Sunday, April 26, 2009
Friday Night, lamb shanks
After making the lamb chops a couple Friday's ago, I just had to make lamb again. It was so good and I was surprised that I liked it so much. But I would have to do a different cut...and that's when I decided on lamb shanks. I found this recipe on the food network and it's a Bobby Flay recipe. This recipe already came with sides so I didn't have to think of that. He does roasted tomatoes and toasted orzo, both of these I have done in the past, but I figured I'd do them again. I wanted to do a salad for the appetizer, trying to stay away from anything too caloric. The dessert was inspired by one ingredient; rose water. I have seen rose water in some recipes and I looked for it in the past and couldn't find it any where. Last week I happened to see it and I picked it up. After looking around on line it's used in some drinks and it's used in sorbets and even cookies. Almost all the recipes call for using only a tsp or so. I thought of doing the sorbet but I had an idea of a vanilla ice cream with rose water chips. I would serve it along side a strawberry and rhubarb pie (which I have never made before).
Boston Lettuce with Roasted Red Onion, Roasted Bosc Pear and Roquefort Cheese
I cut the red onion into wedges, about 12 wedges, with the root end still in tact so it stays together. Tossed with olive oil, salt, pepper and balsamic vinegar. Same with the pears, into wedges and I tossed them with the same ingredients as the onion wedges. I placed them into the oven at 400 degrees and they took about 30 minutes, turning them over after 20 minutes. I placed them over some Boston Lettuce along with cucumber, tomato, walnuts, dried cherries and topped with the Roquefort cheese. I made the salad dressing with shallot, honey, sherry vinegar, mustard, s+p and olive oil.
Oven Roasted Lamb Shanks with Roasted Tomatoes and Toasted Orzo
I got some New Zealand Lamb Shanks at Whole Foods, I don't know how that differs from regular Lamb Shanks but that was all they had in the meat case. After browning the meat, you brown some celery, carrots and onion to the pan, then de-glaze with red wine and port wine. Reduce and add the browned meat, chicken stock and roasted garlic in the pot and you bring it to a boil and slowly cook in a 350 degree oven for 2 hours. I had read a review about this recipe and someone said it's better if you make it the day before and let it sit in the refrigerator overnight. I couldn't do that but I made it first thing on Friday morning and let it cool, then I put it in the frig until 4:30 or so and finished the dish at that time. To finish the dish I heated it through and then you remove the meat and strain out the vegetables. Reserve some of the cooking liquid to add to the toasted orzo and reduce the rest to pour over the shanks when you
serve it. The tomatoes are slow roasted in a low oven. To make the toasted orzo, you toast 1/2 of the orzo in a dry skillet and then basically cook it like a risotto which is slowly ladling in hot stock or water in this case, and stirring until cooked through. Add butter, fresh parsley and reserved braising liquid at the end.
Strawberry and Rhubarb Pie with Rose Chip Ice Cream
This whole dessert was not one of my best. It was just OK. I was following a recipe that got 5 stars and everyone raved. I didn't like the crust, I should have made my own that I usually do and it always tastes good and flaky. The filling was too watery and no where near as good as my mother-in-law's (I will have to get her recipe). For the ice cream part, I had to use that rose water, like I said above. The ice cream it self was good, it's a basic vanilla ice cream but I made the rose water chips. You may or may not know that chocolate and water don't mix, but if you get a drop of water in chocolate the way to fix it and to make it smooth is to add more water. I melted the white chocolate over a double boiler and added 1 tsp of rose water and it separated and it wasn't pretty. I added another tsp and it was better and then I added another tsp and it seemed fine. I put a drop of rose food coloring in and spread it out on a Silpat and then froze it. Cut it into squares or "chips". They tasted like white chocolate with a hint of rose which was OK but, it was the "chewy" texture that was the problem. I went through with my plan anyway and added the "rose chips" to the ice cream after it was done churning and put it in the freezer. It was OK but from the start I wasn't excited about it and I should have listened to myself and made something different.