Monday, August 27, 2007

What's for dinner?

Do you ever make yourself such a great dinner that you wish you took a picture of it?

I did!

The Menu:

Roasted Rack of Lamb with Tzatziki Sauce
Roasted Red Potatoes
Roasted Asparagus
Fig with Honey and Beecher's Flagship Handmade Cheese

The roasted rack of lamb was an adaptation of the recipe in the incredibly useful The Gourmet Cookbook edited by Ruth Reichl. I love this tome - more modern than the Joy of Cooking, but still very good about including adequate instruction with each recipe. The tzatziki recipe I stole completely shamelessly from Alton Brown. Goodness, do I love that man. So smart, so funny, so science-y. Together, the combo was luscious.

The roasted asparagus is the easiest thing in the world, and we've been doing it for so long I don't know where I got the recipe from, or even if it was me. For all I can remember, Chris found/stole/modified it. Basically, get some asparagus, wash them and cut off the tough bottom stems. Toss with Kosher (or sea) salt, fresh ground pepper and olive oil. Preheat the oven to 400F and cook for somewhere between 3-5 minutes per side.

The fig dish is also easy. Buy some good figs, wash them and then slice them into eighths. Crumble cheese on top, then drizzle with honey. Yum!

Notice the emphasis on roasting? That's to make the most of the hot oven. The flow of the cooking process went like this:
  • Preheat oven to 400F
  • Trim excess fat off of the rack of lamb, then divide into sections of three ribs each. (Note: lots of cookbooks recommend 4 ribs per person. That's too much. Three is plenty.) Rub lamb with salt, pepper and olive oil.
  • Quarter small red potatoes, rub with salt, pepper and olive oil then place in 9x13 glass dish. Set aside.
  • Preheat skillet to brown lamb. Heat the skillet (preferably cast iron) until hot but not smoking.
  • Prepare asparagus as above. Place on cookie sheet.
  • Sear each side of the lamb - about 3-4 minutes per side.
  • Toss lamb (fat side up) into dish with potatoes, then insert meat thermometer. Toss whole dish into oven.
  • Set meat thermometer to go off at 130F.
  • Do nothing for about 20 minutes.
  • When the lamb is done, check the potatoes. If they aren't done, take the lamb out to rest and return the potatoes to the oven. Meanwhile, the cookie sheet with the asparagus gets to join the roasting party.
  • Roast the asparagus as above, while the meat rests at least 5 minutes. Slice figs, cheese and drizzle honey.
  • Slice the roast into single rib slices, plate and serve!
Since pretty much everything goes in the oven, life is easy. While I was doing everything outlined above, the hubbie was making the tzatziki. Divide and conquer, baby! The key to the tzatziki is getting proper Greek yogurt. Then you don't have to do the
Place the yogurt in a tea towel, gather up the edges, suspend over a bowl, and drain for 2 hours in the refrigerator.
bit. Totally skippable.

Anyway, I'm back from the bad place of the last post, and I shouldn't have to go back for another 3 months or so. Thanks for the kind thoughts.

1 comment:

The Strong One said...

Glad you're back. You missed quite a shindig. I left at the perfect time, i.e. before I made a *complete* ass out of myself. That I saved for when I got home. Remember when you were last at my house for screwdrivers? I was like you were. 'Cept worse. You didn't have to crawl up the stairs with a cast on your foot.

This food post is making me muy hungry!