Monday, August 2, 2010
Everything tastes better when it's a baby. Eat a baby today.
It's true- everything tastes better when it's a baby. Baby cow- VEAL. Baby sheep- LAMB. Baby pig- SUCKLING PIG. Ok, so I've never eaten a suckling pig, but you have the idea.
I have no idea what is wrong with people who say that they can't eat lamb because lambs are cute. Seriously? Eating only the ugly animals means missing out on some truly delicious dishes. Now try saying that three times fast.
People who say they don't LIKE lamb probably never had it made well. We've had many a lamb stew on St. Patricks's Day (and when March looms closer, I'll definitely blog about our huge St. Patrick's Day feasts...)and enjoy the lamb lollipop appetizer at Bistro 135, but the best lamb I ever ate was tonight's dinner.
Again, I have relied on Giada's expertise. Her "Grilled lamb with salsa verde" was to die for! All five of us loved it and I had to stop Connor from going back for thirds. You can find this recipe in her book- Giada's Family Dinners, but I'll post it here as well. This is the first time I have bought a leg of lamb and I asked if it could be butterflied for the recipe. I was told that it was already deboned and that it would be easy to just slice it down the middle and open it up. Unfortunately, it wasn't as easy as he described it, and there was also a very thick layer of skin that I had to wrestle off! It was quite a scene and I was in fear that I might be ruining a very expensive piece of meat. Fortunately, I won the wrestling match and the lamb was wonderful. I would, however, recommend asking the butcher to do all of this for you and make your prep easier!
Here is the recipe- It's enough for about 6-8 people. We'll eat the leftovers in a bit of whole grain pita and yogurt sauce tomorrow!
Grilled lamb with salsa verde
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice (3-4 lemons)
1/2 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
1/2 cup chopped scallions
1/4 cup chopped fresh mint
1/4 cup salted capers, soaked, drained, and coarsley chopped
2 tsp. grated lemon zest
1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
3 1/2 tsp. coarse salt (I used sea salt)
1 1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1 (41/2-5 lb.) boned and butterflied leg of lamb
1 Tbs. minced garlic
Nonstick cooking spray
In a large bowl, stir the oil, lemon juice, parsley, scallions, mint, capers, lemon zest, and red pepper flakes to blend. Whisk in 1 1/2 tsp. of the salt and 1/2 tsp. of the black pepper. Set the salsa verde aside.
Place the lamb in a 15X10X2-in, glass baking dish (I used 13X9 and it worked fine). Rub the remaining 2 tsp. salt, 1 tsp. pepper and the garlic all over the lamb. Pour 1/2 cup of the salsa verde over the lamb, turning to coat it evenly. (At this point, lamb can be covered with plastic wrap and be refrigerated up to a day).
Spray a grill rack with nonstick spray and prepare a charcoal or gas grill for medium-high heat. Grill the lamb, turning occasionally, until a meat thermometer inserted in thickest parts registers 130 degrees for medium-rare. (The recipe says about 40 minutes, but it only took about half that time on our gas grill. Transfer the lamb to a work surface and let it rest for 15 minutes.
Cut the lamb across the grain into thin slices. Arrange the lamb slices on a platter and drizzle with some of the reserved salsa verde. Serve with remaining salsa verde alongside.