New Year’s Lamb Vindaloo

Spicy start to 2017. Trim a 2 lb. leg of lamb and cut into 1-2″ chunks. Dry on paper towels. In a stock pot, brown meat, in stages to assure browning. Sprinkle meat with garlic powder and ground black pepper. Stir. When browned, remove meat to a bowl. In the same stock pot, to the browned bits, add a little olive oil and brown 1 red and 1 yellow onion, sliced. Add 1 yellow or orange bell pepper, sliced. Brown. Add 2-3 jalapeño peppers, de-seeded and sliced. De-glaze with 1/2 cup chicken broth and stir. Turn off heat.

In a small bowl, mix 2 tsp. coriander, 1 tsp. turmeric, 1 1/2 tsp. ground ginger. Turn up heat and add 1-2 cans whole San Marzano tomatoes. Stir tomatoes with peppers and onions. Sprinkle half the spice mix over them. Add the lamb with any juices into the pot. Stir. Sprinkle the rest of the spice mix over the lamb and sauce. Stir. Bring to boil. Cover. Turn to low.

In a small bowl, mix together  1 tsp. cardamom, 1-2 tsp. cayenne, 1/4 tsp. ground cloves, 1 tsp. ground cinnamon, generous 2-3 tbs. sesame seeds. Can add 1 tbs. poppy seeds as well. In a small fry pan, heat 4 tbs. olive oil. Toast spice mix in the olive oil, stir and when hot, pour into stock pot. Add a little water to the fry pan to get any leftover spices, scrape and add to pot. Stir spices and olive oil into lamb and tomatoes thoroughly. Bring back to boil. Cover. Simmer on low for 2-3 hours.

An hour before serving, add raw carrots, chunked; small or diced potatoes; and/or large cauliflower florets. Serve when vegetables are cooked tender but not mushy. Can add a handful of frozen peas until tender, a couple of minutes. Stir and serve in large bowls with naan and chutneys.

Holiday Shrimp Fra Diavolo

After you’ve trimmed the tree, it’s time for a hearty reward. Shell, clean 6-8 large shrimp per person. Dry and set aside in a bowl. In a large deep fry pan, heat 1-2 jars Rao’s or Citarella Arrabbiata sauce depending on how many shrimp. For each jar of sauce, add 1/2 cup dry red wine, 1/4 tsp. cayenne, pepperoncini flakes and dried oregano to taste. Stir. Add shrimp to the sauce and cook on medium heat to keep a low boil until done, about 6 minutes. Serve over linguine or favorite pasta. Top with spicy fresh mozzarella balls, basil leaves and lemon zest.

You can use any tomato sauce, just add more pepperoncini flakes than you would for Arrabbiata. It’s meant to be spicy hot. Il diavolo!