of these and you’ll know..

Stash Cookies

Makes about 18 1 1/2-inch cookies

3 oz unsalted cultured butter, melted
3 oz papelón (rapadura)
1 oz piloncillo oscuro (dark, unrefined Mexican sugar), shaved
1 1/2 oz raw cacao beans, skinned and ground
1/2 teaspoon ground canella (wild cinnamon)
5 oz unsweetened dark chocolate chips
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla bean paste
1 pastured egg (at room temperature)
6 oz unbleached organic all-purpose flour
2 oz sprouted organic wheat flour (adds structure and a slight nutty taste)
1/2 teaspoon plus 1 pinch aluminum-free baking soda
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt

Slowly melt the butter in the top of a double boiler.  Remove from heat, stir in the papelón and let stand 10 minutes to dissolve and cool. With an electric mixer, whip the butter and papelón together until a smooth, butterscotch-color paste is formed.  Add the vanilla bean paste and egg and stir to combine.

Mix together the piloncillo, ground cacao, canella, flour, baking soda and salt.  Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture a little at a time until combined (the resulting dough will be thinner than regular chocolate chip cookie dough).  Cover and chill until firm, about 1 hour.

Pinch off silver dollar-sized pieces of dough (there is no need to roll or flatten the cookies) and place on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet.  Bake in a 350 degree oven until slightly dark around the edges and light golden brown on top, about 10-11 minutes.

These cookies are of course best when only minutes from the oven, but may be kept up to 2 days in an airtight container.

Traditional Maryland Fried Chicken, Cream Gravy

While the exact origin of Maryland Fried Chicken isn’t known for certain, a dish by this name did show up on the menu of New York’s Grand Union Hotel as early as 1878..

Traditional Maryland Fried Chicken

Traditional Maryland Fried Chicken

Serves 2-4 depending on appetite and accompaniments

1 whole pastured frying chicken, cut up
3 cups fresh whole milk plus the juice of 1 fresh lemon

2 cups sprouted wheat flour
1 tablespoon freshly-ground pepper
1 tablespoon sea salt
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon each dried thyme, oregano and basil

4 oz ghee or clarified, pastured butter
1/2 small white onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced

1 cup fresh cream
1 cup chicken stock

fresh parsley, chopped

Wash chicken and place in a non-reactive bowl.  Pour in enough milk to cover then refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight.

Combine flour, pepper, salt, paprika and dried herbs in a bowl.  Lift a piece of chicken with one hand, let the milk run off, then place into the flour mixture.  Use the other hand to coat the chicken and place onto a plate.  Repeat until all the chicken has been lightly but thoroughly dredged.

Heat the butter in a high-walled iron skillet over medium heat to about 325-330 degrees (this is why you need a fat such as clarified butter with a high smoke-point), then carefully place the chicken in the pan, working in batches if necessary.  Don’t crowd the pan too much.  Turning as little as possible, cook until well browned on all sides.  Transfer chicken to a heat-proof dish and finish in a 275 degree oven while you make the gravy (assuming another 15 minutes or so).

Add the onion and garlic to the pan that the chicken was cooked in and fry until golden.  Scrape up the brown bits with the side of a wooden spoon, then whisk in enough of the remaining seasoned flour to form a thick paste (roux).  Stirring continuously, cook until the flour is no longer raw, about 5 minutes.  Remove from heat.

Meanwhile, heat cream and chicken stock just to the boiling point.  Whisk in roux and cook until gravy has thickened.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.

The chicken may be served with the gravy over the top or on the side, as you prefer.

This post is part of The Nourishing Gourmet’s Pennywise Thursday