Thursday, 29 March 2018
Unless it was pasta, I really can’t remember a dinner that my mother didn’t serve potatoes as a side dish – all right the odd time like “once in a blue moon” kind of thing. My father has always been a “meat & potato” type of guy. Although I enjoy potatoes, I could easily reduce the servings down to twice a month… I’m still like that! Ironically enough David is like my father… okay perhaps not as excessive as my dad. Anyway, when we have two servings of potatoes as a side dish a week, I make sure that I serve something else. When I was living by myself, many months in a row I didn’t have any potatoes at all… I’m a big salad eater!
Tuesday, 27 March 2018
Quick, easy, delicious and elegant recipe…
Do you like entertaining?
I sure do! David and I like having people over, sharing stories, laughs and good food along with a nice bottle of wine. Everyone is relaxed… well almost everyone! The only person who cannot fully relax until dinner is ready is the “home chef”. I love cooking but it’s always nicer to be able to spend some time with our guests. The last thing I want is to be stuck in front of the stove, cooking, sautéing and stirring food while I could be with them relaxing…
Easter is coming and then summer will be arriving soon afterward which means backyard parties, gatherings, big family dinners, celebrations, and so on… If you are like us, entertaining is fun but can be quite demanding especially when some recipes have to be prepared relatively right before serving. I try to reduce my time in front of the stove and having more time conversing and laughing with guests but I’m not always successful with my plan… lol!
A few years back, David ordered a beautiful rack of lamb for two at Metropolitan Grill in Seattle. I was surprised because he has never been a big fan of lamb. Perhaps because Michael, the general manager, who has known us for years, highly recommended this dish but we took his suggestion. I'm glad we did because the lamb was fantastic! I usually enjoy some mint jelly on the side but that time, I had it without any condiment… it was that good! What was also great was the fact that David finally gave lamb a try and he liked it. This is not his favorite meat but at least now, he’s more willing to eat some versus almost never before.
Lamb Chops… the solution!
Here’s a recipe I enjoy making for a few reasons and it is my Lamb Chops with Balsamic & Red Wine Reduction! What I like about this is it is so quick to make. Besides marinating the lamb for 30 minutes (*see note below), from cooking to serving it takes half an hour all together. Also it is an elegant dish to serve your guests. The reduction gives a nice flavorful dimension and wraps it so beautifully. The added beurre manié at the end of the reduction thickens the sauce but also brings a nice glossy finish to it which makes this dish even more appealing…
Surprisingly many people don’t enjoy the taste of lamb but if you do, this is a great lamb dish for you to try. It is the perfect quick meal to serve when you don’t want to stand in front of the stove cooking for hours. I like to serve this with steamed veggies and baby potatoes for a nice presentation as they don’t take too much time to make either – I’m definitely working on my time management… lol!
*NOTE: You can always marinate the lamb loin chops ahead of time. Just place them in the fridge and when ready to cook, let them sit on the counter for 30 minutes like I did in the video. In my opinion, when meat is not too chilled, it cooks evenly from center to edge.
For ingredient amounts and much more, visit http://clubfoody.com/recipe/lamb-chops-with-balsamic-red-wine-reduction/
Monday, 26 March 2018
To make beurre manié, you need an equal amounts of butter and unbleached all-purpose flour. In the video, I use 1/2 cup of each. If you want to make some ahead and freeze it, portion beurre manié in teaspoons. It is the safe way to go as it’s a standard measure when added to sauces and soups.
Beurre Manié vs. Roux…Although beurre manié and roux are both thickening agents and made with equal amounts, the stage of cooking and other components vary from one to another.
Beurre manié is added to warm or hot liquids at the final stage of cooking. As the flour particles are coated with butter, when butter melts, it releases them which helps to thicken without getting any lumps. It also gives a nice shiny texture to sauces.
While roux seems pretty much the same, flour and fat besides butter such as other oils, are cooked right at the beginning as a base for sauces, soups or stews. The length of cooking depends on the level of brownness.
Here’s a recipe that I use this thickener in…Lamb Chops with Balsamic & Red Wine Reduction