Passover is coming next week, and it is about nothing — culinarily speaking, of course — if not lamb. Sure, the matzoh takes the prize as the most distinctive Passover food, all dry and crunchy — and delicious, so long as you don’t have to eat it exclusively for seven days. And sure, the horseradish wins in the category of “why is this night different from all other nights.” But before you go barging off to make your Hillel sandwiches, consider this: a seder isn’t a seder at all — literally — without the lamb.
Look at your bible. Exodus 12. It’s all right there.
Culinary comrades, fellow food fanatics who follow this blog, if you have not seen Big Night — Stanley Tucci and Tony Shalhoub’s 1996 ode to a failing Italian restaurant — you simply must. It is delicious.
Big Night is one of my all-time favorite films about food. Along with a precious few others — like Scorsese’s The Age of Innocence, of all things — it landed at a malleable moment in my life, at a time when my interests could have gone in a lot of different directions, and it nudged me toward the kitchen. Primo, Shalhoub’s talented, unbending, self-righteous portrait of a brilliant chef, is exactly the kind of character I found fascinating in my teenage years. And the food — oh, the food.
Kofte (or kofta, or köfte, or koobideh) has long been popular across the Middle East, Asia Minor, South Asia, and Southern and Eastern Europe. In its guise as a spiced-lamb meatball-on-a-skewer, it is a staple of the Turkish grill, found (I am given to understand) on street carts all over Istanbul, and found (I know […]
As I’m sure I’ve mentioned here before, I love lamb. I like beef okay if the cut is right, if the cow is right, if the preparation is right. But in almost every circumstance, if you want to please me by serving me red meat, I’d rather have a good piece of lamb. Lamb has […]