It started with a friend not wanting her copy of World Food Cafe, because it was the English edition and she wanted it in Swedish. I offered her a swap, she kind of liked Tessa Kiros´ Twelve and I have only cooked from it once (the plum cake) and wasn´t too satisfied. The book simply never inspired me (before!!) opposed to her Falling Cloudberries that I adore. My friends said she will think about it and tell me the next day, so that night I went to bed with Twelve.
Needless to say, I have leafed through this book several times before, but now that I was about to "loose" it, I suddenly found more than a few recipes that looked interesting that I somehow have missed before. (The Lemon Tart, Ricotta Tart, Apricot Ice Cream, Leek Tart, Chicken in Lemon, Green Nettle Frittata and the Green Nettle Gnocchi are on my "to try" list now)
I have asked for recipe recommendations from this book before, both on n.com and Vi´s, but nobody seemed to have cooked that much from it. For those of you who don´t have the book, the photography and layout is beautiful, as all of her books´. It is called Twelve because it is divided in twelve chapters, one for each month, so in a way it is seasonal cooking, although it doesn´t translate well to Sweden...we are a bit late up here :) There is also a chapter called The store cupboard with tips on useful ingredients, then Wine notes (unfortunately totally wasted on me) and my favourite: Basics. In Basics you find recipes for fresh pasta, white country-style bread, anchovy sauce, Béchamel, Ragù, Pasta brisée, Crème anglaise and mascarpone cream.
There is a short chatty-informative intro to each month, although it becomes a bit qualmish from time to time - in true Tessa style. (sorry! but thankfully that doesn´t affect her recipes)
So today I made the Agnello in Fricassea -lamb stew with lemon and egg sauce and although it´s not a good-looking dish and therefore not a first choice blogging stuff, I just couldn't not share it with you. Very often when I try new dishes, they are nice, they are OK, but they are very seldom fantastic. Well, this one is. Fantastic. If you like lamb, I urge you to try it.
My first thought when I saw the egg and lemon sauce was the Greek Avgolemono but this was a Tuscan cookbook ?! As Tessa mentions in the introduction of the recipe the sauce is a popular Mediterranean feature, so that explains the usage of it.
The recipe calls for rosemary that I didn´t have, I just threw it out the other day, as it seemed to have caught some strange disease just a few days after I bought it. So instead of the rosemary I used thyme and Greek oregano that I bought on Alonnisos last summer. I made another minor adjustment, I added a few lemon rinds because I love the citrusy freshness it gives to the dish. I used more spring onions and also bayleaf.
If I were to grade this dish, I would give it a ten out of ten.
Lamb stew with egg and lemon sauce
about 500-600g shoulder or leg of lamb trimmed and cut into chunks
2 spring onions, finely sliced
1 pinch of dried oregano
1 pinch of dried thyme
2 bay leaves
80 ml of white wine (or more ;P)
juice of 1 lemon (I used 1/2 lemon 1/2 lime)
2 tbsp of chopped parsley
Heat olive oil, brown lamb on all sides. Add spring onions and sauté for a little longer.
Add herbs and season with salt and pepper. Pour in the wine and cook until it has evaporated then add the warm water and cook for 45-60 minutes until the lamb is very tender. Add more hot water if necessary so that you have about 250ml of sauce in the pan at all times.
Lightly whip the egg in a bowl, add a little of the hot sauce from the pan to the eggs and whisk to prevent them from scrambling. Whisk in the lemon juice.
Make sure the lamb is on a very low heat when you add the egg mixture to the pan, very slowly, stirring all the time with a wooden spoon. Heat through for a couple of minutes carefully not cooking the egg. Remove from heat, stir in the parsley and serve.
I have also made the Tiramisu from the same book, but no photos or verdict yet because it is still in the fridge.
Shall I add that my friend haven´t mention the swap yet and even if she will, it´s too late now. The deal is off :D This recipe alone makes it worth owning this book and of course I am hoping for more fabulous discoveries.
Update: here is the Tiramisu made from Twelve. Delicious! The only change I made was that I was using STROH rum instead of the Marsala and I must say I prefer this dessert with the rum. Also I couldn´t find Mascarpone, so I used homemade Mascarpone from Ursula Ferrigno´s book Trattoria.