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Weeknight Cooking

By Jackie Burrell
Wednesday, September 8th, 2010 at 1:36 pm in Cuisine.

High Flavor, Low Labor Juggling frantic family meals now that the new school year has started? My buddy (and colleague) Linda Zavoral has been pouring over cookbooks, and she’s found a good one by J.M. Hirsch, the food editor for the Associated Press. He’s “masterful when it comes to creating short recipes,” Linda says. “Now the multi-tasking dad is out with a cookbook, “High Flavor, Low Labor” (Ballantine, 288 pp, $24) that aims to reinvent the Monday-Friday kitchen drudgery.”  Speaking as someone who had take-out pizza last night… on the couch … while watching TV (heyyy, what can I say? It was a really rough Tuesday, and I cook gourmet most of the rest of the time) – yay. Hirsch’s trick is to punch up the flavor of simple meals by adding sun-dried tomatoes, balsamic vinegar and other uber-flavorful things. So he pairs Spicy Ground Lamb with Hummus, for example. “Spoon store-bought hummus on a platter,” says Linda. “Top it with the lamb, give the kids some heated pita rounds — and let them fill their own.”

Here’s a taste…

    Spicy Ground Lamb with Hummus

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small yellow onion, diced
¼ teaspoon each ground allspice, cinnamon, black pepper and red pepper flakes
1½ pounds ground lamb (or beef or turkey)
2 containers hummus (purchased)
6-8 pita bread rounds, warmed
1 tablespoon flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
½ teaspoon smoked paprika

1. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and first four spices; saute for 1 minute. Add the lamb and saute until browned, about 8 minutes. Remove from heat.

2. Spoon hummus onto a large serving platter, making a shallow well in center. Garnish with parsley and paprika. Use a slotted spoon to transfer lamb, draining any fat, into the well of the hummus. Serve with warm pita or flatbread.

J.M. Hirsch, “High Flavor, Low Labor”

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One Response to “Weeknight Cooking”

  1. Charong Says:

    Sounds great!

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