As most of you around IAWSKP know, I’m a baker, not really a true food maker. I can cook, but flying solo, the urge rarely strikes. Yet, as the seasons change, I’m usually more inspired to fish out a recipe and get to it. I prefer to make rustic dishes that feed the body and the soul.

This past weekend, I spied an article in Sunset magazine on cooking with spice blends. That article can be found here.  The Arabic lamb stew sounded amazing, right up my culinary alley, and shockingly, I had all of the ingredients lying about, minus the lamb. I headed to Taylor’s market on Saturday and got the lamb. Then, I went to work in the garden and time slipped away before I could make the stew. The archangel has been doing a lot of work around Wildlands, helping out with the backyard renovation and I wanted to do something nice for him. This evening, I dropped this lovely ensemble off to him at the cafe:

Arabic lamb stew

The recipe from Sunset can be found here. As the article did not provide a ratio for the baharat spice blend, I also googled and used this recipe.  I went with the Turkish baharat spice blend as I liked the spice combo best of those offered there.

I wish you could have smelled the aroma of this dish cooking. WOW.  I have witnesses for those of you who may disbelieve that I actually COOKED. Colin and Ally both were party to the scent sensations oozing out of the oven.

It was fairly straight-forward—using the trusty dutch over, I browned the lamb, then set it aside in a bowl to brown the onions in the same pot. For me, the best part of cooking is using the dutch oven and deglazing it. Go ahead and laugh, but anything to get me to make a real meal, right?

Anyway, I added the baharat spice blend, some chicken stock, simmered for an hour, then placed the dutch oven pot into a pre-heated 375F  oven for another hour.

I couldn’t locate small/medium-sized Kabocha squash, so I served the stew over steamed cauliflower and russet potatoes. For a topping, I also made a simple mint chutney in the mini-food processor using pineapple sage from the backyard and a few other pantry ingredients:

  • 1 cup packed fresh mint leaves
  • 1/2 medium jalapeño chile, seeded
  • 3 tbsp. coarsely chopped onion
  • 1/2 tsp. each sugar and kosher salt
  • 1 tbsp. lemon juice 
  • 1 tbsp. masala spice blend 

    The only adjustment I’ll make next time will be a reduction in the amount of baharat spice blend. Perhaps I mixed mine a bit too strong—I thought it was good, but others might not like their tongue tingling quite as much.  I’m now inspired to host an Indian food night and make this dish along with cauliflower and potato samosas.

    Okay, well, hope you’ve all recovered from this post. Who knows, maybe tomorrow I’ll blog about going to yoga or such.


    Blank stare.



    Until next time, be well.