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Weekend Today
updated 11/21/2006 6:26:57 PM ET 2006-11-21T23:26:57

Recipe: Berbere-Crusted Rack of Lamb

  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons coarsely chopped rosemary
  • 1 large garlic clove, smashed
  • 2 French racks of lamb (1 1/2 lb. each)
  • 3 tablespoons Berbere, divided
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 teaspoons beaten egg yolk
  • 1/4 cup fine bread crumbs
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons dry red wine, divided
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock
  • 2 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces

1. Combine the oil, rosemary and garlic in a large zipper-lock bag. Add the lamb, then seal the bag, forcing out the excess air. Marniate in refrigerator for 8-24 hours, turning bag several times.
2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
To make the Berbere paste: Stir together 1 tablespoon of the berbere, the mustard, yolk and bread crumbs in a small bowl, then add 1 to 2 tablespoons of the wine, just enough to make a paste. Refrigerate until ready to use.
3. Remove the lamb from the marinade, pat dry and discard the marinade. Heat a dry, large, heavy saute pan over high heat until very hot. Reduce the heat to medium-high and brown the lamb, one rack at a time, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer, fat side up, to a large roasting pan.
4. Smear the berbere paste on the fat side of the lamb. Roast until instant-read thermometer inserted into the center of the rack reads 125-degrees — about 18-20 minutes.
5. While lamb is roasting, toast the remaining two tablespoons berbere in a small heavy saucepan over low heat, stirring constantly, until very fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the chicken stock and 1 tablespoon wine and bring to a boil, then boil until reduced to the consistency of a sauce. Remove from heat and whisk in the butter bit by bit until incorporated.
6. Cut the lamb into chops and serve the sauce on the side.

Recipe: Chickpea-Eggplant Dip

  • 2 cups dried chickpeas, soaked in cold water for 8 hours and drained
  • 1 carrot, peeled and cut in half
  • 1 medium Spanish onion, cut in half
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 2 eggpants, cut lengthwise in half
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 bird's-eye chilies, cut in half, seeds and ribs removed
  • 1 teaspoon Harissa
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin

1. Combine the chickpeas, carrot and onion in a medium saucepan, add 4 cups water and bring to a boil.
2. Reduce the heat and simmer until the chickpeas are very tender, about 1 1/2 hours. Drain, reserving 1 cup of the cooking liquid.
3. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Toss the garlic and eggplant with 1/4 cup of the olive oil and arrange on a roasting pan, eggplant cut side down. Roast for 40 minutes.
4. Add the chilies to the roasting pan, cut side down and roast for another 10 minutes. Set aside until cool.
5. Scoop the flesh from the eggplant and transfer to a blender. Add the roasted garlic and chilies, chickpeas, harissa, cumin, the remaining 2 tablespoons oil and 2 to 3 tablespoons of the reserved cooking liquid. Puree, adding more of the cooking liquid if necessary, until the mixture is smooth and creamy.


Serve with pita bread.

Recipe: Mango Couscous

  • 1 cup couscous
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 mango, peeled, pitted and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 jalapeno chili, seeds and ribs removed, freshly chopped
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1 ripe tomato, chopped
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1/4 cup loosely packed small cilantro sprigs, chopped
  • 1/4 cup loosely packed small parsley sprigs, chopped
  • Salt

1. Prepare the couscous according to the package directions. Set aside.
2. Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a large saute pan over high heat. Add the garlic, mango, and jalapeno and saute until the mango beings to color lightly.
3. Stir in the remaining tablespoon of olive oil, the couscous, raisins, tomato, lime juice, cilantro, and parsley and toss to heat through.
4. Season with salt and serve.

Recipe: Shrimp Piri Piri

  • Shrimp Piri Piri
  • 12 jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons Piri Piri, divided
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 lime, quartered
  • 12 Bibb lettuce leaves
  • Piri Piri
  • 8 red bird's-eye chilies, seeds and ribs removed, chopped
  • 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 cup olive oil

To make the Shrimp Piri Piri
1. Toss shrimp with 1/2 cup of Piri Piri in large bowl. Refrigerate for 20 minutes.
2. Heat olive oil in large saute pan over medium heat. Add the shrimp and cook for two minutes on each side or until opaque throughout.
3. Transfer to plate and sprinkle with the salt. Squeeze the lime quarters over the shrimp.
4. Spread 1/2 teaspoon of the remaining Piri Piri sauce on each lettuce leaf. Place a shrimp on each leaf and fold over bottom and sides to form a wrap.

To make the Piri Piri
1. Combine the chilies, lemon juice, cilantro, parsley, and garlic in a blender and puree until smooth.
2. With the blender running, add the oil in a slow, steady stream and blend until well combined.

Recipe: Spicy Plantain Chips

  • 2 green plantains
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon confectioners' sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 lb. (2 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 2 cups Canola oil

1. Peel the plantains and slice as thin as possible. Place in a bowl, cover with cold water and let soak for 10 minutes to wash away excess starch. Drain, rinse and blot thoroughly dry with paper towels.
2. Meanwhile, combine curry powder, sugar, and salt in a small bowl.
3. Melt the butter in a large deep pot over medium heat, then add enough oil to come to a depth of 1 1/2 inches. Increase heat to medium-high and heat to the oil 350 degrees.
4. Working in batches, carefully lower the plantains into the oil with a slotted spoon and fry, stirring occasionally to prevent the slices from sticking together, until evenly browned — about 4 minutes.
5. Remove from the oil and drain on paper towels. Dust with a little sugar and serve.


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