Lamb made easy with Marco woman's recipe

Marco Island resident Sue Martin shares lamb tagine recipe as a family favorite from her kitchen.

Photo by DAVID ALBERS, Naples Daily News // Buy this photo

Marco Island resident Sue Martin shares lamb tagine recipe as a family favorite from her kitchen.

Sue Martin’s husband and son think she is one of the best cooks around, and they especially love her bread and pies. She started baking bread, she said, because she didn’t live near a bakery. Now it is something she always does. Her son enjoys whatever she cooks and thinks she should open a restaurant.

The Marco Island resident has been cooking since she was a youngster and enjoys going to farmers markets for fresh ingredients. Martin answered some questions about her cooking and gave us her recipe for lamb tagine, which she serves over a platter of rice and pine nuts.

Naples Daily News: Is there something that you love to make?

Sue Martin: I love to make all kinds of lamb dishes. Lamb is very versatile; it can be grilled, roasted or stewed. One of my favorite meals to make is an okra lamb stew.

NDN: What is your favorite utensil or appliance for cooking?

SM: My favorite appliance is my food processor. I use it mostly for making appetizers and mixing pastry dough.

NDN: Do you have a favorite cookbook or do you improvise?

SM: Mostly I improvise and cook from memory. I don’t have any savory recipes written down except for baking ones. If I forget something I usually call my mother. She’s my living cookbook.

NDN: What three things do you always have in your pantry or refrigerator?

SM: The three things I always have on hand are fresh garlic, olive oil and lemons.

They are great ingredients to flavor almost anything from sauces to vinaigrettes.

NDN: If you had to go into your kitchen right now what could you make for dinner?

SM: I could toss an Orzo salad that has a creamy garlic base with olives and feta cheese. It makes for a light meal especially around the holidays or a quick picnic side dish that is delicious with grilled lamb.

NDN: What was your favorite childhood meal?

SM: My favorite childhood meal is stuffed cabbage rolls, made with lamb and rice.

My mother would roll them up so tight like a cigar. I make it for my family, and it’s truly a delicacy and a labor of love.

This is Martin’s recipe:

LAMB TAGINE

Ingredients

6 lamb loin chops

1 large onion, sliced

¼ cup olive oil

1 tablespoon rosemary

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Sauteing onions in spices begin blending the flavors of Marco Island resident Sue Martin's lamb tagine recipe.

Photo by DAVID ALBERS, Naples Daily News // Buy this photo

Sauteing onions in spices begin blending the flavors of Marco Island resident Sue Martin's lamb tagine recipe.

1 teaspoon sea salt or to taste

1 teaspoon ground coriander

1 teaspoon ground turmeric

1 teaspoon lemon zest from a lemon

1 cup white wine

1 cup water

Preparation

1 Mix all spices together in a small bowl, sprinkle and season lamb.

2 Pour 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a Dutch oven, add sliced onion and sauté until translucent, about 5 minutes.

3 Remove onion and set aside. Add rest of olive oil and sear lamb loin chops on each side.

4 Stir in cooked onion and add lemon zest, wine and water, cover, bring to a simmer.

5 Bake in a 350 degree oven for 1 hour. Lamb should be fork tender.

6 Serve over a platter of rice and pine nuts.

Connect with Sheila Mesulam at www.naplesnews.com/staff/sheila_mesulam

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