Friday, July 31, 2009

The Christening of the Crock Pot: Lebanese Lamb Stew with labne & za'atar

Behold my new gadget. The crock pot. This is a 6qt size crock pot & personally I feel like if you happen to be feeding a family of 8 and spend much of your day hyperventilating & cleaning up after your kids unsuccessful attempts to water-paint with milk on the floor you will most likely squeal for joy much like I did upon it's arrival.

One nice thing about it is you can take out the inside crockery & put it directly on the table to serve. It also came with it's handy dandy little feature that I like to call "the probe factor"

Observe the probe. It's a little thermometer thingie to check the temperature of what's cooking. And of course in case you didn't know how to "probe"-- on the lid there's this little clarification.....

Japlish is fun but there's nothing like good ol' straightforward english.

In my eagerness to try it out I made a Lebanese lamb stew on probably one of the hottest days of the year so far. Started it out around 11 in the morning & set the timer & temperature. And yes I did insert the probe.

I was happy with the recipe. The ingrediants were simple & though I was a little suspicious about the amount of cinnamon it called for in the long run it seemed to blend in quite well. It was a full flavored stew, served it with plain rice (1/2 brown) but I have to admit in our as yet, non-airconed dining room it was a rather foolish idea & we ended up sweating it out in a self-inflicted sauna, yet somehow no one could stop themselves & we nearly finished the whole thing.

I also threw together a little batch of labne (Lebanese cheese) I didn't have time to make it overnight but let it set for about 6 hours, hense a rather thinner than normal result.

A few spoonfuls of olive oil & a few spoonfuls of za'atar. Which is a stunning lovely mixture of spices and I'm quite serious when I say I could eat it by the spoonful.

Finished product.
The DH sure seemed to love this stuff though he couldn't ever manage to say it right --- so cute!

All in all, I'm really happy about the crockpot but probably won't be using it often (besides perhaps sphagetti sauce) till autumn.


Lil said...

ohhh za'atar..soo good! I can eat that stuff plain too :)
It's so nice with olive oil, hummus and bread. That labne! can't believe you make this stuff from scratch woman! Here I was thinking it was just some yogurt last time I tasted labne..oh and that stew looks really good...question: how does probe/temperature tell you when something like stew is done? or is it just for solid foods?

The.Walrus said...

'Insert Probe'

Thanks, that just made my day.

Congrats on the pot btw.

Aich said...

Wow that looks gooood!