View Full Version : Dinner for two.

26th Aug 2011, 19:46
l have a leg of lamb and need advice as to what to cook with it without turning it into a Sunday roast.
Luckily it isn`t for tonight but tomorrow.
Any help appreciated.

26th Aug 2011, 20:11
Well first off, a leg of lamb is a lot of food for just two people. I'd recommend preparing a couple of racks of lamb or a few lamb chops instead.

26th Aug 2011, 20:24
Here's an idea! Lamb to the Slaughter--Roald Dahl (1916-1990) (http://www.classicshorts.com/stories/lamb.html)

26th Aug 2011, 20:37
I'd go Mediterranean, I think.

Some grilled polenta:


and some grilled vegetables, perhaps with a bit of halloumi:

roasted and grilled vegetables - tomatoes, bell peppers, zucchini, eggplant - and grilled halloumi cheese, on a bed of fresh salad leaves; olive oil and balsamico dressing | Flickr - Photo Sharing! (http://www.flickr.com/photos/croqueuse/4938711760/)

Do a little mint, lemon & olive oil dressing to match with the lamb - or perhaps a mint and yoghurt dressing to go on the lamb itself?

26th Aug 2011, 20:40
Well first off, a leg of lamb is a lot of food for just two people. I'd recommend preparing a couple of racks of lamb or a few lamb chops instead.

Now that has to be a first, an American advocating the exercising of portion control :eek:

Not once in all the years of visiting that fantastic country have I ever witnessed that :ok:

26th Aug 2011, 20:47
Capetonian right ! it`s in the bin now. How do you do frozen Quail ?

26th Aug 2011, 20:49
Not once in all the years of visiting that fantastic country have I ever witnessed that

You have been visiting the wrong area. :p

Now when I have a dinner party, I do prepare a lot of food, not necessarily so that all will be eaten, but my biggest fear as a host is to run out of food before all my guests have had enough to eat.

I never want that to happen.

26th Aug 2011, 20:55
So, you have a leg of lamb: No use to buy a rack of lamb, then, although your might be a bit much for two people, but not for two meals :8

I have a recipe from my ex-mother-in-law (so only happy memories):

Rub salt an pepper on the leg, and place it on a tray in an oven of some 225°C. Pour half a cup of strong coffee on the tray (depending on its size, more, the main thing is that there is enough coffee for it not to boil dry). During the roasting (depending on the size of the leg, some 40 give and take 10 minutes) pour coffee from the tray on the leg every 8 to 10 minutes. Add water if necessary.

When lamb is ready (I never use the thermometer, but you may) take it out and let cool down some time wrapped in an aluminum foil. In the meantime, add some cream to the fluid in the tray, check taste (may be a bit salty, so you may use less of the fluid and more of the cream) and use as sauce.

Serve with whatever veggies you fancy.

What is left over after the dinner-for-two, can be enjoyed later cold with some crystals of salt.

26th Aug 2011, 20:56
what to cook with it

Something with a nice bum, and dressed in black lace ;)

Mr Optimistic
26th Aug 2011, 20:57
That's put me in my place: I was going to suggest frozen veg plus baked potatoes with soured cream. 20 mins per pound plus 20 mins over for no pink 15/15 for pink. Stand the meat on some fat peeled carrots and/or parsnips. Cornflower/water/browning....oh that's a sunday roast !

26th Aug 2011, 21:12
Gentlemen, l`m looking for accompien ... accompa ..... veg that would be suave and sophisticated. Do you lot know of anyone that could help ?:)

Mr Optimistic
26th Aug 2011, 21:18
Your trying to be suave and sophisticated starting with a leg of lamb ??????

where the hell is the smiley when you need it ?

Wine choice a couple of pints of mild perchance ?

Lettuce and crushed nuts to follow.

26th Aug 2011, 21:20
M&S ? ;)


Lord Spandex Masher
26th Aug 2011, 21:31
Two bottles of Chateaunerf du Pape.*

*Translated as The Ninth Castle of Sh!t...apparently. Good though.

Worrals in the wilds
26th Aug 2011, 21:32
The fact that you're actually cooking something without resorting to takeaway curry, packet sauce mix or sneaky restaurant deliveries should be a bonus point in itself. Assuming it's Dinner For Two :eek: (rather than say, your best mate coming around for tea and the Friday night game) IMO don't stress too much about being a gourmet chef, as long as it hasn't actually combusted it should be appreciated.

Most women read gossip mags/websites and have seen how gourmet chefs behave...:ouch: It's not necessarily a selling point. :}

Two bottles of Chateaunerf du Pape.*
+1 on that! :ok:

26th Aug 2011, 21:38
I'd like to add a thing or four to my #8.

Punch some holes with a sharp knife into the meat and squeeze in some (from 8 up) cloves of garlic.

You might wish to fry the leg quickly over in a hot frying pan to preserve the juices and to add to the crispiness of the crust.

After taking the leg out of owen, you might splash some herb liqueur on it and set it into flames. I use mostly Underberg which has only received good reviews. Be careful; I have had Grade 2 to 3 burns in my thumb when I needed to decide whether to drop the leg of burn my hand. I did not drop the leg.

Wine should be from a region that understands lamb. I always try choose the wine of the region of the recipe. I am all for experts. Bekaa Valley is one of my favorites for lamb, and so are Australia and Spain.

For veggies my only suggestion would be various species of turnips, quickly fried and slowly sauteed, but I don't know their names in English. Don't forget the fresh mint, however.

26th Aug 2011, 21:38
Have the butcher cut the leg into 1 inch thick steaks. Marinate in olive oil, red wine, garlic, fresh rosemary and salt and peppa. 24 hours or 4 hours minimum. Grill on a hot grill till how you like it (better be rare to medium).

Serve with new potatoes boild then coated in butter and sauted asparagus in garlic and olive oil. You can blanch the asparagus for 1 minute in boiling water then plunge in an ice bath. Don't forget seasoning on all.

Good luck

Lord Spandex Masher
26th Aug 2011, 21:39
Alright, three then;)

26th Aug 2011, 21:48
What about a large Tagine? Boned, diced gently simmered with spices, apricots and almonds, couscous and a flatbread each. You cannot go wrong.

Make sure you simmer the bones with it.

26th Aug 2011, 21:48
I might add: If you have a regular Weber ball grill, you might wish to smoke the lamb. I someone is interested, just let me know, and I'll elaborate.

Mr Optimistic
26th Aug 2011, 21:50
'For veggies my only suggestion would be various species of turnips, quickly fried and slowly sauteed, but I don't know their names in English.'

For the avoidance of doubt we don't give vegetables names: you are getting them confused with pets and wives.

And "The Pope's new castle" can be a bit thin and disappointing unless bought carefully.

Worrals in the wilds
26th Aug 2011, 22:03
Alright, three thenhttp://images.ibsrv.net/ibsrv/res/src:www.pprune.org/get/images/smilies/wink2.gifDone. I'll bring cheese and nibbles. :)
I've never had a bad CNDP but there's not a lot of it available in Australia so they may only bring in the good stuff.

26th Aug 2011, 22:10
l knew this would happen, l`ve got some leeks as well :)

Mr Optimistic
26th Aug 2011, 22:14
Perhaps they don't have Tesco in Australia.

Worrals in the wilds
26th Aug 2011, 22:16
We'd love to have Tesco but they won't come. Something about having 20 million customers spread along a 14,500km distribution length seems to put them off :{.
That said, you can't buy alcohol in supermarkets here. You have to go to the hangar sized, supermarket owned bottle shop next door that's open for exactly the same hours as the supermarket. Apparently this is for our health and wellbeing :hmm:...

Mr Optimistic
26th Aug 2011, 22:19
Blimey, scrap my emmigration plans. Wonder if OP is sure guest isn't a veggie ?

26th Aug 2011, 22:20
Leave the poor bloke (or girl) alone!

He (or maybe a she?) has already bought the leg of lamb.

I like lamb, and the leg is a succulent joint (and not cheap these days) and simple to cook - you just have to decide whether your guest likes it pink (as I do) or well-done.

Vegetables - boiled new potatoes are simple - or mashed (even Duchesse) if no new potatoes are available, and frozen peas are ideal - KISS - Keep It Simple (Stupid).

Carrots (and tinned carrots are acceptable IMO) will add colour to the selection of veg - lightly sauté the carrots in butter to improve the impression.

All the above are achievable without drama (and would delight and satisfy me).

Other suggestions might impress or turn out to be considered unusual.

A good bottle (or two) of red wine (Chateauneuf du Pape if you can afford it - or St Julien or even Beaujolais du Villages if you've already blown your budget on the lamb). Rioja or Chianti if you cannot stretch to French wine.

M&S sell a selection of desserts (Tesco or Sainsburys might do the same) that can be served as confidently as if they were home made.

Save your time (and effort) to spend with your guest - he/she will be more impressed by your organisation rather than your chaos that might result if you attempt something beyond your capabilities - just remember to take the lamb out of the oven if your conversation distracts you - burned to a crisp will not impress them!

Mr Optimistic
26th Aug 2011, 22:23
Well OK. The Greeks do lots of things with lamb (let's see what that starts)... try google. Thirty seconds till someone adds a welsh theme.

Worrals in the wilds
26th Aug 2011, 22:27

26th Aug 2011, 22:32
Just choked on the brandy l was supposed to be saving:p

Mr Optimistic
26th Aug 2011, 22:37
Pearls before sheep.

EDIT: to think I am spending my Friday night doing this. Anyhow google greek lamb leg recipe and bingo.

26th Aug 2011, 22:53
Roast the lamb anyway. Puncture skin with point of sharp knife, rub in garlic, stick bits of Rosemary in the little punctures, place on skillet in roasting tin, cover loosely with foil, (shiny side down), add two/three cups boiling water to roasting tin. 30 mins per pound, remove from oven twenty before finished cooking, remove foil, remove bits of Rosemary, any juice in the bottom of tin can go towards the gravy or sauce. Return to oven uncovered for final twenty mins. and then let stand for fifteen mins before carving.

Do a potato and cheese bake, grill some tomatoes and serve with fresh peas or green beans. Pepper and salt to taste. (NOT a good idea to rub salt into uncooked meat as it will draw the moisture out, unless you are trying for crisp crackling on Pork).

If you decide you want to seal the leg first you need a large flat pan with some oil, roll leg around until well scorched on all sides, prepare for house full of blue smoke and a smell of burnt flesh everywhere! (In Australia, do on BBQ outside!).

26th Aug 2011, 23:10
Great, any ideas on a soporific pud `cos by the time l`ve done all that l`ll be fit for nothing :)

26th Aug 2011, 23:24
Best years for the wine (recent years - excluding the 1898) 2005, 2004, 2003, 2000, 1998, 1995, 1990, 1989, 1988.


26th Aug 2011, 23:30
any ideas on a soporific pud
Spotted Dick.

(Available in a tin - just remember to follow the instructions carefully.)

Mike X
26th Aug 2011, 23:51
l have a leg of lamb and need advice as to what to cook with it without turning it into a Sunday roast.

Serve with a basic salad (don't forget the balsamic), Tsatziki and a thin garlic pita.

Nowhere near a Sunday roast. The flavours bounce, with the lamb being dominant. Don't forget to clear the palate, now and again, with the wine.

27th Aug 2011, 01:10
Do the thing sticking garlic in it. Rub with rosemary and a little salt and pepper. Lightly brown in little hot oil in pan. Add chopped onion and mushrooms, (Lots and lots.) Add at least half a bottle of dry white wine and put in a low oven, about 350F for a couple of hours. (Cook until juice runs clear when pierced. Top up wine to keep it moist if necessary. Serve with rice and a salad.

Mike X
27th Aug 2011, 01:13
The question was :

need advice as to what to cook with it without turning it into a Sunday roast. :ugh:

27th Aug 2011, 10:56
Cut the meat into cubes about an inch on a side. Saute in an olive oil/butter mix until brown, add chopped onion and garlic and continue until the onion is cooked. Add a bay leaf and a suff quant of white wine, put on a low heat (150 to 175 deg C) for a couple of hours or until done. After an hour, add small potatoes, and more wine if necessary.

Cut an aubergine into slices, put in a colander and salt well. Leave for an hour, then press excess moisture out, and wash thorughly - warm water is best. Dry on paper towel. Chop an onion, and fry in olive oil. Put to one side, fry aubergine slices in olive oil. Then in a dish, layer of aubergine, layer of sliced mushroom, layer of sliced tomato, slivers of garlic, sprinkling of parsley and repeat except finishing with aubergine. Bake at 150 deg C or so for 45 minutes to an hour.

Start with tzatsiki - plain yogurt, grated cucumber, mint and a spoonful of white wine vinegar (adjust for taste - start with a SMALL spoon!), served in pitta bread.

For dessert, take bananas, peel, slice lengthways, place on a suitable dish, sprinkle with lemon juice, dot with butter, sprinkle with brown sugar. Cook at 180 deg for 15 minutes. Heat a quantity of dark rum in a saucepan, pour over bananas and set it aflame. Serve with ice cream.

Alternative dessert. Take large cooking apples, one per person. Wash them, then remove the cores. Stuff the resulting cavity with sultanas, wrap in foil, pour in liberal quantity of calvados (if not available, use brandy) and bake at 150 deg C for around an hour or an hour and a quarter. On serving, add a suff quant of calvados, serve with ice cream.

Prior to the tzatsiki, ouzo or Pernod or Ricard with a few olives. Personally, I like retsina as a wine with this type of meal, but retsina is not to everybody's taste, so if you don't know if the other party will like it, go for something more traditional. Might be an idea to check if they can eat garlic - some people can't without smelling of it for days.

27th Aug 2011, 11:01
Make a paste of onion, garlic and spices (cardamom has to be one of them).
Stir the paste into a good quantity of natural yoghurt (none of this lite crap)
Cover the leg with the paste and marinade the whole lot at least overnight and ideally 24 hours.
Bake in a low oven (150/160) for couple of hoursor more (how pink do you like it?).
Seve with a simple pilau rice or/and some fried cubed potatoes with spices and sesame seeds.

Pudding: A simple chocolate mousse with a shortcake biscuit.

Relaxed procedurally giving you time to amuse your partner/significant other/wife/lover.

Good luck.

The Ancient Mariner

27th Aug 2011, 11:03
I prefer to go out to the Pub for my Sunday roast.
It saves me having to wash-up afterwards.

They also do a delicious Apple caramel crumble & custard for afters.

27th Aug 2011, 13:24
Cut the meat into cubes about an inch on a side.
I would be pretty miffed if someone converted a leg of lamb into a stew . . .

27th Aug 2011, 14:08
I've posted this one before, and received PMs of how wonderful it is!!, if you've the time, this one is truly magnificent! :ok:
____________________________________________________________ ____

Fliegs Roast Lamb, (you'll have no need of mint jelly on this one!!)

Take one Large Leg of Lamb

Boil in large pot until colour begins to change, turning greyish. Drain water pat dry, then flambe with warmed brandy until the flames die out.

Place leg in large oven proof container, that has a lid, it must have a lid.

Around the Lamb place 35 - 40 cloves of garlic (stay with me here - trust me, the garlic slow roasts in the liquid , you do not reek of garlic the next day)
Add a cup and a half or so of Lamb (if you can get it) stock, alternatively beef or vegetable stack, cup and a half or so of red wine, and a splash more brandy, several springs of Rosemary and or some Bouquet Garni

(Now obvioulsy from a food safety point of view you would have peeled all those cloves of garlic BEFORE the boiling, because you wouldn't part boil the Lamb, and leave it on the kitchen bench for 1/2 hour while peeling garlic.)

So that goes into the oven at 120C (?F), for seven (7) hours, turning once.

Throw this together in the morning say 11:00, it's already for dinner at 18:00.

Take out Lamb, & keep in a warm place (i.e oven). All remaining liquid (including the garlic cloves, mash these up in the bottom of the pan, but discard the Bouquet & rosemary) are poured into a sauce pan and boiled down by 1/2 to 3/4 or so.

No need for carving knifes, the lamb gently pulls off the bone very delicately, and is served like that, the reduced liquid poured over the top, serve with green beans and mashed potatoe.

Just divine.

27th Aug 2011, 18:02

That's what the Greek recipe book suggests. A lot must depend on the quality of the lamb, though.

27th Aug 2011, 21:58
So, how did it go overun?

If the OP answers this before tea time on Sunday I'll put it down to a failure. :E

Worrals in the wilds
28th Aug 2011, 13:21
Second that. Hope it all went well! If not we'd probably have heard by now, so it's lookin' good :E...No Fire Brigade turnout for a kitchen fire, Ambos for acute poisoning, Coppers because someone threw a burned leg of lamb at someone else...what else could go wrong? :}

Mike X
28th Aug 2011, 21:55
Tick tock, tick tock... :)

28th Aug 2011, 22:45
They are probably still making unrequited love on a table surrounded by and among the remnants of a lamb dinner!

(wish I could draw cartoons!).

Mike X
28th Aug 2011, 22:48
Like a lamb to the slaughter ?

Another one bites the dust...

29th Aug 2011, 03:38
Wish I'd have had lamb in stead of the toughest bit of steak I've ever had. Even the cat gave up and just swallowed! Shure she had more than me in the end. (Yes dear very nice, thank you so much). :sad:

Just the Lamb would have done..............never mind the promise! :{

Mr Optimistic
29th Aug 2011, 07:23
Get a grip man.

29th Aug 2011, 09:32
After taking the leg out of owen

I feel sorry for the welsh.

Mr Optimistic
30th Aug 2011, 22:17
We need to know: is it a leg over ?

Mike X
30th Aug 2011, 23:09
Enough is enough. How was the lamb ?

31st Aug 2011, 04:59
Sorry for the delay, but l wimped out at the last minute and went with the rosemary and garlic thing accompanied by leek and spud gratin.
l`m going to have to try the mint yogurt, salad, and pitta though !

Solid Rust Twotter
31st Aug 2011, 05:40
Curry it. Never go wrong with a curry and leftovers on toast make a great brekkie when she swoons over it and spends the night. Curry brekkie would be an added temptation to lure her into your parlour.

Worrals in the wilds
31st Aug 2011, 06:16
Sorry for the delay, but l wimped out at the last minute and went with the rosemary and garlic thing accompanied by leek and spud gratin.

Sounds very nice. I hope it was appreciated!

31st Aug 2011, 07:58
but l wimped out at the last minute and went with the rosemary and garlic

Bollox!!!!!! Best suggestion you had!

Did it do the trick?!;)

31st Aug 2011, 16:31
l`ve been a few days recovering enough strength to sign in, and l didn`t need to wash up!;)

31st Aug 2011, 17:09
Pleased you kept it simple and it wasn't a disaster! :ok:

31st Aug 2011, 17:18
Lots of great suggestions here, will have to try some of these recipes :ok:

I think any decent woman would be impressed and appreciate the fact that you made the effort & put the thought into cooking a meal yourself. Some of the best meals I've had have not been gourmet by any means but made with a nice intention (ok, not always entirely unselfish I'm sure lol) still haven't found a cooked breakfast to rival the one ex boyfriend used to make... almost stayed with him just for the brekkie!!! :}

I know the OP has already had his 'dinner date', but just to add... if you are still in the process of cooking when the dinner guest arrives, (especially if you haven't seen them for awhile/eagerly anticipating their arrival) it is highly advisable to turn the stove/oven off before greeting said guest.... or a burnt dinner might ensue...

Having said that, 'dessert' was great anyway :E :ok:

31st Aug 2011, 19:14
Bear in mind that there are dangers. Radeng's mother was probably the worst cook the world has ever known: thus radeng and brother learnt to cook at an early stage in life. Useful though this turned out be for the purposes of entertaining young ladies once one had left home and established oneself in suitable accommadation, it also led to the situation where one is now (and has been since we started living together in 1979 - married in 1983) THE cook in the house, mrs radeng stating 'Why keep a dog and bark yourself?'

It also means that I have to do the shopping and pay for it......at least that means she can't complain about the booze purchases!