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Thai Salmon Bites

Thai Salmon Bites

 

There is no need to wait until your baby is 12 months to offer him/her fish. In fact, it’s a good idea to offer fish to babies from 6 to 12 months because it’s packed with good fats, iron and zinc. The problem with fish is that it usually doesn’t hold together very well. It’s dry and falls apart easily when babies handle it.

 

Precautions

Before doing Baby-Led Weaning (BLW) with your baby, it is important to proceed safely by contacting a pediatric registered dietitian. Among other things, make sure that:

  • your baby is ready and does not start too early
  • your baby is sitting at 90 degrees
  • you do not place food in his/her mouth with your fingers
  • the environment is calm during meals
  • you offer the right foods to your baby (always test the texture of the food in between your tongue and roof of your mouth)
  • you watch your baby eat at all times
  • you contact a pediatric registered dietitian to make sure you are proceeding safely
  • you read the warning below

Warning*

BLW is contraindicated for babies at risk of dysphagia, such as babies who have an anatomic disorder (cleft palate, tongue tie), a neurological disorder (developmental delay, hypotonia, oral hypotonia) or a genetic disorder. Follow-up by a health professional (doctor, pediatric registered dietitian) is necessary for babies at risk of anemia such as babies born prematurely, babies with low birth weight (less than 3000 g), worries related to growth, babies born to an anemic mother, baby for whom cow’s milk was introduced early and/or a vegan baby.

*Cusson and Labonté, Baby-Led Weaning Conference, June 2018, Nutrium, Faculty of Medicine, University of Montreal

 

I created this recipe with fish that actually holds together. The trick? Cut up the fish into bite-sized pieces while it’s still semi-frozen BEFORE baking it.

 

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To prepare the recipe, I cut the skinless salmon into squares. Then, I marinated the fish in a delicious mixture of oil, lemon juice, garlic powder, pepper, lime zest, ginger, coconut and cumin. Then, I baked them in the oven for 6 minutes.

 

These can be served as a fancy appetizer or as the main course along with some zesty roasted cauliflower. They’re 100% juicy and they actually hold together.

 

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Thai Salmon Bites recipe

 

450g salmon, boneless, skinless

¼ cup (60 ml) olive oil

1 tbsp (15 ml) lemon or lime juice

1 tsp (5 ml) garlic powder

½ tsp (2.5 ml) pepper

1 tsp (5 ml) lemon or lime zest

1 tsp (5 ml) ground ginger

1 tbsp (15 ml) coconut, shredded, unsweetened

½ tsp (2.5 ml) cumin

 

 

Place salmon in the freezer for about 20 minutes until semi frozen. In a medium bowl, add the rest of the ingredients. Remove salmon from the freezer and cut salmon into 3 cm (1 inch) squares. Than, add the salmon to the bowl and cover on all sides. Let marinate for 30 minutes in the fridge. Preheat oven to 450°F (230°C) and place salmon bites onto a covered baking sheet. Finally, bake for 6 minutes or until fully cooked. Let cool and offer to your baby. Can be kept in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Cannot be frozen.

 

How often do you eat fish?

 

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Apple Cinnamon Pancakes

Apple Cinnamon Pancakes

 

Want to try a different take on the “classic” banana pancake? Try my Baby Led Weaning-friendly apple cinnamon pancakes. This is the perfect recipe to add to your breakfast rotation.


In my household, banana-egg pancakes are a staple of our breakfast rotation. Why? Because they are simple and made with wholesome and nutritious ingredients. Eggs in particular are loaded with nutrients which babies need. Add some almond butter and apples to the mix, and your baby is in for a delicious, no sugar or salt added, grain-free treat.

 

This recipe couldn’t be any more simple to make. First, I mashed my bananas in a large bowl.

 

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Next, I grated the apple. As seen in this picture, you can leave the skin on the apple. It’s faster and the skin adds fibre to the pancakes.

 

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After that, I added the rest of the ingredients.

 

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I gave the ingredients a good stir until they were well combined. Then, I poured about ⅛ cup spoonfuls of batter onto a preheated pan. Once the pancakes started to bubble, I flipped them gently with a spatula. Please note that these pancakes do not have the same texture as pancakes made with wheat flour. Finally, I let them cool on a wire rack and enjoyed them immediately.

 

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Precautions

Before doing Baby-Led Weaning (BLW) with your baby, it is important to proceed safely by contacting a pediatric registered dietitian. Among other things, make sure that:

  • your baby is ready and does not start too early
  • your baby is sitting at 90 degrees
  • you do not place food in his/her mouth with your fingers
  • the environment is calm during meals
  • you offer the right foods to your baby (always test the texture of the food in between your tongue and roof of your mouth)
  • you watch your baby eat at all times
  • you contact a pediatric registered dietitian to make sure you are proceeding safely
  • you read the warning below

Warning*

BLW is contraindicated for babies at risk of dysphagia, such as babies who have an anatomic disorder (cleft palate, tongue tie), a neurological disorder (developmental delay, hypotonia, oral hypotonia) or a genetic disorder. Follow-up by a health professional (doctor, pediatric registered dietitian) is necessary for babies at risk of anemia such as babies born prematurely, babies with low birth weight (less than 3000 g), worries related to growth, babies born to an anemic mother, baby for whom cow’s milk was introduced early and/or a vegan baby.

*Cusson and Labonté, Baby-Led Weaning Conference, June 2018, Nutrium, Faculty of Medicine, University of Montreal

 

Apple Cinnamon Pancakes Recipe

Makes 12 small pancakes

 

2 bananas, ripe, mashed
2 eggs
1/2 cup apple, grated (1 small apple or 1/2 medium apple)
2 tbsp (30 ml) almond butter, softened (or any other nut/seed butter)
1 tsp (5 ml) cinnamon
1/2 tsp (2.5 ml) nutmeg
1/2 tsp (2.5 ml) vanilla
1-2 tbsp (15-30 ml) cooking fat (coconut oil or unsalted butter)


In a large bowl, mash the bananas. Add all other ingredients and stir until well combined.

Melt the cooking fat in a skillet over low-medium heat. Carefully pour the batter into the pan, using approximately ⅛ cup for each pancake. Flip the pancake to cook the other side. Allow to cool before serving to your baby. Pancakes can be kept in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or the freezer for up to 6 months. To reheat, place pancakes in the oven on a lined baking sheet at 350°F (175°C) until warm.

 

Did you baby enjoy these apple-cinnamon pancakes?

 

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Zesty Roasted Cauliflower

 

Zesty Roasted Cauliflower

 

In a rut of roasted sweet potatoes and carrot sticks? Cauliflower is an extremely versatile vegetable, and is loaded with good-for-baby nutrients like calcium, folate, and vitamins A & C. Vegetables high in vitamin C, like cauliflower, help your baby better absorb iron – something babies need a lot of. So try this delicious take on cauliflower – it’s sure to become a family favorite!

 

This recipe couldn’t be any easier. First, I cut the cauliflower into florets about the size of an adult pinky finger. Notice my finger on the left of the picture:

 

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Then I sprinkled the florets with the garlic, oil, pepper, cumin, and chili powder on a lined pan:

 

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Then, I tossed until the florets were well coated. I roasted it for half an hour, until the florets were golden brown. Meanwhile, I washed and dried the cilantro, and zested and juiced a lime.

 

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After removing the florets from the oven I immediately added the juice, cilantro, and zest, and tossed to combine. I couldn’t stop taking pictures of this perfectly caramelized vegetable:

 

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Isn’t it beautiful?

 

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We enjoyed these with my Southwestern Black Bean Burgers.

 

Zesty Roasted Cauliflower

Yield: Approximately 6 cups

 

1 head of cauliflower, cut into 2-inch florets

2 cloves of garlic, minced

¼ cup (60 ml) olive oil

2 tsp (10 ml) cumin

½  tsp (2.5 ml) chili powder

½ tsp (2.5 ml) pepper

¼ cup (60 ml) fresh cilantro, chopped

Juice of 1 lime

Zest of 1 lime

 

Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Cut cauliflower into pieces approximately the size of an adult pinky. Place cauliflower individually on the baking sheet, cut side down. Sprinkle garlic, olive oil, cumin, chili powder and pepper onto cauliflower, toss to coat. Roast for 30 minutes. Add the lime juice, zest, and cilantro. Allow to cool and serve to your baby. Can be kept in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.

 

What’s your go-to veggie?

 

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Southwestern Black Bean Burgers

Southwestern Black Bean Burgers

 

Beans are difficult to offer to babies because they’re small, hard, and round. But I have the solution: these baby-friendly southwest black bean burgers! This burger is something the whole family will enjoy and is perfect for baby led weaning (BLW). These burgers are loaded with iron, protein, and an alphabet of vitamins – exactly what your little one needs.

 

This recipe is so simple to make. It has 3 main ingredients: black beans, sweet potatoes and onions.

 

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First, I cut the sweet potatoes in half, and baked themMeanwhile, I mashed the black beans until they were nice and smooth, no lumps.

 

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I also diced up an onion.

 

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Once the potatoes were cooled, I removed the skins, and mashed them up. Then I added all the ingredients to a single bowl, and shaped them into burgers about 3 inches in diameter. I used Ricardo’s burger press because I love how it shapes the burgers.


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I baked the black bean burgers in the oven for 25 minutes. Then, I flipped them very carefully. They will be soft (that’s normal). After that, I baked them for another 30 minutes.

 

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We enjoyed these burgers with some avocado, extra raw onion and a slather of BBQ sauce. For baby, you can just give them a burger and some avocado.

 

Southwestern Black Bean Burger Recipe

Yield: 10 mini burgers

 

2 cups (500 ml) sweet potatoes (about 2 medium-sized sweet potatoes)

1 cup (250 ml) black beans, unsalted, cooked, rinsed and well drained 

½ cup (125 ml) onion, diced (1 small onion)

2 tsp (10 ml) cumin

2 tsp (10 ml) chili powder

½ tsp (2.5 ml) paprika

1 tsp (5 ml) oregano

1 tsp (5 ml) garlic powder

½ tsp (2.5 ml) pepper

 

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Scrub sweet potatoes under water with a brush. Cut potatoes in half and place on a lined baking sheet, cut side down, and bake for 40 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, mash black black beans until smooth, and dice the onion. Remove sweet potatoes from the oven and let cool. Peel and mash sweet potatoes.
  3. To a large bowl, add all ingredients and stir until combined. Shape mixture into 3 inch (7.5 cm) diameter patties and place on the baking sheet.
  4. Bake for 25 minutes. Flip the burgers very carefully. They will be soft (that’s normal).
  5. Bake for another 30 minutes.  Allow to cool and serve to your baby. Can be kept in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.

 

Inspired by Minimalist Baker

 

Precautions

Before doing Baby-Led Weaning (BLW) with your baby, it is important to proceed safely by contacting a pediatric registered dietitian. Among other things, make sure that:

  • your baby is ready and does not start too early
  • your baby is sitting at 90 degrees
  • you do not place food in his/her mouth with your fingers
  • the environment is calm during meals
  • you offer the right foods to your baby (always test the texture of the food in between your tongue and roof of your mouth)
  • you watch your baby eat at all times
  • you contact a pediatric registered dietitian to make sure you are proceeding safely
  • you read the warning below

Warning*

BLW is contraindicated for babies at risk of dysphagia, such as babies who have an anatomic disorder (cleft palate, tongue tie), a neurological disorder (developmental delay, hypotonia, oral hypotonia) or a genetic disorder. Follow-up by a health professional (doctor, pediatric registered dietitian) is necessary for babies at risk of anemia such as babies born prematurely, babies with low birth weight (less than 3000 g), worries related to growth, babies born to an anemic mother, baby for whom cow’s milk was introduced early and/or a vegan baby.

*Cusson and Labonté, Baby-Led Weaning Conference, June 2018, Nutrium, Faculty of Medicine, University of Montreal

 

How did your family enjoy these black bean burgers?

 

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BLW Cut-Out Cookies

Holiday Cut-Out Cookies

 

Looking for a healthy cookie recipe for your baby approved by a dietitian? Don’t look any further! These BLW Holiday Cut-Out Cookies contain nourishing ingredients, no sugar added but TONS of taste. What’s more? You can even eat these BLW cookies for breakfast.  I’m not even kidding.

 

If you’re looking for more BLW recipes just like this one, check out my brand new Baby Led Weaning Recipes iBook. Each recipe:

  • was created by a registered dietitian
  • was created as first foods that can be introduced to your baby
  • was created with your baby’s early nutritional requirements in mind
  • can be easily held and manipulated by your baby
  • has no sugar added
  • is gluten free
  • is fun and tasty for the entire family

 

Now, back to the holiday cut-out cookies!  Here’s how I prepared the BLW cookies.

 

I added the almond flour, spices and dates to a food processor and pulsed until the dates were broken up. Then, I added the olive oil, vanilla and egg and pulsed until a soft dough formed. I placed the dough onto a piece of parchment paper:

 

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Then, I rolled out the dough.

 

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After that, I put the dough in the fridge for 30 minutes.  Then, I cut the dough into shapes using cookie cutters.

 

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Finally, I baked the BLW holiday cut-out cookies in the oven at 300F for 10 minutes. There you go! Amazing BLW cookies with no sugar added, no refined ingredients and no dairy!

 

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Precautions

Before doing Baby-Led Weaning (BLW) with your baby, it is important to proceed safely by contacting a pediatric registered dietitian. Among other things, make sure that:

  • your baby is ready and does not start too early
  • your baby is sitting at 90 degrees
  • you do not place food in his/her mouth with your fingers
  • the environment is calm during meals
  • you offer the right foods to your baby (always test the texture of the food in between your tongue and roof of your mouth)
  • you watch your baby eat at all times
  • you contact a pediatric registered dietitian to make sure you are proceeding safely
  • you read the warning below

Warning*

BLW is contraindicated for babies at risk of dysphagia, such as babies who have an anatomic disorder (cleft palate, tongue tie), a neurological disorder (developmental delay, hypotonia, oral hypotonia) or a genetic disorder. Follow-up by a health professional (doctor, pediatric registered dietitian) is necessary for babies at risk of anemia such as babies born prematurely, babies with low birth weight (less than 3000 g), worries related to growth, babies born to an anemic mother, baby for whom cow’s milk was introduced early and/or a vegan baby.

*Cusson and Labonté, Baby-Led Weaning Conference, June 2018, Nutrium, Faculty of Medicine, University of Montreal

 

Holiday Cut-Out Cookies

 

Ingredients

 

2 3/4 cups almond flour

1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp ginger

1/2 tsp nutmeg

1/2 tsp baking powder

4 soft Medjool dates, pitted

1/3 cup olive oil

1 tsp vanilla

1 egg

 

Preparation

 

Place the almond flour, spices, baking powder and dates into a food processor.  Then, pulse until combined.  After that, add the olive oil, vanilla and egg and pulse until a soft dough forms. Then, place the dough between 2 sheets of parchment paper and roll to about 3 mm thick. Put in the fridge for 30 minutes.  Then, preheat oven to 300F.  After that, remove the top layer of parchment paper and cut the dough into shapes using cookie cutters.  Finally, place the cookies onto baking sheet lined with parchment paper.  After that, shape dough scraps into a ball, flatten until 3 mm thick and continue to cut cookies until no dough remains.  At last, bake cookies for 10 minutes.  Allow to cool.

 

Want more recipes like this one?  Check out my brand new Baby Led Weaning Recipes iBook today RIGHT HERE.

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Slow Cooked Leg of Lamb

Slow cooked leg of lamb with spiced yogurt and herb salad

 

I’m about to share the recipe for the BEST meal I’ve ever made: Slow Cooked Leg of Lamb with spiced yogurt and herb salad. What’s more, it’s totally appropriate for babies 6 months or more doing Baby Led Weaning (BLW). I perfected this recipe several times throughout the years and I’m so excited to share it with you today. Impress your guests and make this slow cooked leg of lamb next time you have them over!  It’s not only a slow cooked leg of lamb.  It’s a layered full meal complete with spiced yogurt and a herb salad.  This is part 7 of my “Half Lamb for Babies” series.

I snapped more than 15 pictures as I prepared this meal. Check out how I proceeded!

 

Precautions

Before doing Baby-Led Weaning (BLW) with your baby, it is important to proceed safely by contacting a pediatric registered dietitian. Among other things, make sure that:

  • your baby is ready and does not start too early
  • your baby is sitting at 90 degrees
  • you do not place food in his/her mouth with your fingers
  • the environment is calm during meals
  • you offer the right foods to your baby (always test the texture of the food in between your tongue and roof of your mouth)
  • you watch your baby eat at all times
  • you contact a pediatric registered dietitian to make sure you are proceeding safely
  • you read the warning below

Warning*

BLW is contraindicated for babies at risk of dysphagia, such as babies who have an anatomic disorder (cleft palate, tongue tie), a neurological disorder (developmental delay, hypotonia, oral hypotonia) or a genetic disorder. Follow-up by a health professional (doctor, pediatric registered dietitian) is necessary for babies at risk of anemia such as babies born prematurely, babies with low birth weight (less than 3000 g), worries related to growth, babies born to an anemic mother, baby for whom cow’s milk was introduced early and/or a vegan baby.

*Cusson and Labonté, Baby-Led Weaning Conference, June 2018, Nutrium, Faculty of Medicine, University of Montreal

4 days before

 

To begin, I started thawing the leg of lamb in my fridge.

 

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I also pulled out some homemade chicken broth from the freezer and started thawing it in my fridge.

 

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1 day before

On the day before the event, I prepared the liquid that the leg of lamb will be cooked in. I took 4 room-temperature lemons:

 

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Then, I juiced them to obtain 1 cup of lemon juice.

 

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I combined the spices into the lemon juice and broth mixture. This is the smoked paprika I used:

 

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Here’s the liquid that the leg of lamb will be cooked in:

 

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After that, I took 15 garlic cloves:

 

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And smashed them like this:

 

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Then, I put the smashed garlic cloves in the fridge until the next day. I took the jalapeños:

 

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After, I seeded the jalapeños and quartered them (yes, babies can have jalapeños in this recipe because it gives the sauce a little kick but doesn’t burn the baby’s mouth). I put them in the fridge.

 

The day of the event

On the day of the event, I seasoned the leg of lamb.

 

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After, I added the onions, garlic and jalapeños to the roasting pan, then the liquid mixture. I placed the seasoned leg of lamb in the middle. The meat (super high in iron by the way!) was cooked at 425F for 45 minutes then 2 ½ hours at a lower heat.

 

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The house smelled divine! The meat was fall-off-the-bone tender.  Check out the recipe below for instructions on how to prepare the spiced yogurt and herb salad (can be prepared the day before). Here is an appropriate serving size of the lamb for a baby 6 months or more:

 

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And here is the herb salad (most babies are ready for a raw herb salad like this one at around 12-18 months old):

 

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It’s all coming together! The spiced yogurt, herb salad and meat:

 

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Add on the sauce and it’s almost complete!

 

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We served it on a mixture of mashed potatoes, celery root and carrots that my mom made. Check out the layering of the meat, sauce, spiced yogurt and herb salad.  Here is an adult-sized serving:

 

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I cannot explain how good this meal tastes. Here is a child-sized portion:

 

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And the toddlers sitting/standing around their table with their fancy slow cooked leg of lamb with spiced yogurt and herb salad:

 

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We were 12 people total and everyone finished their plate. Some even asked for more.  I’m not kidding when I say it’s the best meal I’ve ever made!

 

Slow Cooked Leg of Lamb with Spiced Yogurt and Herb Salad (for babies 6 months +)

 

Ingredients

 

Lamb

5 cups chicken broth

1 cup fresh lemon juice (I used 4 lemons)

1/4 cup maple syrup

1/2 teaspoon whole cloves

1/2 tablespoon ground coriander

2 tablespoons smoked paprika

2 tablespoons fresh oregano leaves, chopped

2 tablespoons thyme

1 tablespoon whole black peppercorns

2 onions, coarsely chopped

15 garlic cloves, peeled and lightly smashed

3 jalapeños, seeded and quartered

One 5.5 lb semi-boneless leg of lamb, tied  (2.5 kg)

Sea salt (optional) and freshly ground pepper

 

Spiced yogurt

2 cups plain Greek yogurt

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1 cup packed cilantro leaves

1 tablespoon ground cumin

1 tablespoon ground coriander

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

Salt (optional)

Ground pepper

 

Herb salad

3/4 cup packed parsley leaves

3/4 cup packed cilantro leaves

1/2 cup packed tarragon leaves

1/2 cup snipped chives

1 jalapeño—halved, seeded and very thinly sliced crosswise

1/2 cup very thinly sliced red onion

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Salt and freshly ground pepper

 

Preparation

 

Lamb

Preheat the oven to 425F. In a roasting pan large enough to hold the lamb, whisk the chicken broth with the lemon juice, cloves, coriander, paprika, oregano, thyme and peppercorns. Then, add the onions, garlic and jalapeños in an even layer. Season the lamb all over with salt (optional) and pepper and place it in the roasting pan, fat side up.

Braise the lamb, uncovered, for 45 minutes until it just starts to brown. After that, reduce the oven temperature to 325° and braise for about 2 hours and 30 minutes longer, until the meat is nicely browned and starting to pull away from the bone. Then, transfer the lamb to a carving board and let stand for 10 minutes.

After that, strain the braising liquid into a medium saucepan and skim off the fat. Then, boil the liquid until slightly reduced, about 10 minutes. Season the jus with salt and pepper; keep warm.

 

Spiced yogurt

Combine all of the ingredients in a food processor and puree until smooth. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer to a bowl.

 

Herb Salad

Combine the ingredients in a medium bowl and toss well. Season with salt and pepper.

Cut the strings off of the lamb and carve the meat into 1/2-inch-thick slices. Arrange the lamb on a bed of mashed potatoes, celery root and carrots. Drizzle the jus and spiced yogurt over the lamb, top with the herb salad and serve.

This recipe was inspired by Food & Wine.

 

What do you usually prepare when you have people over? Let me know if you try this recipe by commenting below!