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CookTeaser

Photos, Recipes & CookTales For Those Who Enjoy Cooking

Category Archives: Lamb


ImageRECIPE

Serves 2

A CookTale

The Saugerties Farmers Market opened this weekend. Heather Ridge Farm was there with their annual well-stocked tented presence, along with items from their Bees Knees Cafe. This week they brought handmade Merguez sausage. What a treat, we snapped them up and set the plan for a North African style dinner. Dried Currant Couscous, Broccoli Rabe as the bitter green, and Harissa as the condiment. The Merguez were so authentic, they would have been a hit in a restaurant in Morocco or a Berber tent in the Atlas Mountains. Thanks Carol Clement and the chefs at the Farm.

INGREDIENTS

8 Merguez Sausage links (4 per person)
1 TB of EVOO
1 C of Israeli Couscous
1-1/4 C of Water or Chicken Broth
1/3 C of dried Currants or other dried fruit
Sea or Kosher Salt
1 bunch of Broccoli Rabe (1 lb)
3 Garlic Cloves (thinly sliced)
A pinch of Red Pepper Flakes
2 TB of EVOO
Kosher Salt & Black Pepper
Harissa Condiment (optional)

METHOD For the Merguez

1. With a sharp instrument, prick holes into each Sausage. Lightly rub EVOO onto each.

2. In a cast iron grill pan or outdoor gas grill, cook the Merguez sausages until they begin to take on color. Do not overcook & dry them out. Remove from the heat & keep warm in a 200 degree oven.

INGREDIENTS The Israeli Coucous

1 C of Israeli Couscous
1-1/4 C of Water or Chicken Broth
1/3 C of dried Currants or other fruits
1 TP of Butter
Salt

METHOD The Israeli Coucous

1. In a medium-large pot, bring the Water to a boil. Add the Couscous & the Currants. Cover & simmer for 8 to 10 minutes.

2. Remove the cover, add the Butter & the Salt & fluff up the cooked Couscous. Keep warm.

INGREDIENTS For the Broccoli Rabe

1 lb of Broccoli Rabe
2 Garlic Cloves sliced
Red Pepper flakes (to taste)
2 TB of EVOO

METHOD For the Broccoli Rabe

1. Wash Broccoli Rabe, trim the stems, remove & save large leaves.

2. Steam for 6 minutes, flush in cold water and drain. Cut into small pieces. Set aside.

3. Add the EVOO to a deep sided frying pan. When rippling hot, saute Garlic & Red Pepper flakes. (Do not let them burn.) Add the Broccoli Rabe. Toss it all together & cook until the mixture is softened to taste. Add a few ounces of water if the pan gets too dry.


 

RECIPE
Serves 2 Generously

A CookTale

A luxurious cut of Lamb that’s ideal for a quiet dinner for 2 or an elegant dinner party for many. And so many side dishes to accompany it are compatible. Creamy mashed potatoes, or mashed Parsnips. Classic French Flageolets. Most any Green like Creamed Spinach. Matter of fact, there are very few vegetables that wouldn’t work. This rack was coated with Pomegranate Molasses that added a wonderful flavor to the crust. Highly recommended.

INGREDIENTS

1 Rack of Lamb, 8 chops (frenched)
2 TB of Pomegranate Molasses
Kosher Salt & Black Pepper
1 TB of EVOO

METHOD

1. Heat the oven to 400 degrees.

2. Brush the Lamb with the Pomegranate Molasses & season with Salt & Pepper.

3. Place in a cast iron skillet, meaty side up. Roast for 15 minutes or until an internal thermometer registers 120 to 123 degrees for rare. Of course you can roast it a bit longer, to your taste, but definitely not to well done.

4. Remove from the oven. For the meaty side to have a richer color, turn the meat onto that side in the pan & cook for a few minutes. Allow to rest for at least 5 minutes before plating.

INGREDIENTS For the Artichokes & Asparagus

1 Box of frozen Artichoke Hearts
1 Bunch of Asparagus
2 TB of EVOO
Kosher Salt & Black Pepper

METHOD

1. Heat the oven to 425 degrees.

1. Allow the Artichokes to thoroughly defrost.
Cut the heads off the Asparagus & reserve the rest for another purpose. (They make a great Asparagus Timbale.)

2. Combine them in a large bowl, add the EVOO & generously season them.

3. Place them on a baking sheet or a casserole dish in a single layer. Into the oven for about 35 minutes. Don’t allow them to burn, but you do want a bit of Caramelization.


RECIPE
Serves 2

A CookTale

I, along with an unknown number of food enthusiasts, comb the media for interesting recipes. Cathie found this one in the New York Times, always a good source for inspiration. After reviewing their recipe, I found it necessary to make a few adaptations for my version. Subtle, I believe, but required. The side dishes were these large paddles of Potato Chips and on a separate plate roasted Cauliflower florets.

INGREDIENTS

1 small Rack of Lamb, Frenched, about 1-1/2 lbs, or 8 3-oz Rib Chops
Salt and pepper
1/2 C Bread Crumbs, preferably homemade
1 oz grated Parmesan
1/2 tp powdered Fennel Seed (use an electric Spice mill or mortar & pestle)
1 tp finely chopped Rosemary
1/2 C Flour seasoned with 1/2 tp Salt, 1/4 tp black Pepper & a pinch Cayenne
2 small Eggs, lightly beaten
EVOO for frying

METHOD

1. With a sharp knife, cut between bones to divide the Rack of Lamb into 8 chops. Trim chops of any excess fat. Season with Salt & Pepper on both sides.

2. In a small bowl, mix together the Bread Crumbs, Parmesan, Fennel Seed & Rosemary.

3. Dip each Chop into the seasoned Flour, then into the beaten Eggs. Lay the Chops on a baking sheet and sprinkle both sides of each liberally with the Crumb mixture. Press any remaining mixture evenly over the Chops to coat well.

4. In a wide skillet, pour the EVOO to a depth of 1/2 inch. Heat over a high burner until the Oil looks wavy. Add the Chops without crowding. They should begin to sizzle & sear. Adjust the heat so they fry gently for about 2 1/2 minutes, until crisp & golden. Turn with tongs & fry on the other side for about 2 minutes. (The interiors should be pink and juicy, but not rare.) Blot on paper towels.


RECIPE
Serves 2

A CookTale

It’s fun being inventive, though I admit it’s a far cry from being a well-trained cook. As an amateur I believe there’s a place for both, and that’s in the finished plate. Case in point was last evening’s dinner. Two very basic ingredients taken to another level. Classically trained chefs, please forgive me.

INGREDIENTS For Green Beans With Parmesan Bread Crumbs & Gorgonzola Cheese

12 oz fresh Green Beans (stemmed)
2 TB freshly made Bread Crumbs
2 TB Grated Parmesan Cheese
1 TB crumbled Gorgonzola Cheese
1-1/2 TB of EVOO
Salt & fresh Black Pepper to taste

METHOD

1. Parboil 12oz of Beans for 5 minutes.

2. Drain, blot dry & add the EVOO. Toss & add Parmesan Bread Crumbs & crumbled Gorgonzola Cheese.

3. Roast in a 450 oven until caramelized & slightly charred. About 15 minutes or to taste.

4. Plate & serve.

INGREDIENTS For Pomegranate Molasses Marinated Lamb Chops

2 Loin Lamb Chops 8 oz each
2 TB Pomegranate Molasses
Kosher Salt & Black Pepper
1 TB of EVOO

METHOD

1. Season the Chops & marinate them with Pomegranate Molasses. Set aside for 30 minutes or more.

2. Heat a non-stick grill pan to high. Add the Chops & pan grill for 2-1/2 minutes a side. Do not overcook the
Lamb.

3. Plate with the roasted Green Beans for an easy & delicious combination.


RECIPE

Serves 6

A CookTale

On Easter eve we enjoyed the evening with good friends and good food. The Lamb Stew was a variation of the Veal Stew we prepared a week or so ago. The cubed Leg of Lamb worked out as well as the Veal, matter of fact Lamb is more tender and tastier. Dinner was accompanied by a delicious Gratin Dauphinois, prepared by Cathie. Excellent Wine rounded out the dinner and the evening.

INGREDIENTS

2 TB EVOO
2 TB Butter
2 pounds of Leg of Lamb cubes, no side larger than 1 1/2 inches
fresh Tarragon, or 1tsp of dried Tarragon
1 lb of Shallots, peeled (if large, trimmed and halved)
Salt & freshly ground black Pepper
1 cup of White Wine
2 cups fresh or frozen Peas
Red Wine Reduction sauce (available online from More than Gourmet, through Amazon

METHOD

1. Put a 12-inch skillet over high heat, a minute later, add EVOO and Butter. Add the Meat, in one layer (you may have to cook in batches). Cook, undisturbed, until the meat is nicely browned on the bottom, about 5 minutes.

2. Add Tarragon, Onions & Salt & Pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until Onions soften & any Meat stuck to bottom of pan is released, about 5 minutes.

3. Add the Wine, stir, reduce heat to low, & cover. Cook about 12 to 15 minutes, or until the Lamb is tender.

4. Uncover, add Peas & raise the heat to medium. Cook about 3 minutes, until the Peas are done. Adjust seasoning, garnish & serve.


RECIPE

Serves 2

A CookTale

Some time back, I enjoyed a week touring Morocco hosted by the director of Moroccan Tourism in the US. Needless to say, guided by this Moroccan tourism executive, I had an outstanding experience in this amazing country anyone would envy, and though so many years have passed, I vividly remember many details. Of them, the wonderfully different North African cuisine stands out. Just reading one of Paula Wolfert’s informative cookbooks on Moroccan cuisine might motivate you to call your travel agent. Last evening’s dinner was a far cry from what one could expect, but the ingredients and the seasonings were definitely Moroccan.

INGREDIENTS

1-1/4 pounds ground Lamb
3 Garlic cloves (minced)
2 TB of Harissa, a spicy North African condiment (optional if available)
1-1/4 tsp of Fennel Seeds
1-1/4 tsp of ground Cumin
1-1/4 tsp of ground Coriander
1/4 tsp of ground Cinnamon
Salt ( as required)
1 TB of vegetable oil
1-1/4 cups of Chicken Broth or Water
1/3 cup of Raisins
1 cup of Israeli Couscous
1/3 cup of toasted Almonds
1/2 cup of chopped Cilantro + leaves for garnish
Zest of 1 Lemon

METHOD

1. Toast Fennel seeds in a small heavy skillet over medium heat until fragrant & a shade darker, about 1 minute. Grind to a fine powder in grinder.

2. Mix together the Lamb, Garlic, optional Harissa, all the Spices (including the Fennel), & 1/2 tsp of Salt. Mix thoroughly with wet hands (do not overmix). Form into 6 thick Patties.

3.Heat oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet over medium-high heat until it shimmers, then cook the Patties, turning once for about 8 minutes total, for medium-rare.

4. While the Patties cook, bring the Broth, Raisins & 1/4 tsp of Salt to a boil in a 2-quart heavy saucepan, then stir in the Couscous. Let it stand off heat, covered for 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork, stir in the Almonds, Cilantro, Zest, & Salt to taste.

5. Serve the Patties on the bed of Couscous. Scatter the Cilantro leaves.


RECIPE

Serves 2

A CookTale

A Lamb Chop will always be a Lamb Chop. But discovering a new pasta sauce is something to crow about. This was published in 2000 by Faith Willinger, a devoted writer of Italian cookbooks, whose home is in Florence. Along with the pan grilled Lamb Chop marinated in a Balsamic Glaze, it was a delicious duo.

INGREDIENTS For the Asparagus Sauce

1 lb fresh Asparagus (ends trimmed & peeled)
1 tsp of finely grated fresh Lemon zest
1/4 cup of EVOO
4 oz of Penne
1/2 cup of grated Parmigiano-Reggiano

METHOD

1. Cut the Asparagus into 1-inch pieces, reserving tips separately. Cook asparagus stems in 5 to 6 quarts boiling water with 1 TB of Salt until very tender, 6 to 8 minutes. Transfer with a slotted spoon to a colander, reserving cooking water in pot, & rinse under cold water. Drain Asparagus well & transfer to a food processor. Cook Asparagus tips in the same boiling water until just tender, 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer with slotted spoon to a colander, reserving boiling water in pot, & rinse under cold water. Drain the tips well.

2. Purée the Asparagus stems with the zest, oil, & 1/2 cup of the Asparagus cooking water. Transfer sauce to a 4-quart saucepan.

3. Cook pasta in the boiling Asparagus cooking water until it still offers some resistance, around three-fourths of the recommended cooking time. Reserve 2 cups of the cooking water& drain the pasta.

4. Add Pasta, Asparagus tips, & 1/2 cup reserved water to the Asparagus sauce & cook over high heat, stirring, 3 to 5 minutes, or until pasta is almost al dente & the sauce completely coats pasta. If necessary add more cooking water, 1/4 cup at a time, until the sauce coats the Pasta.

5. Stir in the Parmigiano-Reggiano & Salt & Pepper to taste. Cook, stirring, until the cheese has melted.

INGREDIENTS For the Lamb Chops

2 6-oz Loin Lamb Chops
Kosher Salt & Black Pepper
1 TB of Balsamic Glaze (available online from Roland)

METHOD

1. Season the Chops & marinate with the Balsamic Glaze.

2. Heat a cast iron grill pan to smoking & add the Chops, weighed down with a meat press. 2-1/2 minutes to a side, should bring the internal temperature to 120 de