Saturday, 19 March 2011

Bananas, Lamb, & Goat

I know, I know.  Twice in one day.  I've got time on my hands.

First I have to talk about the Banana Bread.  This recipe has 1 package of cream cheese in it.  Mix it all together, portion some of it into two pans, sprinkle a mixture of cinnamon and brown sugar on top, top with the remaining banana mixture.  Bake. 

It came out beautifully.  Moist and delicious.  I did notice that there are bits of cream cheese throughout, but that happens if you overbeat cream cheese - which I think I may have done.  Oh well.  It's wonderful.  5 stars from me!

Next up: Irish Lamb Stew.  I'm having my friend Dee and her boyfriend over for dinner tomorrow for a St. Patrick's Day dinner - we went out on the actual day, so dinner was postponed until tomorrow. 

I am somewhat nervous about this stew.  It may be the smell.  But I have learned that sometimes smell has nothing to do with taste (ie. Whisky Butter Sauce - smelled gross, tasted amazing).  I grew up eating elk, moose, and deer so I have no idea what "gamey" meat smells like - but I'm pretty sure this is it. 

The lamb is somewhat fatty, but my plan is to keep the fat on the lamb for the flavour.  Since I'm serving it tomorrow, I'm making it tonight so the flavours have time to meld.  Tomorrow before I heat it to serve, I'll skim off the fat from the top and pull the lamb and trim it into smaller pieces and trim off the fat.  I don't like fatty meats.  Ugh.

The recipe calls for wine, but I'm subbed in Guinness Beer, which I'm hoping will deepen the flavour of the stew and make it that much more delectable.  So, being entirely freaked out about the waste I was about to incur, I threw in the beer, vegetables, thyme, and bay leaves.  The smell that started to eminate from my stockpot was - in one word - heaven.  I think I may have burnt my nose by getting too close to get a smell.  Oh. My.  But I'm still nervous - good grief.

Keep your fingers crossed that it's not terrible and we won't have to order pizza.  Lamb is very expensive.  Whew.

Lastly, Goat Cheese.  I picked up three different kinds of Goat Cheese from my local grocery.  Chevrita - a soft, ripened cheese, Rondoux - another soft, ripened cheese, and the third doesn't really have a name, it's a soft unripened cheese.

The Chevrita is very gooey enclosed in a rind.  The Rondoux is more like a Brie in texture.  And the unripened cheese - well - I would say that it's like a dry Ricotta.  In fact, I'm considering subbing it for Ricotta in a couple of recipes.  Yum.  Cheese and crackers for dinner tonight - keeping it easy.

Well, the dishes are done, the stew is cooling in an ice-water bath so I can get it into the fridge soon and dinner has been taken care of.  I'm ready for some chilling of my own.

This is The Cane Girl - signing off.

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