Thursday, February 28, 2013

Lamb Ragu

Best Buddy Adam
For February, I've been working on a blog challenge to improve the site.

Most of this has been behind the scenes, but one of the out front things I've worked on is emptying out my queue of post ideas that I'm really going to get to soon if I just have the time.

And so, I'll conclude the month with the post I've been holding onto the longest.
Best Buddy Adam is a fantastic cook. No, really, check him out.

When he came to visit a few months ago, he cooked a lamb ragu made almost entirely with ingredients from our local Farmer's Market. Adam loves his vegetables, and with several local farms around, he was (understandably) excited.

 How do I write about this?

One of the great joys of my life is playing sous chef while Adam's in the kitchen. I've known him longer than anyone in my life I'm not related to, including my wife. We went to high school together. We've helped each other pack up and move a few times each. He was a groomsman in my wedding. My opinions are not imparcial.

Co-founder of The Sprouted Table at work.
One of the clever things that Adam did was serving the ragu in squash halves. It's an easy way to substitute a vegetable where I'd normally put a loaf of bread. I've stolen the idea for beef stew since then, and I'm happy to report that the results were everything you'd hope for.
One of the reasons Adam and I have been friends for so long is that we both have the same inability to be alone and/or plan small parties. If there's fun with 3 or 4 people, shouldn't doubling the number of people involved double the fun?

I think it does.

It's impressive to watch Adam work- one of the keys to a successful meal is to give the guy only enough time to make what you're planning for. Give him too much time to be creative, and you'll have situations like mine: we chopped and pickled watermelon radishes, then forgot to serve them!

It's also good that Adam and I both love spicy foods. One of the few things we used in this meal that didn't come from Kent County were the hot peppers that Adam laced the ragu with.

We actually made two different batches of ragu, one mild and one medium. Again, the squash-bowl was a great idea, because it protected the tender tongued from the worst of the heat.

My only regret is that Adam is out in Ohio, where I can't rope him into dinners like this more often.

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