Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Moroccan Lamb Loveliness

I love the rich aromas that cooking a Moroccan inspired dish creates and today's delight is full of spices that will stimulate your taste buds and make your kitchen smell like a spice market. This dish uses delicious Australian lamb, warm, aromatic spices, salty fetta cheese and fresh herbs as a filling for flaky filo rolls. As always, the spice amounts are only a guide. You may want to add a truckload of chilli or just a touch. You may not be a fan of fresh coriander - then substitute some continental parsley. Just taste as you go until you get a flavour balance you are happy with.

The lamb mixture should be cold when you make your rolls, or the pastry will melt and fall apart and it will be a big hassle to handle. I recommend making the mixture well ahead (even the day before) to ensure that you get the best results. These rolls (uncooked) will freeze well - just put a layer of baking paper between them if you are stacking them in layers into containers. Although I used filo pastry, you could substitute puff pastry if filo is hard for you to get hold of.

These are very moreish and tasty, so give them a try.....

You will need: 1 pack Filo pastry, 2 eggs, 2 tablespoons poppy seeds,1/2 cup melted butter, 500g lamb mince, 1 large finely chopped red onion, 1/2 cup finely diced celery, 4 cloves finely chopped garlic, 2 cups diced cooked pumpkin (cooked until just soft, not too mushy), 1 cup crumbled fetta cheese, 1/2 cup chopped mint, 1 bunch fresh coriander, 1/2 teaspoon dried chilli, 1/2 tablespoon coriander powder, 1 tablespoon paprika, 1 teaspoon cumin powder, 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg, a pinch of cinnamon, pepper, salt, a splash of olive oil.

Method: Add a splash of olive oil to a pan and cook the onion, garlic and celery until soft. Add the chilli, coriander powder, paprika, cumin, nutmeg and cinnamon and cook for about a minute. Add the lamb mince and cook it until browned. When it is done, remove from the heat.

Allow the lamb mixture to cool, then stir through the pumpkin, fetta, fresh mint and fresh coriander. Taste for seasoning and add salt and pepper as required. Once the lamb mixture is completely cold, it is ready to use to make you filo rolls/parcels.

Unroll your packet of filo and cut it in half. Each roll will take 3-4 individual sheets. Brush each sheet with a little butter until you have a few layers, place a tablespoon of the lamb mixture onto the pastry and roll up to form a parcel.

When you are done, place the rolls on a greased or lined baking tray. Beat together the 2 eggs and a couple of teaspoons of water. Brush the rolls with the egg wash and sprinkle with the poppyseeds.

Bake in a moderate oven for 20-30 mins, until golden brown.


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