This is a cookbook - and more - by a woman named Tessa Kiros, that was sent to me to review, test some recipes, whatever. It immediately jumped on to my Christmas/birthdays gift list. It's drop-dead gorgeous, and the food is real earthy stuff from the author's wildly cosmopolitan background and upbringing: Finnish, Greek, Greek Cypriot, South African, Italian. I'm not shilling this nor selling it; I'm just in love. Cooked four dishes out of it so far, all simple, three fabulous and one needs adjustment. If you see it, take a look. I'm certainly keeping this copy!
Here's the first thing I made from it, a Cypriot dish called Tava, lamb with potatoes and cumin and stuff. This is not a transcription, just my reduced version from memory:
2 lbs. boneless lamb shoulder
2 lbs. potatoes (I used Yukon Gold)
1 red onion
2 heaping Tbs. cumin seed
4 or more tomatoes
Olive oil, salt, water, butter, pepper
Preheat the oven to 350º. cut the lamb and potatoes into bite-size chunks; chop the onion. Combine these with about 1/3 cup olive oil and the cumin, salt to taste. Stir together well, put into heavy pot. Slice tomatoes rather thick and lay over the top. Pour about 3/4 cup of water around the sides. Dot small bits of butter over the the tomatoes, add a little salt and pepper. Cover the pot tightly with aluminum foil and then the lid, and put into the oven. Cook for two hours, giving the pot a good shake or tilting it every twenty minutes or so to move the juices around. After two hours remove lid and foil, stir everything over itself to mix it up thoroughly, then turn the heat to 400º and put back into the oven to dry out and brown a bit. Keep an eye on it - the cookbook said to give it another fifteen minutes, and mine was dried out and getting ready to scorch in ten. Oh, and when I took it out of the oven I had a big cut lemon handy, so I squoze some juice over everything, which was nice.
This got loud YUM! noises from Mrs. O and a visiting friend. I served it with a spinach & blackeyed pea salad from the same book, but a plain greens and vinaigrette and some good bread should do it.