Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Natural Food Coloring

Foglie di Rapa Ripieni con Agnello Tritato & Puré di Patate con Carote, Zenzero e Curcuma
Roulade of Ground Lamb with Carrot, Ginger & Turmeric Mash

Looks can be deceiving at times- and this exotic and unusual-looking dish is a case in point. I was considering making a little meatloaf this evening- it was another one of those days where "comfort food" could be the only solution. I was going to have some "cimi di rapa" as a side and some mashed potatoes to round it all off. Would have been a nice, simple, classic dish for a cold Fall evening too... but not exciting or fun! So basically I just juggled those same ingredients into something a little more fun...

For the ground lamb filling of my roulade, I decided to try out something a little different. I started off by chopping a shallot finely, along with a handful of fresh parsley. These went into a bowl with a good tablespoon of ricotta cheese and a finely chopped tomato. I stirred everything together and then added breadcrumbs, a little grated Parmesan cheese, some finely chopped garlic, rosemary and sweet paprika powder until I had a nice creamy mass. No egg. Not this time. I wanted to have a soft and juicy filling and thought that the egg would make this a little too dense. So I added a handful of ground lamb, a little squeeze of tomato paste, a little cayenne pepper as well as salt and regular pepper. So you see the filling isn't THAT unusual...

The green leaf I used was from what the Italians call "cimi di rapa"- which as far as I know it a kind of broccoli raab- although an internet search describes them as turnip greens- so I will just stick to the Italian name for them- it's too complicated for me otherwise- I don't want to be mis-informing you after all!

I blanched the leaves in boiling water for 2 minutes each side and immediately rinsed them under the cold water tap to make sure they stayed nice and green looking. I flattened the stalk with a rolling pin in order to make it softer, so that the leaves would fold and seal better. I shaped the ground lamb mix into a nice meatball and laid this onto the leaf, laying this in turn on top of a sheet of Ceran wrap. Gently fold the leaf over and around the meat filling and twist the cling-film closed nice and tightly. I wrapped the whole thing in cling-film all over again and then poached it in lightly simmering water for around 20 minutes, making sure to flip it over once at the half-way mark.

The mashed potato was simply made in the usual way, but I added some grated carrot to it, that I sautéed with grated ginger until soft. I added a little butter, some turmeric powder and a little milk. I fluffed this all together using a fork and then got ready to serve!

I spooned a nice little mound of potatoes out and then whipped them into shape nicely with a fork to make them a little more attractive and then set the hot, juicy roulade on top- and that was it! I don't think this dish needed anything else... except for a good and healthy appetite! And I sure had that this evening- and certainly did enjoy this- and hope that you will too!

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