Lamb Stew with Lemon and Dried Fruit
Bon Appétit | February 2006
1 1/2 cups plain whole-milk yogurt
3 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
1/2 cup warm water
1/4 teaspoon saffron threads, crumbled (optional)
1 2 1/2- to 3-pound boneless lamb shoulder, trimmed, cut into 1- to 1 1/2-inch cubes
2 tablespoons (or more) olive oil
2 onions (about 1 pound), thinly sliced
1 small Meyer lemon, ends trimmed, quartered lengthwise, thinly sliced crosswise
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 rounded teaspoon minced peeled fresh ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 14 1/2-ounce can diced tomatoes in juice
1 cup dried fruit, coarsely chopped(about 4 ounces)
2 1/2 cups (or more) low-salt chicken broth
Set strainer lined with double layer of cheesecloth over medium bowl. Place yogurt in strainer; cover and chill 3 to 5 hours to drain. Transfer yogurt to small bowl. Stir in mint; season with salt and pepper. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Chill.)
Place 1/2 cup warm water and saffron, if using, in small bowl; let stand at least 20 minutes to infuse.
Sprinkle lamb with salt and pepper. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in heavy large pot over medium-high heat. Working in batches, cook lamb until brown on all sides, adding more oil as needed, about 5 minutes per batch. Transfer lamb to large bowl. Pour all but 1 tablespoon fat from pot (or add 1 tablespoon oil if dry); heat pot over medium heat. Add onions; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Sauté until beginning to brown, about 5 minutes. Add lemon, garlic, ginger, cinnamon, and cayenne. Stir 1 minute. Add saffron mixture, if using; stir, scraping up browned bits. Add tomatoes with juice, dried fruit, and lamb with any juices to pot. Stir to coat. Add 2 1/2 cups broth.
Bring stew to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, then cover with lid slightly ajar and simmer until meat is tender, stirring occasionally and adding more broth by 1/4 cupfuls as needed if dry, about 1 1/2 hours. Season to taste with salt and pepper. (Can be made 2 days ahead. Cool slightly. Refrigerate uncovered until cold, then cover and chill.)
Bring stew to simmer, thinning with more chicken broth if necessary. Divide stew among 6 plates; top each serving with dollop of minted yogurt.
Dried Fruit, Walnut, and Lemon Scones
Bon Appétit | November 2005
by Jennifer Wickes, Pine Beach, NJ
2 tablespoons plus 1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons fresh Meyer lemon juice, divided
3 cups all purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 tablespoon finely grated Meyer lemon peel
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) chilled unsalted butter, diced
1 cup dried fruit, chopped
1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
1/2 cup (or more) chilled half and half, divided
Position rack in top third of oven; preheat to 375°F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper. Whisk 2 tablespoons sugar and 1 tablespoon lemon juice in bowl for glaze.
Whisk flour, baking powder, lemon peel, salt, and 1 cup sugar in large bowl. Add chilled butter; using fingertips, rub in until coarse meal forms. Mix in dried fruit and walnuts. Add 1/2 cup half and half and1 tablespoon lemon juice. Toss with fork until dough comes together in moist clumps, adding more half and half if dough is dry. Gather dough into ball; divide in half. Press out each half on floured surface to 6-inch-diameter (1-inch-high) round. Cut each round into 6 wedges. Transfer to baking sheet; brush with glaze.
Bake scones until golden and tester comes out clean, about 18 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.