Cookbook 90: Sizzle

Not quite sure where this cookbook came from.  I don’t recall buying it, which doesn’t mean I didn’t, but I have a sneaking suspicion that James was interested in the stir fry nature of the recipes.  This book does have a good representation of vegetarian recipes, but when I cooked from it there were only 4 of us in the house, and none of us were vegetarian, so I cooked 1 dish.  I am tempted to cook others, and should that happen I’ll try and remember to append this blog post.  Overall I give it 3 out of 5 stars.

Sumac-crusted lamb fillets with baba ganouj


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 750g small new potatoes
  • 2 – 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 60ml lemon juice
  • 1 red capsicum, seeded and quartered lengthways
  • 4 lamb backstraps or eye of loin fillets (about 200g each)
  • 1 tablespoon of sumac
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 250g good-quality baba ganouj (eggplant dip)


  1. Heat the oil in a saucepan big enough to hold the potatoes in one layer.  Cook the potatoes and garlic, turning frequently, for 3 – 5 minutes, or until golden.  Add the lemon juice and reduce the heat to medium-law.  Simmer, covered, for 15 – 20 minutes, or until tender, stirring occasionally.  Season well.
  2. Meanwhile, lightly oil a chargrill pan or barbecue hot plate and heat to very hot.  Cook the capsicum, skin-side down for 1 – 2 minutes, or until the skin starts to blister and turn black.  Cook the other side for 1 – 2 minutes.  Place the capsicum in a plastic bag or bowl covered with plastic wrap.
  3. Coat the lamb with sumac.  Cook in in the chargrill pan for 4 – 5 minutes each side, or until cooked to your liking.  Remove and cover with foil.  Peel the capsicum and slice into thin strips.
  4. Stir the parsley through the potatoes.  Divide the baba ganouj among four plates.  Cut the lamb into 1cm slices on the diagonal and arrange on the baba ganouj with the capsicum.  Serve with the potatoes and a salad.

Notes on this recipe:

  • [From the recipe book] Sumac is available from Middle Eastern food stores.  If unavailable, use the same amount of ground cumin
  • We were doubtful the entire time we cooked this recipe.  It was unfamiliar, we hadn’t cooked with sumac before, we’d not simmered potatoes in lemon juice until tender, we weren’t sure about the baba ganouj, etc.  But when it was done it all worked together perfectly.  The potatoes were delicious and lemony, the meat was incredibly tasty (must use sumac for this summer’s BBQs), and the capsicum and baba ganouj really complemented the meal.  Would definitely cook again.