Saturday, April 11, 2009

Friday Night,Lamb Loin Chops

Easter is this weekend and there has been a lot of recipes recently with lamb because of that. So even though I never had lamb (I may have tasted a bite of Tony's one time when we went out), I started thinking that should be the main dish. I always thought it would be gamey, but the lamb loin chop wasn't at all. I was pleasantly surprised.

Prosciutto, broad bean and goat cheese crostini

Jamie Oliver now has his own magazine. I love Jamie, he knows his food. Tony brought home the first Jamie magazine on a recent trip to the book store, this was one of the recipes he had in that magazine. You toast 1/4 inch slices of ciabatta bread on both sides under the broiler or on a grill then rub one side with a garlic clove. Top each toast with a mixture of goat cheese, lemon juice, lemon zest and salt and pepper (mix it up until it becomes spreadable). Over that he tears apart pieces of panchetta and cooks it until it starts to turn brown (I used prosciutto) add broad beans or adamame and cook a few more minutes. After dressing the bean and prosciutto with a combination of lemon juice and olive oil salt and pepper, spoon the bean mixture over the cheese. Top with chopped red chili and fresh tarragon leaves. Really good combination and a good way to start off the dinner.

Grilled Lamb Loin Chops with tarragon pesto and warm goat cheese sauce
You're going to think I can't make a meal with out using goat cheese. We do love it, but this time it was part of a recipe I was following. I marinated the lamb for an hour in garlic, fresh rosemary, cayenne, salt and olive oil. Grilled the lamb or 3-4 minutes on each side and finished in 400 degree oven for another 5 minutes. It came out medium rear to medium, which turned out to be perfect, usually I am a medium-well kind of girl but I loved it that way. The pesto was fresh tarragon, garlic, Parmesan, chopped pecans, chicken stock, olive oil, salt and pepper all buzzed up in a food processor. I loved the tarragon pesto. Warm goat cheese sauce turned out to be not necessary in my opinion. The sauce was just softened goat cheese 6 Tbsp to 4 Tbsp heavy cream heated in a small saucepan. It was OK, I probably won't do it again.

Roasted Mustard Sage Sweet Potatoes and Roasted French Beans
I liked these sweet potatoes. It's sliced sweet potatoes (1/4 inch disks), olive oil, Dijon mustard, maple syrup, fresh sage leaves, salt and pepper, all tossed together and roast in a 375 degree oven for 30-40 minutes or until they start to brown. The roasted french beans were simply tossed with olive oil, salt and pepper and roasted along with the sweet potatoes (in a separate pan) until they were done which took about 25 minutes.

Caramel cinnamon apple pie served with house made Tuaca Ice Cream
Dessert is always my favorite part of the meal and it has to be great because it's the last thing you taste and it makes the biggest impression. I first thought that I would make Tuaca ice cream. Tuaca is a liquor that, to me, tastes like butterscotch or caramel and it's good to sip but I keep thinking that it would be a good ingredient for a dessert. So I decided to add some to a custard type homemade ice cream, I added just 1 tablespoon, it was subtle, but it was definitely there and it was delicious. I thought I would look for something to accompany the ice cream that was caramelly or butterscotchy, so after looking around on food I found "Caramel Cinnamon Graham Apple Pie with Caramel Pecan Cream", courtesy of David Armes. I didn't make the caramel pecan cream part but I made the crust which was made with shortening instead of my normal butter recipe. The apple pie with the cinnamon graham cracker "crumble" on top was very nice. The apple's were tossed with a whole cup of sugar, where usually you would use 1/3 cup or so. I was worried it would be too sweet but it wasn't at all. I used gala apples. Overall, another wonderful Friday night dinner! Now what will I do next week????

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