Monday, November 22, 2010

Trip Down Mediterranean (Sorta) Lane......

Has it really been over two months since my last post? Yikes, I should be put in a corner -"bad blogger". The truth is my mind has been elsewhere and personally speaking, I've been in a major funk since October, but I'm beginning to see the light of day again and I am. I hope you'll take me back with open arms! Otherwise no holiday cookies for you!

Before I left for Oregon to spend Thanksgiving with family, I invited my dad and his wife, Clarissa, over for a Sunday supper. It's the first time I've had them both over for dinner and I was jazzed about my menu, which I faithfully planned all week long. Have you ever just been in the mood for lamb? I mean, there's something about it - delicate, fragrant, tender and if you're able to source amazing lamb, it's not gamey at all. Luckily, I've been spoiled rotten the last ten months living in Los Feliz, with McCall's Meat & Fish Co in my neighborhood. I chose to go with rack of lamb (Colorado rack of lamb to be exact) and I was a bit nervous. I've cooked many cuts of lamb before but there's something about the rack that is intimidating. Thanks to Nathan (co-owner at McCalls) for putting my worries at ease, he shared secret society tips on how to roast that rack to perfection and I'm not lying kids, it was perfection.

Seasoned with salt and pepper, I seared the lamb in a super hot pan with a swig of olive oil for about 5 minutes. Then I transferred the lamb to a roasting dish and put in a 400 degree oven for about 30 minutes (to obtain medium rare temp). Nathan recommended checking it at around 20 minutes (which depending on your oven at home, I agree is the best policy). Not pictured above, I made an apricot chutney to accompany the lamb. It's a Mark Bittman recipe and is easy-peasy to make - sugar, vinegar, chopped dried apricots, cloves, ginger, star anise and bam, you've got magic. Dad and Clarissa really enjoyed the chutney.

I served the lamb with cinnamon scented basmati rice (all I did to achieve this was stick two cinnamon sticks in with the rice wile it cooked)- it was so fragrant, warm and inviting you to taste every morsel. I've been a big fan of Luisa Weiss, The Wednesday Chef, and several weeks ago, she posted a warm zucchini salad with harissa dressing, kalamata olives and feta. Click here for the recipe. Instead of steaming the zucchini I opted to saute the, but I think this would be delicious if you roasted the zucchini too.

Needless to say, it was one of my finer meals that I've served and I was smiling for days. I hope during this holiday season you are finding something to smile about!

1 comment:

  1. i have missed your posts and happy to see you here again, madame. lamb isn't my meat of choice, but i am quite taken with your cinnamon rice! oh, man, that for breakfast....? rice steamer and a little butter? maybe a few golden raisins?? okay, i have to now................ox