Often thought of as a springtime meat, lamb is a flavorful protein option available from local sources all year long.
Click here for 9 Things You Didn’t Know About Lamb (Slideshow)
Although lamb is a popular meat in many countries around the world, it is often neglected in the United States, or at best reserved for certain holidays. Much like a whole turkey on Thanksgiving, lamb usually only makes an appearance at Easter and Passover tables, often as a whole roasted leg.
Lamb has historically been considered a spring meat because late winter calves are ready to be slaughtered and eaten at right about the same time as early spring holidays. In the United States, the word lamb refers to the meat of sheep less than 1 year old; most of what is sold commercially is between seven and 10 months old. (In other English-speaking countries, like Australia and England, lamb is less that a year old; an animal between one and two years of age is called a hogget, and anything older than that is mutton.)
Americans consume about a pound per year of lamb per capita, well below the world average of about four pounds. In Australia and New Zealand, both major lamb-producing nations, the per capita average is about 26 pounds annually — and in many other countries, including Greece, India, and North Africa, lamb is the main source of animal protein. Religion plays a part in lamb consumption, as cows are considered sacred in Hinduism and pork is forbidden in Muslim countries, so lamb is often eaten instead.
Lamb is a staple in Mediterranean, Indian, Irish, Italian, Middle Eastern, and North African cuisines. Barbacoa — pit-barbecued lamb — is a popular dish in Mexico, while roasted lamb leg is the national dish of Australia. In Greece and the Balkans, lamb is often grilled in the form of kebabs or, in Greece, shaved into a gyro.
As a rich, slightly earthy meat, lamb pairs well with flavors like cardamom, cumin, cinnamon, curry powder, oregano, and thyme, and bright flavors like blue cheese, lemon, mint, and mustard.
Find out more about this underutilized meat with some insight from the American Lamb Board.
Consumption of Lamb
Each person in the United States eats only a pound of lamb per year, compared to the 61 pounds of beef.
Cuts of Lamb
The most popular cut in the United States is the rack, but other cuts are delicious too. Shoulder is a good value, and can be used for stew and ground meat. Loin makes loin roasts and chops, leg can be roasted whole or cut into kebabs, and Denver ribs — or lamb ribs —from the breast and foreshank can be roasted or grilled.
Julie Ruggirello is the Recipe Editor at The Daily Meal. Follow her on Twitter @TDMRecipeEditor.
9 Things You May Not Know About the Ancient Sumerians
A picture shows the archaeological site of Uruk (Warka). (Credit: ESSAM AL-SUDANI/AFP/Getty Images)
The origins of Sumerian civilization in Mesopotamia are still debated today, but archaeological evidence indicates that they established roughly a dozen city-states by the fourth millennium B.C. These usually consisted of a walled metropolis dominated by a ziggurat—the tiered, pyramid-like temples associated with the Sumerian religion. Homes were constructed from bundled marsh reeds or mud bricks, and complex irrigation canals were dug to harness the silt-laden waters of the Tigris and Euphrates for farming. Major Sumerian city-states included Eridu, Ur, Nippur, Lagash and Kish, but one of the oldest and most sprawling was Uruk, a thriving trading hub that boasted six miles of defensive walls and a population of between 40,000 and 80,000. At its peak around 2800 B.C., it was most likely the largest city in the world.
Frightening Things You Didn’t Know About Raising Chickens
“Mating can also be deadly for a chicken. Occasionally, a cock will mount a hen too vigorously, leaving bald spots and claw marks on her back, known as ‘rooster tracks.’ The injured hens then become subject to cannibalism. To avoid this, farmers strap little aprons, called hen saddles, to their hens’ backs, which allow the chickens to have protected sex.”
This is not a lie! You can buy such things at agricultural supply shops, or, naturally, on eBay. There does not seem to yet be a market for handmade hen saddles yet on Etsy, but we bet it’s coming soon.
Another fascinating, yet much more nauseating fact:
“Chickens have a multipurpose hole for excrement, eggs, and mating called the cloacal vent. If this hole becomes clogged with excrement–a condition known as pasty butt–a young chicken can get backed up and die. Without a mother hen to clean them, baby chicks raised by humans are particularly susceptible to pasty butt.”
9 Things You May Never Experience Again Post Pandemic
Life is changing quickly because of the COVID-19 pandemic, and there are many things that may never return to the way they were beforehand.
The COVID-19 pandemic has massively changed the day-to-day of most people&rsquos lives. Wearing masks whenever you step outside, social distancing from loved ones, and washing your hands after every move have become part of the temporary lifestyle. During these, people have thought about and discussed when life will go back to "normal." And while some things may return to the way they were, there are many post-pandemic life changes that will likely be here for a while.
That sounds a bit scary and unpredictable, but it's important to keep in mind that most of these changes will benefit the health and safety of the country. It may be hard to accept some of the things you may never experience again post-pandemic, but it's better than the alternative. And don't lose hope completely &mdash there&rsquos a chance some of these may return to their pre-pandemic state at some point in the future.
Roasted Leg of Lamb
If you haven’t cooked a leg of lamb before, don’t be intimidated.
I know, it seems incredibly daunting but it’s so much easier than you think. It’s fool-proof and fuss-free. And you don’t even need a long drawn-out ingredient list.
Nope, the ingredient list is super simple here – all you need is garlic, olive oil, fresh herbs, Dijon, salt and pepper.
Now I left the shank on for it’s dramatic presentation but you can easily purchase one with the shank removed – there’s no advantage here except for the aesthetic eye for serving.
Marinating is also not needed here – you’ll see that the simple garlic mixture of this recipe will bring in so much flavor. And it’s sure to be a crowd-please for your Easter holiday or your next dinner party. It also pairs perfectly with these mini hasselback potatoes!
Leaving Saturday Kitchen has left James with some more time on his hands, so he's going to be opening a new restaurant in the New Forest in November. We can't wait to try it!
Last week he revealed that he had been dating but on a bit of digging we have discovered that he has actually been in a relationship for the past five years with PA Louise Davies. A secret well kept, he actually lives with her and their dog Ralph. The couple are said to have met on the set of 'Celebrity Who Wants To Be A Millionaire'.
9 Things You Didn't Know You Could Make With A Blender
I'm good with smoothies. Now watch what else my blender can do.
When you live in a tiny apartment, appliances are just space suckers &mdash so every single one needs to wear a lot of hats (no unitaskers welcome). I make enough smoothies and milkshakes to keep my blender on the counter, but it meant that I had to make the small-but-mighty thing earn its prized location.
These days, I'm always on the hunt for ways the blender can save me time in the kitchen (I'll admit that part of it is because I'm addicted to watching whole ingredients break down in front of my eyes). Now, I keep the machine busy blitzing a regular list of go-tos, like salad dressing, soup, and margaritas. Here are a few of my favorites:
I had a revelatory moment the first time I transferred boiled sweet potatoes from a pot on the stove to a blender: I poured in a can of coconut milk, and pressed start. Suddenly soup appeared like magic.
Fresh or canned tomatoes have soft enough textures for a blender to instantly break them down, making you one step closer to pulling off authentic Mexican food. Bonus: If your blender is remotely heavy duty, you only have to give the garlic and onion a very rough chop. Add canned tomatoes and their juices to a blender with a jalapeño (seed it if you prefer less heat), a small onion, a few cloves of peeled garlic, a handful of fresh herbs (parsley or cilantro), lime juice, and salt. You can customize it by stirring in cumin, black beans, bell peppers, corn, and more.
Delish tip: Blenders need some liquid for their blades to do their job, so if you're pulverizing tougher-textured solid foods, you're better off using a food processor.
3. Whipped cream
Not in the mood to put your biceps through an intense workout? I feel you. Slash minutes off manual labor by combining heavy cream, a pinch of sugar, and a splash of vanilla extract into your blender and blitzing on high until soft peaks form, about 20 seconds.
The easiest way to dress greens: Dump three parts oil and two parts lemon juice into your blender and season with salt (and a pinch of sugar if you want some sweetness).
Whether I'm having friends over for drinks or embarking on a different kind of bender (kidding!), I turn to the blender for making a big batch of cocktails including icy ones, in under a minute.
Purists might prefer a mortar and pestle for this herb sauce, but who has the time (or the space) for one? Add your herb, cheese, garlic, nuts, and oil, and you're on the fast track to pasta bliss.
7. Banana Ice Cream
Banana ice cream is the miracle dessert of the diet world &mdash it has the same consistency of ice cream, but is a billion times healthier. Throw your frozen bananas + whatever mix-ins you want in your blender and satisfy your sweet tooth without killing your healthy diet.
8. Pancakes & Waffles
A bowl works fine, but your blender gives you a smoother mix &mdash plus, you can easily pour the batter into the skillet.
This ceremony celebrates the passage of a young man into Jewish adulthood, when he becomes responsible for fulfilling his own commandments, or mitzvot. It literally translates as &ldquoson of the commandment&rdquo but the word for &ldquoson&rdquo is not Hebrew (that would be ben) but Aramaic, bar.
This is the prayer Jews say when washing their hands before eating. The word netilat is actually an Aramaic word which means to &ldquotake&rdquo or &ldquoplace&rdquo yadayim is Hebrew for a pair of hands.
Condensed milk is the simplest ingredient. It&rsquos just cow&rsquos milk with the water taken out and sugar added. It&rsquos rich, thick and sweet, with a light caramel colour, and usually sold in tins. It&rsquos not to be confused with evaporated milk, which is very similar, without the added sugar.
It&rsquos an incredibly versatile ingredient. Easy ice creams, sweet sauces, cakes, fudges and pies can all be made with a can or two of condensed milk. You can even use it in savoury dishes. Cans are usually around 395g (14oz), depending on the brand, but don&rsquot worry if you are a little bit out or over on the size stated in a recipe. It won&rsquot make too much of a difference to the end result.
Whether you&rsquove got a couple of tins in the back of your cupboard or you stock up in the next weekly shop, follow our guide and discover some great recipes and simple tricks to make the most of it.
1. Easiest ever three-ingredient ice cream
Condensed milk makes a really good, no-churn ice cream with just three ingredients. In a large bowl, whisk 600ml (20fl oz) double cream with 200g (7oz) condensed milk until thick and quite stiff. Stir in a teaspoon of vanilla extract. Spoon into a freezer container and leave to freeze until solid. After an hour, you could stir in some chocolate chips, chopped nuts or honeycomb, if you like.
2. Make a great sauce
A salted caramel sauce is always a winner &ndash great to drizzle over ice cream or brownies. If you leave this sauce recipe to go completely cold, it will also work as a cake filling or to spread over shortbread, as it goes quite solid.
Melt 100g (3.5oz) butter with the same amount of muscovado sugar in a saucepan, stirring until the butter has melted. Add a 395g (14oz) can of condensed milk and keep stirring until you have a rich caramel colour. Stir in 1&ndash2tsp sea salt.
3. The genius ice box cake
Taking inspiration from key lime pie, lime cracker pie is simply double cream and condensed milk, whisked with plenty of lime zest and juice, then layered with Ritz crackers. Leave it in the fridge for a few hours so the biscuits soften into the creamy filling.
James Ransom/Ten Speed Press
4. Stirred into spicy curry
Just a few tablespoons of condensed milk added to a Thai red curry will add sweetness and a smooth creaminess. The sweetness counteracts with the fire of the chilli. You could add it to any hot curry sauce.
5. Sandwiched in a slow-cooked cookie
This recipe for a slow-baked chocolate cookie is two large cookies, sandwiched together with a rich, chocolate butterscotch sauce made with condensed milk. Baked in a slow cooker, it&rsquos perfect served warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
6. Simple fridge cake
Everyone loves a fridge cake and our more grown-up recipe for a no-bake chocolate cake is indulgently rich, with the chocolate melted with condensed milk. It contains nuts and dried figs, but you can add whatever&rsquos to hand in the store cupboard.
7. Homemade fudge
If you&rsquove never tried it, use that can of condensed milk to make your own fudge. Our recipe for pale ale fudge has just a hint of ale in it, but you could replace it with a tablespoon of cocoa powder, some chopped nuts or two teaspoons of vanilla extract.
8. Make a nostalgic pudding even more comforting
Rice pudding is a much-loved comfort food, but try adding condensed milk to the cooked rice for extra creaminess. And why not add some caramelised bananas at the end too?
9. Banoffee pie with a twist
Banoffee pie is a British classic and similar to banana cream pie in the US. The dessert has a crushed biscuit base with layers of condensed milk caramel, sliced bananas and whipped cream. In our recipe, the caramel is spiked with fresh rosemary to add a lovely, savoury note.
Nadiya&rsquos British Food Adventure/Michael Joseph
Lead image: New Africa/Shutterstock
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8. Pomegranates Are Frequently Mentioned in Jewish Texts.
Pomegranates make frequent appearances in the Bible and Talmud, including:
- In Parashat Sh&rsquolach (Numbers 13:1-15:41) in the Torah, a pomegranate is one of the items brought back by the 12 spies when they return from scouting out the Land of Canaan.
- Images of pomegranates adorn the robes of the high priest, as described in Parashat Tetzaveh (Exodus 27:20 &ndash 30:10) of the Torah.
- In one story in the Talmud, the wife of a rabbi (Hiyya Bar Ashi) tests him by disguising herself as a prostitute and then seducing him, demanding he pay her with a freshly picked pomegranate. (Kiddushin 81b)