This rack of lamb recipe is simply delicious. Beautifully coated with a flavourful herb crust and cooked to perfection, serve it at your next dinner party and impress your guests. When purchasing lamb, ask for lamb that has been grass-fed from birth to market. It is healthiest for you and delicious!
INGREDIENTS For the Lamb:
2 racks of lamb, cut in half with 3 bones per serving
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil(for browning)
4 to 5 garlic cloves
1 bouquet of thyme
2 tablespoons Creole mustard*
For the Herb Crust:
3 cups Japanese Panko breadcrumbs
1 1/2 cup fresh parsley, stems included
1 cup baby spinach
1/3 cup of mint (optional)
4 sprigs thyme (leaves only)
Salt, to taste
Freshly ground black, pepper to taste
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
Splash of olive oil
Heat oven to 400°F.
Select a cast iron skillet.
Remove the fat cap if present. Cut each rack into 3-4 bones each (approximately one serving). NOTE: Do not cut all the way to the meat. Season on all sides with salt and pepper.
Heat the skillet to very hot, add olive oil until it is shimmering. Add a bouquet of thyme, cloves of garlic. Place the lamb in skillet and sear on all sides of meat and using tongs sear the ends, to give it a nice dark color.
Once browned, place the racks skin-side-down in the skillet, and into the oven for 12 minutes.
Preparing the Crust: Place the panko breadcrumbs, herbs, spinach and Parmesan cheese into a blender or a food processor and pulse several times until you have a very fine green crumb. Add a splash of the olive oil and continue pulsing for a few more seconds. NOTE: It will still look like dry crumbs, but when you pinch it, it should stick together well. Pour onto a plate.
When lamb has been in for 12 minutes, remove from oven and brush all sides with mustard. Then press each rack into the crumb mixture, coating on all sides and pressing it to get an nice even coating. Shake off any excess. Dip several times to ensure an even coating. Allow meat to rest for a bit.
Place the racks (this time skin-side-up) in a baking dish. Place back into the oven for another 8-10 minutes (longer if you want well-done), Use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature of each rack. NOTE: The chops may be cooked to 145 °F (medium rare),160 °F (medium), or 170 °F (well done).
Serve the lamb with potatoes boulangère and courgettes provençal, but you can serve with anything you find fitting to your taste.
You can substitute Dijon mustard for the Creole mustard, if desired.
Quail are elegant and delightful little game birds that you never have to worry about being tough if you able to buy them fresh. And it is getting easier to find them in supermarkets and local butcher shops these days, although many are sold frozen. For the most part, quail are good to make for guests because they can “hold” in a pan for 15 to 20 minutes without drying out.
For this dish, white grape juice is used, which adds a tart flavor to the sauce and as an acid, it easily cuts through the fat of the ham and the bacon.
It is the perfect dish to serve with brunch with a side of grits.
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon dried thyme leave
8 quail, spatchcocked
1 stick unsalted butter
1/2 pound Virginia ham, cut into 1/4-inch julienne
4 slices of cooked bacon, crumbled
1/4 cup white grape juice*
Fresh parsley, for garnish
Combine salt, pepper, and thyme in a small bowl. Sprinkle both sides of the birds with seasonings.
Melt butter in a large cast iron skillet over medium heat until it is foaming, barely browning. Add the quail skin side down. Sprinkle with ham and cover and cook for 3 to 4 minutes, until skin is golden brown. Turn the birds over and continue to cook until the juices run clear, another 4 to 5 minutes.
Remove the skillet from the heat and let the quail rest, covered for about 10 minutes.Arrange the quail on a serving platter and sprinkle with ham and bacon.
Pour the fat from the skillet, reserving two tablespoons. Add the grape juice and bring to the skillet to a boil. Cook for about 1 minute, scraping the brown bits from the bottom, to deglaze the skillet. Pour the sauce over the quail and garnish with parsley if desired and serve.
This dish calls for country ham which is salt cured, so be be VERY cautious with any additional that you add to the dish, while cooking.
*White cranberry juice, white wine or water are suitable substituted for the white grape juice in this recipe.
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Spicy, tangy, and deeply savory, this dish channels my favorite things about Thai food. Traditionally made with chicken thighs, chicken breast was used for the meatballs making them feel light in calories and well balanced with the broth.
Serves 4 to 6
1 1/2 pound ground chicken breast meat
1 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1 1/2 teaspoon crushed dried cilantro
1 1/2 teaspoon crushed dried Thai basil
Kosher salt, to taste
1 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 large shallots, thinly sliced
1 jalapeño, seeded and thinly sliced
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh lemongrass
1 1/2 cups low sodium chicken broth
1/2 cup well-shaken canned coconut milk
1-1/2 cups fresh cilantro sprigs, more for garnish
1/2 cup small fresh basil leaves, more for garnish
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
2 teaspoons fish sauce
1 1/2 cups julienne carrots
Add the chicken cumin, coriander, and salt, a to a large mixing bowl and mix well. To form the meatballs, set a small bowl of cold water nearby and, occasionally moistening your hands, gently roll 1 1/2-ounce portions of the meat between your palms into balls; you should get 16.
Over medium-high heat in a 5- to 6-quart Dutch oven or a heavy bottom pot, heat the oil until shimmering. Add half of the meatballs, reduce the heat to medium, and cook, undisturbed, until browned on the bottom, 1 to 2 minutes. Flip and brown the other side, 1 to 2 minutes more. Transfer to a paper-towel-lined plate, and repeat with the remaining meatballs.
Add the shallots, jalapeño, lemongrass and about 1/2 teaspoon of salt to the pot; cook, stirring, until the shallots soften, about 4 minutes. Add the chicken broth and coconut milk and bring to a boil. Stir in half of the cilantro and the basil, and remove from the heat. Using an immersion blender or working in batches with a regular blender, purée the mixture. Return to the pot if using a regular blender. Add the meatballs, lime juice, sugar, and fish sauce. Bring to a simmer, cover, and cook until the meatballs cook through (165°F), 15 to 20 minutes, adding the carrots during the last minute or two to cook until crisp-tender.
Divide the meatballs, carrots, and broth among bowls. Garnish with the remaining cilantro and basil leaves and serve.
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1 pound ground beef
2 Tablespoons schmaltz (chicken fat)
1/2 cup crumbled Feta cheese
1/2 cup finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
2 Tablespoons chopped mint
2 Tablespoons chopped oregano
2 teaspoons lemon juice
2 teaspoons lemon pepper
2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon salt
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
One 12-ounce jar roasted red peppers, drained, patted dry, and chopped
Tomato sauce (optional)
Fresh mint leaves, for garnish
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Mix beef, schmaltz, feta cheese, parsley, mint, oregano, lemon juice, lemon pepper, salt, garlic and peppers together in a large bowl, blending in cheese until no large crumbles remain. Using a 2-ounce scoop (1/8 cup) to measure, roll into 16 meatballs and transfer to a baking sheet. Bake until browned and cooked through, about 25 minutes.
If desired, heat the tomato sauce in a medium saucepan and place the in the tomato sauce and simmer, for about 10 to 15 minutes.
To serve, place the meatballs on a serving platter. Drizzle the meatballs with the sauce and garnish with fresh mint leaves.
The NFL Super Bowl is special this year with the 50th Anniversary and a long way from the historic “Ice Bowl”. Listed below are a few of our favorite recipes for some amazing chicken wings, easy game day snacks and desserts to help you celebrate the day with great food!
According to my Grand, “The secret to a great gumbo is that it takes as long as it takes—It’s time that makes it good.”
And just in time, here is a chicken gumbo recipe you can prepare for Mardi Gras!
The real star of this dish is the Sauternes wine used to braise the chicken in this classic gumbo dish. I used a 2011 Le Tertre du Bosquest Sauternes for this recipe. This barrel-aged Sauternes features a beautiful, brilliant, golden-yellow color and an attractively fresh bouquet with delightful hints of vanilla, peach, citrus fruit, and honey. Smooth and powerful on the palate, this delicious Sauternes has mandarin orange and quince flavors, and a slightly botrytised aftertaste. When using a good quality Sauternes, what you will get is a get a rich, balanced liquid for the gumbo, and plenty of tender poached chicken meat.
If you cannot find a good quality Sauternes in your neck of woods, your favorite white zinfandel or a riesling are excellent substitutes.
One 3 pound chicken, cut up into 8 pieces.
Kosher salt, to taste
Ground Black Pepper, to taste
3 clove garlic, finely minced
1/2 teaspoon Cayenne pepper, or to taste
2 Tablespoons Lea & Perrin Worcestershire sauce
1 1⁄2 pounds andouille sausage (or smoked sausage or kielbasa)
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup chopped green bell pepper
1 cup chopped celery
4 cups water
4 cups Sauternes wine (or a white zinfandel or a riesling)
1 1⁄2 teaspoon filé powder
Chopped parsley, for garnish
Cooked white rice, for serving
Season chicken lightly with salt and black pepper, cover and set aside in the refrigerator. For best results, let the chicken stand over night to get seasoned. Slice the sausage into 1/4 to 1/2-inch rounds; cover and set aside.
To make the roux, heat oil in a Dutch oven that is very clean over high heat until the the oil should begins to shimmer – and gradually begin to stir in flour, using a long-handled wooden spoon. The roux will take about 3 to 4 minutes to cook and must be stirred constantly so that it does not burn. If you see black specks in the roux, it has burned and you must start over again.
As you make the roux, it will change in color from cream to blonde, from tan to brown and then to dark chocolate red-brown. Remove from heat. Stir in the garlic, onions, green peppers, celery and Worcestershire sauce, stirring constantly until roux stops getting darker. Bring to stove once more, and cook over low heat about five to seven minutes, stirring constantly until the onions are transparent.
In a another large pot, bring 4 cups of water to a boil remove from the heat and add to the roux in the Dutch oven, stirring to dissolve the roux thoroughly. Add the Sauterne wine. Add the cayenne pepper and salt to taste. Carefully add chicken and reduce the heat to medium low. Cook about 35 to 45 minutes or until chicken is cooked through. Remove chicken, and set aside to cool.
De-bone the chicken, and cut into bite-size pieces. Add sausage, to the Dutch oven, and simmer for another 35 to 45 minutes, uncovered, stirring frequently. Taste, and adjust the seasoning with salt, as needed.
Stir in the chicken, and remove the gumbo from the heat. Skim the surface to remove the fat that the sausage renders during cooking.
For best results, cover and store the gumbo in the refrigerator overnight.
The next day, remove the gumbo from the refrigerator and stir in the filé powder. Bring the gumbo to a boil and then reduce and simmer the stew for 25 to 30 minutes.
Garnish with parsley and serve over rice with French bread.
Laissez le bon temps rouler , ché!
Considered to be one of the finest white wines in the world, Sauternes is a French sweet wine from the Sauternes is region of the Graves section in Bordeaux.
As in most of France, viticulture is believed to have been introduced into Aquitania by the Romans. The earliest evidence of sweet wine production, however, dates only to the 17th century. While the English were Bordeaux’s main consumer since the Middle Ages, their primary tastes were for red claret. It was the Dutch traders of the 17th century who first developed an interest in white wine. For years they were active in the trade of German wines but production in Germany began to wane in the 17th century as the popularity of beer increased. The Dutch saw an opportunity for a new production source in Bordeaux and began investing in the planting of white grape varieties.
Sauternes is made from Sémillon, Sauvignon blanc, and Muscadelle grapes that have been affected by Botrytis cinerea, also known as noble rot. This causes the grapes to become partially raisined, resulting in concentrated and distinctively flavored wines. Due to its climate, Sauternes is one of the few wine regions where infection with noble rot is a frequent occurrence. Even so, production is a hit-or-miss proposition, with widely varying harvests from vintage to vintage.
Wines from Sauternes, especially the Premier Cru Supérieur estate Château d’Yquem, can be very expensive, due largely to the very high cost of production. Barsac lies within Sauternes, and is entitled to use either name. Somewhat similar but less expensive and typically less-distinguished wines are produced in the neighboring regions of Monbazillac, Cérons, Loupiac and Cadillac.
In the United States, there is a semi-generic label for sweet white dessert wines known as sauterne without the “s” at the end and uncapitalized.
On the other hand, cooking wines like sauternes date to the days when wine wasn’t something the average home cook kept on hand in the pantry. Wines that we find on the supermarket shelves labeled “cooking wine” usually contained preservatives, particularly salt, to make them shelf-stable after opening.
Basically, the standard advice for cooking with wine is “never to cook with something you wouldn’t drink”. Think about it, since most of us would not want to drink salty wine, the old cooking wines are slowly disappearing.
But for people who do not commonly drink wine with meals, that leaves the problem of what to use in recipes that call for a small amount of wine. One handy solution is the miniature four-pack. Since a bottle is only 187ml, or about 3/4 cup, you will not waste much, and the packs usually cost $7 or less.
Since Sauternes is a sweeter wine, something like a white zinfandel or a riesling should be a good replacement, if you cannot find it at your local wine and liquor stores.
Chicken quarter, the leg and thigh portions, just happen to be the perfect portion for two—which features all the best parts of the bird. This dish highlights succulent dark meat with a spice rub of sweet paprika, ground coriander, garlic powder and a hint of crushed red pepper flakes, for a mild kick. To a ensure tasty, crispy-skinned meat, browning the chicken skin on the stovetop in a cast-iron skillet will give you the best results before roasting it in the oven. The chicken was served over a bed of stewed collard greens and onion and spooning warm, homemade maple butter on top—a sweet, rich mix of melted butter, maple syrup and apple cider vinegar.
I made this dish a second time, but instead of drizzling the chicken with maple butter, I switched it up a bit and used my Grand’s recipe for White Barbecue Sauce, making it a twist of classic southern barbecue chicken.
You see, White Barbecue Sauce is a regional favorite found in the foot hills of Appalachian Mountains of Northern Alabama. Pit master, Bob Gibson is credited with concocting white sauce back in 1925. This tangy, mayonnaise-based condiment was traditionally used to dress chicken. But today, just about every BBQ joint in the area has a white barbecue sauce on their menu, and use it on their meats, and place it on their tables. You can eat it with everything from french fries to bread to chicken and ribs. This unique, tangy flavor is the perfect compliment to just about everything.
To make a White Barbecue Sauce you only need four ingredients: mayonnaise, vinegar, salt, and coarsely ground pepper. But my Grand’s recipe called for a little buttermilk and just a touch of heavy cream, to give it a dressing like consistency.
To be perfectly honest, being a Southern girl, I preferred my Grand’s White Barbecue Sauce…….
Adapted from Blue Apron, 2015
2 Chicken leg and thigh quarters
1 Yellow Onion
½ bunch collard greens
1 bunch fresh thyme
2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 Tablespoon maple syrup
2 Teaspoons Spice Blend (Garlic Powder, Smoked Sweet Paprika, Ground Coriander and Crushed Red Pepper Flakes)
Preheat the oven to 450°F.
Prepare the ingredients:
Wash and dry the fresh produce. Remove and discard the collard green stems; roughly chop the leaves. Peel, halve and thinly slice the onion. Pick the thyme leaves off the stems; discard the stems.
For the Chicken:
Line a sheet pan with foil. Pat the chicken dry with paper towels; season on both sides with salt, pepper and as much of the spice blend to taste.Sprinkle the skinless side with half the thyme. In a medium pan , heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil on medium high until hot. Add the seasoned chicken, skin side down. Cook 4 to 6 minutes, or until the skin is browned and crispy. Turn off the heat. Transfer the browned chicken, skin side up, to the prepared sheet pan, leaving any browned bits in the pan on the stovetop.
Place the browned chicken in the oven and roast 24 to 26 minutes, or until cooked through.Remove from the oven.
For the Collard Greens:
While the chicken roasts, add 2 teaspoons of olive oil to the pan of reserved brown bits and heat on medium until shimmering. Add the onion; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 3 to 4 minutes, or until softened. Add the collard greens and ⅓ cup of water. Cover with a lid and cook, stirring occasionally, 18 to 20 minutes, or until the collard greens are wilted and very tender. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Transfer to a serving dish and set aside in a warm place. Rinse and wipe out the pan.
For the Maple Syrup Butter:
Make the make the maple syrup butter, just before serving, heat the pan used to cook the collard greens on medium until hot. Add the butter, maple syrup and vinegar;season with salt and pepper. Cook, occasionally swirling the pan, 1 to 2 minutes, or until bubbling and thoroughly combined.Remove from heat and season with salt and pepper to taste.
To serve , transfer the roasted chicken to the serving dish of cooked collard greens. Top with the maple butter. Garnish with the remaining thyme. Enjoy!
A big pot of slow simmering red sauce with meat and big pieces of fresh fennel added, gives this dish a nice, soft creaminess with the slightly bouncy texture of sweet Italian sausages. This simple one pot meal will definitely please a hungry crowd. Enjoy!
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
12 sweet Italian sausages
3 fennel bulbs—trimmed, each bulb cut into 8 wedges, fronds chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds, crushed
Kosher salt, to taste
One 28-ounce can San Marzano whole tomatoes, crushed ,juices reserved
1 cup dry white wine
3 pequin chiles or 2 chiles de árbol or crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon sugar (optional)
Creamy polenta, for serving
In a large enameled cast-iron casserole, heat the olive oil. Add half of the sausages and cook over moderate heat, turning, until browned all over, 5 minutes. Transfer to a plate; repeat with the remaining sausages.
Add the fennel wedges to the casserole and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until golden, about 5 minutes. Add the onion, garlic, fennel seeds and 1 teaspoon of salt and cook, stirring, until the fennel is lightly browned, about 3 minutes.
Add the tomatoes and their juices, the wine, chiles and sugar. Tuck the sausages into the sauce. Cover and cook over low heat for 15 minutes.Uncover and simmer until the sausages are cooked through and the sauce is thickened, about 45 minutes longer.
Garnish the stew with fennel fronds and serve over polenta.
The stewed sausages can be refrigerated for up to 2 days; rewarm before serving.
Small, spicy dried red Mexican pequin chiles are available at Latin American markets and specialty food stores.
If pequin or arbol chile peppers are not available in y0ur area, crushed red pepper flakes will also do as a substitute for the dried chile peppers
This meal was kept real simple with whole and fresh ingredients.
The secret to cooking a great steak is simple gentle seasoning and high searing heat. But most importantly “Don’t touch that steak!” Not until you are ready to flip after 2 to 3 minutes of cooking it on one side and then cook the meat without disturbing it, for another 2 ½ minutes.
On another note, to save on calories, cauliflower was used as substitute for the cream and starch in this version of “Creamed Spinach”. Another calorie cutting tip is that the steak fries were oven baked.
Serves 4 Ingredients: For the Seasoned Steak Fries:
3 Tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon salt
1⁄2 teaspoon ground black pepper
4 to 6 Russet potatoes, cut into wedges
For the Creamed Spinach:
1 medium head cauliflower, trimmed and cut into small florets (about 6 to 7 cups)
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
Fine sea salt,to taste
1 1/4 pound fresh baby spinach, coarsely chopped
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 cup Fontina Cheese, cubed For the T-Bone Steaks:
2 teaspoons canola oil
Four T-bone steaks, each about 1-inch thick, trimmed of excess fat
1 teaspoon coarse sea salt, divided
1 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
Directions: For the Steak Fries:
Preheat the oven to 400 °F. Combine oil, paprika, cumin, salt, and pepper in a large bowl.Place potato wedges in the bowl with the seasonings and toss to coat the wedges with the spices.
Transfer potato wedges to a large ungreased baking sheet.Bake until the potato wedges are golden and crisp for about 35 to 40 minutes.
For the Creamed Spinach:
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add cauliflower and cook until very tender, about 10 minutes. Reserve 1/4 cup of the cooking liquid and then drain well and transfer cauliflower to a food processor. Add oil and reserved water, 1 tablespoon at a time, and purée until smooth. Set aside.
In a large sauce pan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add the spinach, and cook until slightly wilted. Add salt, white pepper, and nutmeg. Stirring occasionally, add the cauliflower mash and stir in the Fontina cheese and cook for 2 to 3 minutes or until cheese is slightly melted. Taste and adjust the seasoning as needed. Serve at once, or keep warm in the top of a covered double boiler over barely simmering water for up to 30 minutes.
For the Steaks:
Prepare a grill for high-heat cooking.
Brush the oil on both sides of steaks and sprinkle steaks on all sides with 3/4 teaspoon of the salt and black pepper. Place steaks on the grill and cook 3 minutes; rotate each steak about 90 degrees and cook 3 more minutes. Flip steaks and repeat grilling and rotating process, cooking until steaks reach desired doneness, about 5 minutes more for medium-rare (145°F internal temperature). Transfer steaks to plates and let rest for 5 minutes.
Serve the steaks with the steak fries and cream spinach on the side.
If you are pressed for time, here is an alternative recipe for making seasoned steak fries using commercially prepared potatoes.
Serves 4 to 6
One 28-ounce bag frozen steak fries
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 to 2 teaspoons Lawry’s Seasoning Salt
Open one 28-ounce bag frozen steak fries. Add 1 tablespoon olive oil and 1 to 2 teaspoons Lawry’s Seasoning Salt to potatoes in the bag. Close bag, and shake vigorously to evenly coat potatoes. Spread potatoes evenly on an aluminum foil-lined baking sheet Bake at 425°F for 45 minutes, stirring once. Serve immediately.
Venezuelans have their own version of guacamole called guasacaca. It’s more of an avocado relish, and is made with vinegar instead of lime juice, and lots of garlic. It’s often served with fried plantain and yucca for dipping. There are many variations of guasacaca – some have tomato, some have hot chile peppers, and some are made with green peppers rather than avocado. Some people seem to prefer it as a salsa, with the ingredients chopped and mixed together, while others blend it until it’s very smooth. Serve guasacaca with tortilla chips, fried plantains, and especially with grilled steaks and chicken.
In this recipe, I like my guasacaca little chunky without the olive oil, served on the side, with grilled lamb chops. So Delicious!
Ingredients: For the Guasacaca:
Makes About 2 1/2 cups
1 medium onion, roughly chopped
2 green peppers, seeded, deveined, roughly chopped
1 jalapeño pepper, seeded, deveined, roughly chopped
2 ripe avocados, peeled and seeded
2 cloves garlic
1/2 bunch fresh parsley
1/2 bunch fresh cilantro
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
Kosher salt, to taste
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 cup olive oil
For the Lamb:
Lamb chops, excess fat trimmed
Kosher salt , to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
For the Guasacaca:
Place all the ingredients except the olive oil into a food processor and process until mostly smooth. Add the olive oil in a stream with the processor running and process until smooth. Let stand at room temperature for at least 1 hour for the flavors to blend. Taste and adjust
seasoning with salt and pepper as needed.
Meanwhile, heat grill to high.Generously sprinkle lamb chops with salt and ground black pepper. Place on grill and cook to desired doneness, about 3 minutes on each side for medium-rare.
Serve the lamb with the gausascaca sauce at room temperature with lamb chops. Cover leftover sauce and store in the refrigerator. Always bring the guasacaca to room temperature before serving.