Another Thanksgiving is in the bag. I think I’ve had enough turkey to keep me satisfied for some time. What was great about this Thanksgiving in particular is that it was my niece’s first. Needless to say, she loves mashed potatoes almost as much as she does getting them everywhere. I mean she enjoyed them so much I was almost jealous of the fact that I wasn’t having as much fun eating mine. Ahh, the memories… Anyhow, both Jane and I hope everyone celebrating had a great time and enjoyed the food and spending time with family and friends.
However, the show must go on, and a new holiday is here.
As they say, it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas. It’s December now, so Christmas music, Christmas trees, and colored lights will be surrounding a lot of your lives for the next 30 days. But let’s be honest, most of us have been thinking about Christmas since mid-November, and the rest of us, the day after Thanksgiving.
I’ve noticed that in our home, we put up the Christmas tree earlier and earlier every year. This time around, it make it up before November had ended. Yeah….
I do however love this time of year for many reasons, but one is that I have a reason to make melomakarona, kourambiethes, and other Greek cookies. Simply because it’s the holidays and I’m a firm believer that calories during December don’t count; okay, maybe they do, but only half of what they normally would – no that’s not correct either. Fine, just leave me be surrounded by my cookies!
We will have some Christmas themed recipes headed your way soon, which Jane and I are working on now, and yes, we are playing Christmas music while cooking them.
Now, the Greek recipe everyone’s been waiting for: Roasted Lamb With Rice and Greek Yogurt (αρνι στο φουρνο με γιαουρτι – Arni sto fourno me giaourti)
Jane and I have been experimenting with cooking more recipes containing Greek yogurt; the full-fat kind, as the non-fat type may break down in the oven.
We really like using it in nontraditional ways since it’s thick, creamy, and introduces a unique flavor to a dish. Moreover, as you may notice with tzatziki, it takes on flavors really well, it can taste like something different but still maintain that thick consistency which is nice.
One thing that we are finding more and more is that Greek yogurt works really well with meat. We knew it worked great with chicken (Greek Yogurt chicken souvlaki), and now we know it taste great with lamb.
We also added an egg to the Greek Yogurt to help give it some color and firm up a bit.
Overall, the main focus of this dish comes in the form of water. Make sure you check halfway through cooking to see if water is needed. If you forget, the top rice layer may be a bit hard.
The combinations for flavors are just right in our opinion. The lamb is present, the rice, and the yogurt, all equally not not too overpowering.
We hope you’ll give this a try and enjoy it at the next family dinner!
Kenton & Jane
- 1lb lamb, cut into pieces
- 1 onion, diced
- 1 cup long grain rice
- 2 cups boiling water
- 1 egg
- 2 cups (500g) Greek yogurt
- 1-2 teaspoon Oregano
- 1 Garlic clove, pressed (if you like garlic, use 2)
- 2 tablespoons butter, melted
- ½ cup crumbled feta (more if desired)
- Olive oil
- Begin boiling your two cups of water and preheat oven to 350F
- In a pan, add oil and diced onions and garlic, cook for 5 minutes or until onions are translucent an soft.
- Once onions are done, remove from pan and empt into bowl, set aside.
- Season lamb pieces with oregano, salt, and a pepper.
- Add more oil to pan used for onions, and heat over medium-high heat.
- Add lamb, brown, and cook for 5 minutes.
- When lamb is done, empty into oven safe bowl.
- To with onions, spreading evenly.
- Add rice, spreading evenly.
- Top with melted butter.
- Add boiling water, stir to make sure rice is covered.
- Place in oven and cook for 1 hour**
- A few minutes before lamb is done, empty yogurt into bowl, add egg, and mix well.
- Remove lamb dish from oven, top with yogurt, spreading evenly.
- Sprinkle with feta and place back in oven
- Cook for another 20 minutes, or until slight color forms on top
- Remove, cut, and serve!
Adapted from: Vefa’s Kitchen Cookbook