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Cooking Through Marcus' Cookbooks with Lindsay Hunt - Lamb Curry Recipe Included

Lindsay Hunt is our new media intern at MarcusSamuelsson.com. She will be contributing a weekly column about cooking through two of Marcus' cookbooks: cookbooks Soul of a New Cuisine and New American Table.

Lindsay is a graduate of the French Culinary Institute in SoHo, New York. She loves food from all over the world. From Ethiopian food to Dim Sum to the best biscuits and gravy, she loves to eat her way through New York's diverse food scene.

Her parents lived in Indonesia until just before she was born, and she credits her love for all foods to growing up with her parents' adventurous tastes and the bountiful options of cuisine in her native Southern California.

During her study abroad experience in Rennes, France, Lindsay indulged in crepes, baguettes, and creamy cheeses. At Dartmouth College, Lindsay studied Arabic and studied abroad in Fez, Morocco. She ate everything from chicken and prune stews to a surprisingly creamy appetizer of sheep' brains. Now, based in Brooklyn, she looks forward to traveling the globe again through Marcus' recipes.

Read her first installment of her column below.

If you've seen or read Julie & Julia, picture my global version: Lindsay & Marcus. From his recipe for Red Rice from Dakar, to North African-inspired Merguez Sausage, I plan to intrepidly learn through his instruction.

I hope that my weekly column about cooking through Marcus' cookbooks will allow fans to reach out with questions about the recipes I feature. Between his cookbooks Soul of a New Cuisine and New American Table, I will feature all different kinds of recipes, from appetizers to desserts. This will be a great journey for me, and I look forward to forming a community for lovers of Marcus' books. Please join in the discussion with comments, questions and suggestions.

As I flipped through Marcus' cookbook Soul of a New Cuisine to decide on my first recipe, a Lamb Curry caught my eye. I love delicious, aromatic curries, and this recipe from Marcus' travels to South Africa presented a great introduction to his pan-African cookbook. I bought what ingredients I could find at my neighborhood Farmers' Market, which led to a few substitutions, such as one yellow onion for the two red onions, and Thai bird chilies for the bird's-eye chilies.

There is a bit of prep work involved, but don't be daunted! You can put up your feet and rest while the curry simmers to perfection on the stove. If you have a spice grinder, I recommend grinding all the spices together so that you don't have to fish out peppercorns and coriander at the end of cooking.

Serve rice and ginger ale or a light beer. Enjoy!

Lamb Curry Recipe 8 tablespoons unsalted butter 2 medium red onions, sliced Two 3-inch pieces ginger, peeled and grated 6 garlic cloves, crushed 2 bird's-eye chilies, seeds and ribs removed, finely chopped 2 teaspoons paprika 2 teaspoons ground coriander 4 cardamom pods 2 bay leaves 2 cinnamon sticks 1/4 teaspoon powdered saffron 1 teaspoon ground turmeric 1 teaspoon black peppercorns 2 pounds boneless leg of lamb, cut into 2-inch cubes 6 tomatoes, chopped, or 3 cups chopped canned tomatoes 1 cup coconut milk 4 cups water 3 large Yukon Gold potatoes (1 1/2 pounds total), peeled and cut in half 2 cups 2-inch pieces of okra 1 cup plain yogurt

Melt the butter in a large saute pan over medium heat. Stir in the onions, ginger, garlic, and chilies and saute until the onions are translucent, about 10 minutes. Add the paprika, coriander, cardamom, bay leaves, cinnamon sticks, saffron, turmeric, and peppercorns and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the lamb and tomatoes; bring to a simmer, and simmer, uncovered, for 5 minutes. Stir in the coconut milk and 2 cups of the water and bring to a simmer, then reduce the heat to low and simmer gently for 1 1/2 hours.

Add the remaining 2 cups water and simmer, uncovered, for 40 minutes. Add the potatoes, cover, and simmer until the meat is tender, about 40 minutes longer.

Add the okra and cook for 10 minutes, or until tender. Remove from the heat, remove the bay leaves, and stir in the yogurt.

Serve with rice.

Serves 6 to 8.

Be sure to check out my Los Angeles Foodspotting guide and win a signed New American Table Cookbook

For all the foodies in Los Angeles, be sure to check out my LA foodspotting guide. Currently the guide includes 5 items. The complete guide will have 10 items. The first person to spot all 10 items will receive a signed New American Table. Some of the items that are included in the guide are the Prosciutto di Parma, rucola, tomato & mozzarella Pizza from Pizzeria Mozza, Sushi from Matsuhisa, and 3 more must try dishes. More guides to follow for foodies in San Fransisco, Chicago and everyone who wants to explore Ethiopian cuisine around the states. If you've missed my New York guide click here.

Comment and give me your thoughts or if you have a request for a city guide.

Cooking with Isaac Mizrahi

Late last month, noted fashion designer Isaac Mizrahi invited me over to his studio/kitchen to tape a webisode for his website, www.isaacmizrahiny.com. We got to prepare the Maple-Glazed Tuna with Pear-Potato Salad recipe from New American Table and we had such an awesome time. Isaac and his team were incredibly hospitable and I can't thank them enough for inviting me over. Watch me and Isaac cook it up here.

2010 James Beard Award

The James Beard Awards are like the Oscars for the culinary world  so I can't tell you how excited I was to find out that New American Table was nominated under the cookbook category of Best Photography. My good friend Paul Brissman did all of the amazing photography for this book and working with him on it couldn't have been a better experience.

Best of luck to all of this year's James Beard Award nominees! To see who else was nominated, check out the list here.

Also, the last day to select IACP Cookbook Awards People's Choice is April 5th so don't forget to place your vote!