Sunday, October 3, 2010

Not Quite Ready For Prime Time (but delicious anyway !)

way better than it looks !

Today's cooking adventure/Sunday dinner was amazing, but I don't want to post all the recipes yet...the flavors were all right there, but I feel like I really need to refine the techniques a little before putting my name on them :) (Well, to be honest, if we'd cooked the lamb like I wanted to it would have been perfect....and I know exactly what I need to do with the fig sauce next time ! )

The menu : Butterflied Leg of Lamb (hey, had to use the new knife !) stuffed with a leek stuffing, served with a Port-Fig-Balsamic sauce, Roasted Rosemary Potatoes, and Italian-Style Spinach.

The problem : the lamb was cooked too low and too it literally fell apart when we sliced it. The taste was amazing - especially the stuffing, which I will give the recipe for - but I was going for more of a neat slice, with the pretty spiral of stuffing inside. The fig sauce tasted amazing as well, though a little heavy on the fig (two less next time), and I didn't take the time to defat my stock - a more serious error.  We will definitely make this one again, and I will post the final recipe. (Potatoes and spinach were delicious - both are recipes I make often).

Wine with this meal was a blackberry wine from the Russell Orchards trip - absolutely PERFECT with the flavors of this meal !!

Here's what's ready to share...

stuffing ready to go

the stuffed lamb, ready for the oven
Leek Stuffing

This came about because a) I love leeks...serious love and b) I had a loaf of stale sourdough and half a whole wheat ciabatta to use up. I hope I have that combination of extras to use up often, because this stuffing was simply would also be fantastic with poultry...or even by itself (though I'd probably throw another egg in if I did that)

1/4 cup (half stick) butter
3 leeks, white and tender green only, cleaned and chopped
2 carrots, chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
2 teaspoons fresh rosemary leaves
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped (stems and all)
salt and pepper to taste
4 cups stale sourdough bread, cubed
4 cups whole wheat bread, cubed
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup (approximately) white wine

Melt butter in large pan. Saute leeks, carrots, celery and garlic until tender, adding herbs for the last 5 minutes or so of cooking. Toss with remaining ingredients, adding wine last...just enough to moisten. Stuff into main course of choice, or you can bake separately if that's how you roll (325 for about 45 minutes)

Rosemary Roasted Potatoes

2 pounds baby white potatoes, quartered
1/4 cup olive oil
3 - 4 fresh rosemary sprigs, roughly chopped
kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Toss all ingredients in a roasting pan large enough to spread potatoes out in a single layer (I use a stoneware baking dish for best results). Roast at 400 degrees for about 45 minutes or so - stir every 10-15 minutes. (test them after 45 minutes - they should be golden on the outside and done completely through - if not, back in the oven they go...timing depends on what else is cooking in the oven).

Italian-Style Spinach

1 pound spinach (baby, or regular with large stems removed)
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
juice of 1/2 lemon
kosher salt and fresh ground pepper to taste

In a large heavy pan, saute garlic in olive oil until just turning golden. Throw in the spinach, cover, and turn heat to low. In a few minutes the spinach will start to wilt...stir it into the oil and garlic and cover again. Cook another 5 minutes or so, until done to your liking. Add lemon juice, salt and pepper and serve.

mmm mmm good !!!

1 comment:

  1. The stuffed leg of lamb looks incredible -- and the figs - one of my favorites; leek stuffing - that's crazy good and I don't care about lamb fat...bring it! You have such a gift of making everything sounds amazing!