Tag Archives: cooking

D.C. American Lamb Pro-Am!

Hi All 🙂  Thanks for coming on over to check out this recipe I put together for the very first D.C. American Lamb Pro-Am Challenge!   I have a little experience with this lean, mean grazing machine from a ways back, but love trying new techniques!  I was thrilled when I opened my refrigerated bag to find a hunk of a piece (boneless leg) of lamb from Border Springs Farm down in Southwest Virginia.  I knew I just had to try baking it in a salt crust – one of the oldest methods for cooking fish that always keeps the flesh perfectly moist and tender!  And if that seems odd that fish and lamb can be cooked the same way, give it a whirl, your taste buds will be pleasantly surprised!

Salt Baked Boneless Leg of Lamb

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • One 6-7 pound boneless leg of lamb
  • Fresh pepper for seasoning
  • One 48 oz. box of Kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup Herbs de Provence
  • 8 large egg whites
  • Thyme Sprigs for garnishing, if desired

Instructions:

  • Preheat the oven to 375° Fahrenheit
  • Remove the lamb from packaging and season with the freshly ground pepper
  • In a large frying pan that is safe to go in the oven, heat the olive oil until hot.  Add the lamb and let cook on each “side” on medium high heat until browned – about 7-10 minutes.
  • While the lamb is browning, make the salt crust mixture by placing the egg whites in a mixer and beating just until frothy.  Add the Kosher salt and Herbs de Provence and mix until combined.
  • When the lamb is finished browning, remove the pan from the heat and pack the salt mixture all around the lamb, leaving no open spaces (you don’t want the steam/moisture to to escape when baking).
  • Place the lamb in the oven and roast until the meat registers 120° Fahrenheit for medium-rare.  This should take 40-60 minutes, so check early to be sure to not over cook the meat!
  • Remove the roast from the oven and let sit for 10 minutes for the salt crust to set.  Then, crack off the crust to reveal the meat.  Discard the salt and droppings in the pan.
  • Place the lamb on a serving platter and let set for another 10 minutes before serving.  Enjoy!

White Bean & Garlic Smash with Sun-Dried Tomatoes (the perfect accompaniment for this lamb!)

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 cans of cannellini beans
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 15-20 garlic cloves, pealed
  • 1 cup sun-dried tomatoes

Instructions:

  • Start by roasting the garlic in the olive oil in a small dish (I put this in with the lamb).
  • Once the garlic is softened and gently toasted (about 20 minutes), remove from the oven and add the salt, beans and sun-dried tomatoes.
  • Place the dish back in the oven so the flavors can roast and meld together while the lamb is still cooking.
  • Remove from the oven once golden brown on top and serve along side the lamb.  Enjoy!

 

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Wild Rice & Roasted Vegetable Soup

January is a great month for getting back on track.  The holidays and every delicious, fatty bite are gone and the time for overindulgence passed.  This soup is just right for getting into a healthy routine, and is still hearty enough to serve for dinner. The recipe is from my mother-in-law who first had it at Green Mountain Inn in Stowe, Vermont.


Chicken Soup with Roasted Vegetables and Wild Rice
1 cup wild rice, rinsed and drained
2 cups water (I use 3)
2 medium fennel bulbs, trimmed and halved
2 medium onions, halved
2 medium carrots, cut lengthwise into 1/2 inch strips
3 sweet peppers (yellow and red) halved and seeded
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp finely chopped garlic (about 6 cloves)
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp fresh ground pepper
8 cups chicken broth
2 -2 1/2 lb meaty chicken pieces (I use one whole cooked roaster)
2 tomatoes, seeded and chopped
2 tsp fresh thyme
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground red pepper (cayenne)
1 tbsp chopped fresh Italian flat leaf) parsley Continue reading

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Homemade Boursin

This is one of my go to appetizers.  It’s easy to whip up (everything goes in the food processor) and keeps for about a week in the refrigerator.


Homemade Boursin
2 garlic cloves
1/4 cup fresh flat leaf parsley
1/4 cup fresh dill
1/4 cup fresh chives
1/2 cup shredded swiss cheese
1 8oz package of cream cheese
1 tsp sugar
1 tbsp lemon zest
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 tbsp Tabasco sauce
1 tsp Kosher salt
1/2 tsp white pepper
2 tbsp vegetable oil

In the bowl of a food processor, combine the garlic, herbs and zest until all finely minced. Add remaining ingredients and pulse until smooth. Keep in refrigerator and bring to room temperature for serving.

Enjoy!

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In Print: Clips from Food Sections

5. – The Chicago Tribune All About Ribs “In barbecue season, the butcher’s case is bulging with pork ribs. Baby back ribs, spareribs, country ribs, rib tips, St. Louis cut ribs, riblets, rib chops, rib roasts, baby spareribs, button ribs, Danish ribs and loin ribs (across the street, there are McRibs). The prices range from $2 to $8 a pound. Here’s what you need to know about the most popular cuts before you fire up the grill.”

4. – The Boston Globe Pickle Craft “I’m still obsessed with pickles. I am not alone. There is a pickle of the month club. A Facebook page for pickles has 6,110 fans (some of whom make comments not suitable for work). If you Google “obsessed with pickles,’’ a) you are obsessed with pickles yourself, and b) you will find you are in good company. Not that you need Google to tell you this if you’ve eaten in a restaurant in the past few years.”

3. – The LA Times Fruit Pies Perfected “It came still warm, its sugar-dusted crust glittering in the sunlight through the front window, the light, flaky exterior quietly shattering under the fork with each bite. Underneath, the rich berry filling oozed slightly — the thick, sweet glaze cradling tender, slightly tart berries that seemed to pop with every mouthful. It was magical.”

2. – The NY Times Gelatin Makes Wine Go Wobbly “Nature makes some good products, but when you are 10, what the food companies do is awesome. Nothing in the plant or animal kingdoms can rival the wonder of Tang, the astronaut’s orange juice. It has little in common with fruit juice. If it tasted more natural, there would be no point in pouring it into the palm of your hand and licking it. The rush of sugar and citric acid was intense enough to blot out all other sensations for a moment, and for that trip to sensory bliss I would now like to thank my mother, the space program and the entire era of American food history from the 1950s through the 1970s.”

1. – The Washington Post A Sundown Supper on the Grill “I knew the heat had gotten to me when the mere sight of my partner putting the kettle on for Saturday morning coffee sent me into hyperspace. Apparently he hadn’t received the No Stove, No Oven, No Way! memo.”

Photo from The Chicago Tribune

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Printable Invites & Favors

With canning and preserving so in vogue, I love the idea of hosting a canning party!  If everyone brings a different recipe along with the fruits or vegetables for it, just think of all the delicious home preserved goodies you could take home! 

These clever invites, labels, tags and recipe cards are available for free download from Cottage Industrialist via Paper Crave.  For more information on canning and preserving, check out these sites…

Pick Your Own is a fantastic resource for learning how to can pretty much anything.

Fresh Preserving has step-by-step videos on canning different types of goods, and they have an online shop where you can purchase canning jars and more.

The National Center for Home Food Preservation is another great resource with plenty of safety tips and recipes.

Sunset has a great article that gives you a basic outline for throwing a canning party. Recipes included, too.

Canning Pantry is a great resource for buying supplies. They have everything you’ll need!

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In Print: Clips from Food Sections

5. – The Chicago Tribune Smoke Signals “Stove-top smoking is certainly not a new concept: Scatter some wood chips in a roasting pan, and put the meat on a rack to sit above it. Loosely cover the pan and heat. Watch for the chips to start smoking, and cover tight; then smoke to desired doneness. Voila.”

4. – The Boston Globe Food allergic in college, and coping “Many high school seniors are making their college decisions right about now. It’s even more complicated for students with food allergies and other dietary needs. College is often the first time many have lived away from home and they’re about to be completely responsible for choosing their meals. Now many institutions, including Holy Cross, Boston College, and Tufts, are adapting to the growing need for specially prepared meals and greater vigilance in the kitchen to keep foods safe from cross-contamination.”

3. – The LA Times A Spring Fling with Dumplings “Found the world over, dumplings come in all shapes and sizes, prepared and cooked in countless ways. While many dumplings are light and tender, others — whether by mistake or design — are not. But whatever the style, at their core, dumplings are a comfort food. They’re typically rustic and inexpensive to make and, for many, the handmade creations hark back to childhood and a grounding sense of home.”

2. – The NY Times Is Induction Cooking Ready to go Mainstream? “Induction cooking has been around for decades, but only recently has demand driven prices down and selection up. In the last two years, Viking, GE, Samsung and Kenmore have begun selling induction ranges. With its energy efficiency, kitchen geek appeal and growing reputation for power and precision, induction cooking may be the iPad of the kitchen. Like Apple’s latest invention, induction technology could forever change everyday tasks, or it might never deliver on its promise.”

1. – The Washington Post Mid-size dairies win consumers with less-processed milk “To say that Taylor, the founder of Snowville Creamery, is excited about dairy products is an understatement: “If you cut me, I bleed white,” he likes to say. Taylor wants to elicit that same level of enthusiasm from everyone. It’s why his milk comes only from grass-fed cows, which he believes creates a more vibrant flavor. It’s why the milk is pasteurized for just 17 seconds at 165 degrees, as low as the law allows, to preserve that taste.”

Photo from The Chicago Tribune

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In Print: Clips from Food Sections

5. – The Chicago Tribune Turkey Tips: What the Pros Know Can Help You “Holidays can be a hassle for everyone, even the pros. The difference is the pros all have worked out little tricks — what the French call trucs — to make feasts like Thanksgiving a little saner. These tips are so simple you can easily adopt them in your kitchen.”

4. – The Boston Globe A $100 Thanksgiving Menu for Eight “For hosts, Thanksgiving often means spending half the month’s food budget on a single meal, this despite the fact that the traditional ingredients – turkey, potatoes, root vegetables, squashes – aren’t all that expensive. What jacks up the bill is the abundance guests have come to expect: a big bird, an elaborate array of sides, pies galore, and, most flamboyant or silly or obnoxious of all, leftovers packed up in Tupperware.”

3. – The LA Times A More Flavorful Dry-Brined Turkey “At first glance, the recipe is so simple it’s hard to believe there could be anything to add, but it’s in the nature of cooking (or at least of recipe tinkering) to always move forward. We’re like great white sharks that way — that and the whole eating-just-for-recreation thing.”

2. – The NY Times 101 Head Starts on the Day “FOR cooks, most Thanksgiving problems are brought about by the sheer number of dishes competing for the stove: It’s not easy to roast a turkey and sweet potatoes for 20 at the same time. The best solution is to make food in advance, like one of the dishes that follow.”

1. – The Washington Post Guess Who’s Coming to Thanksgiving Dinner “And what a table that would be, as illustrated above. When the Food section pulled together its favorite traditional dishes for ’09, we found that the collection represented significant figures of American cookery, Julia Child, James Beard and Edna Lewis among them. Then we compared notes about how we had updated their recipes. Mostly we had made subtle changes, such as employing newfangled gadgets or shortcuts. Sometimes it was just reducing fat or calories without sacrificing flavor, or using a spice that wasn’t widely available three decades ago.”

photo from The NY Times

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