Category Archives: Lamb

Rack of Lamb with Dijon Bread Crumbs

Photo Dec 03, 7 33 11 PM RACK OF LAMB

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Hi Everyone, 

I hope all is well and your holiday plans are coming together. I still can’t believe that it is December and Christmas is right around the corner.

Last night, I posted on my private Facebook page a photo of my dinner that consisted of rack of lamb, glazed carrots and creamed spinach and I was shocked to receive over 392 comments.

So many people want to make this meal for their holiday celebration that I decided to post all the recipes on the blog as a guide. I made the lamb and carrots from scratch but I have to say, I cheated because of time and used Boursin cheese to help me make the creamed spinach.

Enjoy and Happy Holidays!

Until my next post, make every day a celebration!

Stay well,

Diane

I used the rack of lamb recipe from one of my recent cookbook purchases. 

The recipe in the book is slightly different from the Williams Sonoma website recipe printed below. I listed all the differences in the “Cooks Notes” below.

Williams Sonoma- Steak and Chop.

Photo Dec 04, 11 56 54 AM cookbook

Roast Rack of Lamb with Dijon Bread Crumbs 

Rack of lamb is elegant yet easy to prepare, making it a perfect dish to prepare for a special dinner party. Ask your butcher to French the bones—that is, scrape off any meat and fat from the top 1 1/2 inches (4 cm) of each bone—for the prettiest presentation, then carve the racks into chops at the table in front of your guests.

Ingredients:

  • 2 racks of lamb, each 1 1/2 to 2 lb. (750 g to 1 kg), Frenched
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1/4 cup (2 fl. oz./60 ml) Dijon mustard
  • 3 cups (6 oz./180 g) fresh bread crumbs
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 Tbs. finely chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 large bunch radishes, trimmed and halved lengthwise
  • 2 Tbs. finely chopped fresh chives

Directions:

Season the racks of lamb generously with salt and pepper. Spread the mustard evenly over the meaty sides of the racks. Let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes.

Preheat an oven to 375°F (190°C).

In a bowl, stir together the bread crumbs, garlic and rosemary. Using your hands, press the bread crumb mixture into the mustard, covering the meat in an even layer and pressing the crumbs firmly so that they adhere. Place the racks of lamb, with the bread crumbs facing up, on a rack in a roasting pan. Scatter the radishes in the pan, around and underneath the racks of lamb. Roast until the crust is well browned and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the meat, away from the bone, registers 130°F (54°C) for medium-rare, about 25 minutes, or until done to your liking.


Transfer the racks of lamb to a carving board, cover loosely with aluminum foil and let rest for 10 minutes. Sprinkle the chives on top of the lamb, then carve the racks into double chops and serve immediately with the radishes alongside. Serves 8.

Cooks Note: I seared the racks first in a frying pan with olive oil to brown on all sides and set aside to cool before adding the mustard.

Cooks Note: I added a little olive oil and 2 tsp. of garlic powder to the bread crumb mixture.

Williams Sonoma Test Kitchen

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Carrots Glazed with Mustard and Brown Sugar

Brown sugar caramelized with butter and Dijon mustard creates a sweet-hot glaze for carrots. A sprinkling of fresh chives adds a colorful finish.

Ingredients:

  • Salt, to taste
  • 8 large carrots, peeled and sliced on the
     diagonal
  • 1 Tbs. unsalted butter
  • 1 Tbs. Dijon mustard
  • 1 Tbs. firmly packed light brown sugar
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 1/3 cup coarsely chopped fresh chives or flat-leaf
     parsley

Directions:

Bring a saucepan three-fourths full of water to a boil over high heat. Salt the water, add the carrots and cook until tender, 6 to 8 minutes. Drain well.

Return the carrots to the pan and set over medium heat. Add the butter, mustard and brown sugar, season with salt and pepper, and stir gently to coat. Cook, stirring constantly, until the carrots are evenly glazed. Transfer to a warmed serving bowl and sprinkle with the chives. Serve hot.

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Creamy Boursin Spinach Recipe

Total:15 mins

Prep:5 mins

Cook:10 mins

Yield:4 Servings

Boursin cheese makes a quick and easy sauce for fresh spinach. Make this dish for a weekend meal or special holiday dinner, and garnish with a little freshly grated Parmesan cheese.

Ingredients

  • 10 to 12 ounces baby spinach(rinsed)
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup red onion (finely chopped)
  • 1 container (4.4 ounces) light Boursin cheese with garlic and herbs
  • 1 tablespoon grated nutmeg
  • Dash freshly ground black pepper
  • Garnish: shredded Parmesan cheese

Directions

  1. In a large saucepan, sauté the onion in butter over medium heat. When onion is softened, add the rinsed spinach. Cook, stirring until spinach has wilted.
  2. Stir in the Boursin cheese, nutmeg, and pepper until cheese is melted.
  3. Serve garnished with a little shredded Parmesan.

 

A Hidden Treasure

recipes-1024x576---RECIPES FOR BLOG USE FOR BLOG TITLE

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Hi Everyone,

I just have to share this story with you… 

This is not a post with a lot of pictures, but instead a story of fate and a special recipe.

 Let me give you a little background so you can truly appreciate the story. Please continue to read…

When I was a little girl my mother made a lamb dish with egg and lemon sauce, that was one of my all time favorites. My mother made it every time I asked for it. If I requested that she make it “soon”, it appeared on the dinner table that night. I don’t even know the name of it.

Even when I got married my mother still made it for me. I never thought to ask for the recipe or watch how it was made because you never think that one day, Mom won’t be able to make it for you.

My mother started to have problems with dementia and was later diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease so she could no longer remember how to make this dish. And being a true Italian mother of her generation, she never wrote a recipe on paper. It was all by memory.

I have no living family members that I could ask for the recipe, so I started my own search. I read cookbook after cookbook; even seeking old used Italian cookbooks from Amazon hoping for an answer. And I never found anything close to my Mom’s.

There were a few Greek lamb recipes that I found that added dill, artichokes and marjoram. There were other ethnic lamb stew recipes that I found along the way that added celery, onions, garlic, carrots and tomato paste but nothing that even came close to what my mother made.

My mother used minimal, but always the best ingredients she could find and I knew a recipe with a long list of ingredients just wouldn’t be the same.

My mother was from Naples and every time we dined in a restaurant that featured Neapolitan style cooking I would ask the owner and chef about this dish, but none have heard of it.

Bob and I took a weekend trip to Boston and visited the North End which is filled with Italian restaurants. I told Bob I felt lucky that I would find the recipe there but the more I asked, the more “no’s” I received. No one had ever heard of this dish.  After searching for so long, I thought that my mother must have made this recipe up herself and it was definitely gone forever.

Recently I posted a picture of my pasta piselli with prosciutto to one of the food groups on Facebook that I belong to. I received a comment from a lovely woman named Stacey Ann that I had never spoken to before. She told me that her brother Frank made the same dish in the same set of Italian dishes (the Deruta from my blogiversary post) and we couldn’t believe the coincidence. 

We started chatting and she told me that her brother had a website with a collection of Italian recipes, that was a tribute to their grandmother Angelina. 

After some conversation, we exchanged blog names and I went on her brother’s site to look through some of her family recipes. It is a beautiful site and they have recipes listed by course, region and season. I was browsing the spring section and there in front of me was this recipe…

“Agnello Brodettato” translated to Lamb Stew with Egg and Lemon.

I swear my heart skipped a beat and my eyes filled up with tears. It looked exactly like the dish my mother made for me. After searching for over 20 years, the recipe was finally right in front of me. I couldn’t believe it and I must have read the title 20 times just to make sure I wasn’t dreaming.

I contacted Stacey Anne to tell her what happened and to thank her and her brother Frank, a million times for letting me discover this “hidden treasure” after all these years.

A funny thing happened to her with my blog as well. She told me that the first recipe she looked at on my blog was a recipe that she was searching for, Crockpot Chicken. We both found our recipes by a chance meeting on social media.

I quickly wrote down all the ingredients and went to the store.

The minute I came home I started to cook.

I am not sure how I read the recipe because I had tears in my eyes the whole time. But once the smell of this dish was in the air it took me back 50 years to when I was 10 years old and ate this dish frequently with my family. It was almost as if my Mom was with me once again.

I just couldn’t believe how blessed I was at that moment.

Here is a photo of the ingredients and then my final result.  

Photo Feb 20, 5 22 02 PM LAMB INGRED...

Photo Feb 20, 7 45 20 PM lamb

All the years I tried to describe this dish to my husband and we were finally able to eat it together. I felt that Mom was there in the kitchen with us.

It’s funny how a food, a scent, an article of clothing can bring you back to some wonderful memories.

Frank’s site is “Memorie di Angelina – Easy Authentic Italian recipes” 

Go on the site and read the wonderful recipes, maybe you will find a hidden treasure too. 

It was absolutely DELICIOUS!

I guess the lesson here is to never, ever give up hope…

Here is the link to his beautiful site…

Memorie di Angelina

And here is the recipe…

I did tweak it a little by adding more lemon…

and I served it with crusty garlic bread to soak up the pan sauce…

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Agnello brodettato (Lamb Stew with Egg and Lemon Sauce)
 

Total Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes

Yield: Serves 4-6

Frank’s photo:

agnellobrodettato LAMB FROM fRANK'S WEBSITE photo

Ingredients

    • 1 kilo (2 lbs) lamb stew meat, cut into cubes
    • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
    • 50g (1 oz) fatty prosciutto or pancetta, chopped
    • Olive oil or lard
    • Flour
    • White wine
    • Salt and pepper
For the egg and lemon finish:
  • 2 egg yolks
  • Juice of one freshly squeezed lemon
  • A few sprigs of parsley, finely chopped

Directions

  1. The recipe is simple but a bit tricky at the end. You begin with a soffritto of an onion and 50g (2 oz.) of rather fatty prosciutto (or pancetta), chopped together finely and gently sautéed in olive oil or, if you want to be truly authentic, lard.
  2. Then add the lightly floured cubes of lamb meat and turn up the heat a bit. Allow the meat to brown lightly—taking care not to burn the onion—and season with salt and pepper. Then add a splash of dry white wine and allow it to evaporate completely.
  3. Add enough water to almost cover the meat, lower the flame and cover. Let the lamb braise until tender, normally about an hour but the time will vary depending on how young your lamb is and how big your cubes of meat are.
  4. Shortly before the meat is done, beat two egg yolks in a bowl and mix with the juice of a freshly squeezed lemon and finely chopped parsley. When the meat is fork tender, remove from the heat. Add a spoonful of the cooking liquid to the egg and lemon mixture to temper it, then pour the mixture immediately over the lamb and stir, until well incorporated. Return to the burner over very low heat and keep stirring gently, until the egg has thickened the cooking liquid into a smooth, silky consistency.
  5. Serve immediately.

Notes

The trickiest part of making Lamb Stew with Egg and Lemon is the final addition of the lemon and egg mixture. If you let it cook too long or get too hot, the egg may curdle and the sauce will ‘break’, so let it just thicken to the point where the sauce will coat a spoon and remove it immediately from the heat. (NB: The residual heat from the pot will continue to cook the egg and thicken the sauce, so allow for that.) If things seem to be getting out of hand, add a few more drops of lemon juice, which should cool the sauce enough to prevent it from separating. If you are using a terracotta or enameled cast iron cooking vessel, you may well find that the pot retains enough residual heat that you need not put it back on the heat at all.

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Until my next post, make every day a celebration!

Stay well,

Diane

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