[note: no picture for this one ’cause I get ill just thinking of the pot of left-overs sitting on my stove-top]

My dear friend Dena came to visit so I decided to make something special because it had been such a long time since we last saw her (the kids kept asking who she was, "is she your friend we saw at the book-store, Mommy?" No, she isn’t. That was Christy. "Is she…?" On and on. And on.).

Remind me not to experiment (too much) on other people. Especially not with Lamb — I think that queasy feeling I have at 3:00am has as much to do with the $22 I spent on the Leg of Lamb as it does the oily mess I tried to call a sauce.

I followed a recipe for Lamb Tagine on the Food Network site and I knew early on it wasn’t going to work out so well. I plodded on to justify my $22. First, I nearly burned myself when I plopped the meat into the too-hot-oil. Then the damn thing overflowed when I poured in the beer (it’s in the recipe, really!). I think my pot was still too hot, and I burned the beer. The site didn’t say anything about lowering the burner…

Anyway… about an hour into it I tasted the sauce. Blech. It was way too saucy and had no flavor worth mentioning. I scoured the web for additional Tagine recipes to see if there was anything in the house I could add that might fix it.

I  ended up tossing in:

  • one can garbanzo beans (can someone please tell me if they are the same thing as Chickpeas?)
  • a couple shakes of cayenne
  • some skakes of paprika
  • one cup of dried currants
  • 1/2 a banana squash I’d made for the baby earlier in the day
  • I also cubed the meat about an hour and a half into cooking (that wasn’t in the recipe, either)

M&B spent the entire meal pushing their food around their plates, misbehaving badly while we nagged them to "at least eat the couscous and veggies!" (I found out later that B had Mac-n-Cheese at his friend’s house after the meal. Lucky guy.). Dena kindly — incredibly kindly — complimented me on the mess she’d been forced to eat.

Now I need to figure out what to do with all the left-overs…

Next time I’m gonna have Tomas make his Lamb Couscous which actually does taste delicious. Or maybe I’ll just stick with a simple Lasagna… I haven’t messed one of those up in a long time, and the kids can help.