Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Green Beans with Ground Lamb

Remember how when you first started food blogging you would update as often as you could? And all you'd think about was those great recipes you couldn't wait to try out? And you'd write really long blog posts, trying to be informative and witty? And then as time went on your enthusiasm began to wane and you updated less? And less?

I suppose I'm talking about myself here. Yes, I've fallen into a food rut. The last four meals I've cooked were vaguely Asian stir-fries, which is all I seem to have the imagination and the desire for these days.

And yet! Today I made something completely new to me-lobio khortsit! Yes, I'm being all foreign and pretentious about green beans with ground lamb. Lobio khortsit could pass as the Georgian version of Hamburger Helper--"the Caucasian equivalent of spaghetti and meatballs," says Anya von Bremzen--but it's so much better.

I tweaked Anya's recipe a little, but this is the basic idea: Saute a large, chopped onion in olive oil till golden; add a pound of ground lamb and cook for 10 minutes. Then add a can of chopped plum tomatoes, plus their liquid, two cloves of crushed garlic, 1/2 tsp. hot Hungarian paprika, 1/8 tsp. cinnamon, 1/8 tsp. cumin and a pound of trimmed, blanched green beans. Cook on low heat for 15-20 minutes or so, until the beans are very tender--Georgians like their green beans well done, and I do too. Eat with rice.

(Anya has you saute the uncooked beans in butter for 10 minutes before adding them to the lamb. If you do this, cook the green beans and lamb on low heat for 20 minutes, covered, and then 15 more minutes, uncovered.)

This is simple food and maybe I liked it so much because I hadn't cooked anything new in a while. In any case, this is pretty delicious stuff. Don't leave out the cinnamon--it's responsible for that exotic, Georgian je ne sais quoi of lobio khortsit.

3 comments:

Rebecca said...

This sounds really delicious, but maybe when it gets a little cooler; it's currently over 90 degrees in my kitchen. Of course I can't cook anything in there, anyway, what with the contractors starting tomorrow, and for all I know it will be snowing by the time they are finished...

Yulinka said...

It's over 90 in mine, too. I'm seriously regretting cooking hot food tonight.

Naoki said...

I just made this tonight and it was soooo good. Served it with couscous (the slow cook, large kind, not instant), and added some halved, dried figs towards the very end. My family loved it, too - the kids even ate the green beans.

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