I've cooked my way through all 264 recipes
in The New Mediterranean Diet Cookbook!

July 6, 2010

Chickpea Dip with a Lamb Garnish (p. 34) and Baked Chicken Breasts with a Pomegranate Glaze (p. 410)

I made hummus (chickpea dip) over the weekend, but we waited to dive into it until I had the chance to make the lamb garnish to go on it. This is the same hummus I've made before; using the lamb garnish is just another variation on it. And an easy one at that.

Toast pine nuts in a dry skillet until they are golden and then set aside. In the same pan, caramelize onions in olive oil by slowly cooking them until they are golden. Once the onions are fully cooked, add cinnamon and ground lamb and lots of salt and pepper. Cook until the lamb is completely done, breaking the meat apart while stirring.

Once the meat is done, pour the onion/lamb mixture over the hummus, top with the pine nuts, and sprinkle with chili powder.

I served the hummus well before dinner as a meze and we ate it with warmed tortillas. This was delicious. I didn't love the cinnamon but Matt really did, and the dish was flavorful and surprising. I'd definitely make it again for a party.

I've had some chicken breasts in my freezer for a month or so, waiting to be cooked and eaten and tonight was their special night. First, I made a marinade for the chicken using ground cumin, salt and pepper, olive oil, garlic, and unsweetened pomegranate juice concentrate. I brushed the breasts in this and let it sit in the fridge for about an hour.

Meanwhile, I boiled down more pomegranate juice along with sugar and mustard to make a syrup. The recipe said this would take about 10 minutes but mine was closer to 30. I might not have let it cook rapidly enough -- I was worried the juice on the bottom of the pan would burn.

Once the chicken was ready to be baked, I put it in an oven-proof dish. The recipe actually calls for a baking dish with a rack but the only one I have like that is for my Thanksgiving turkey and it's huge, so I just used a  glass dish. I added the juices that were left from the chicken breasts in with the syrupy liquid and heated them up, then brushed this mixture over the tops of the chicken.

The dish went into the oven for about 10 minutes, and then I re-basted and turned the heat down. After another 10 minutes of cooking I basted again and then popped the chicken back in for five more minutes. The chicken was then done, so I cut the breasts on a diagonal and poured some of the remaining sauce over the pieces.

I served this with corn on the cob, which was kind of a weird pairing but it came in my CSA box last week and I didn't want it to go to waste.

The chicken was very flavorful and juicy, though also a little sweet for my taste. Still, we both enjoyed the chicken a lot, and the fresh NC corn was divine.

onion -- $1.25
lamb -- $2.16
Total Cost of Chickpea Dip with a Lamb Garnish: $3.41

pomegranate juice -- $3.99
Total Cost of Baked Chicken Breasts with a Pomegranate Glaze: $3.99

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Thanks for dropping by! Love, Katrina.