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It’s Time For a Roast, Where’s Shecky Greene?

Okay, so it’s not really that kind of roast, but I decided I wanted to do an entire roast dinner tonight to try to make clean up as easy as possible for all of us here. Michelle had picked up a boneless leg of lamb roast that she wanted for dinner this week. I looked through some of my cookbooks for different recipes, and everything seemed pretty straightforward and not very exciting. I wanted to try something else, so I turned to my Twitter account and posed a question to some food experts to see what kind of response I would get. Bon Appetit gave me quite a list of recipes to choose from to make the lamb. America’s Test Kitchen and Christopher Kimball both gave me some good tips as well, but nothing really jumped out at me that I felt like I really wanted to try, so I kept asking. And then I got an answer I liked from Alton Brown. He gave me the link to a recipe of his called “Silence of the Leg O’ Lamb.” While this recipe does call for the lamb to be grilled, that wasn’t really an option for me in New York in November. He also uses a charcoal grill, which I do not have, so I had to modify the recipe a bit to be roasted in the oven.

Roasted Boneless Leg of Lamb

1 sirloin end leg of lamb, boned

4 cloves garlic

8 fresh mint leaves

1 tablespoon brown sugar

1 teaspoon kosher salt

2 teaspoons black pepper

5 tablespoons Dijon mustard

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

2 sprigs fresh rosemary

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Roughly chop the garlic cloves in the food processor. Add the mint and repeat. Add the brown sugar, salt, pepper, mustard and oil and blend into a paste. Spread the paste evenly on the meat side of the roast. Roll the leg into a roast shape and tie with butcher’s twine. Place the lamb in a shallow roasting pan and roast for about 20 minutes per pound, until the internal temperature of the lamb reaches 135 degrees. Remove the roast from the oven. Cover with foil and let the lamb rest for 15 minutes before slicing and serving.

The paste made more than enough to also do the outside of the lamb, which I also did, creating a nice crust on the outside of the lamb. It was cooked perfectly and tasted wonderful. The hint of mint coming through the mustard was great and I loved the garlicky flavor that went throughout the meat. I roasted some potatoes in the same pan with the lamb and they got some of the same mustard crust on them, which made them extra crispy on the outside.

For a vegetable, we had picked up a nice head of cauliflower. I find steamed cauliflower to be very bland and frankly, kind of smelly and not always appealing. I decided to try roasting it instead and I am glad I did. It seemed to make all the difference in the world in taste, flavor and smell and since I was roasting in the oven already anyway, it made it just as easy.

Roasted Cauliflower

1 head of cauliflower, cored and cut into florets

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Arrange the cauliflower florets in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle the olive oil evenly over the florets, then sprinkle with the salt. Toss to coat the cauliflower evenly, then spread the florets out evenly.

Roast the cauliflower, stirring 1 or 2 times, until golden brown and crisp-tender, 25 to 35 minutes. Transfer the cauliflower to a warmed serving bowl. Serve immediately.

I loved the way it came out this way and would make it like this all the time. I can also use some of the leftovers to make some cauliflower soup for later on this week.

That’s it for tonight. Check back later on this week to see what else I come up with for meals. I have some more chicken ideas for this week and also have some cod to make, so we’ll have to see what I can find. Until then, enjoy your evening and enjoy your meal!

 
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Posted by on November 6, 2012 in Cooking, Dinner, Lamb, Vegetables

 

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Lamb, Redux

Okay, so I have leftover lamb from dinner yesterday, leftover turnips and some mashed potatoes from a few days ago. This all adds up perfectly to make a Shepherd’s Pie. It will be quick, easy and a great way to use up the leftovers. You can make shepherd’s pie with ground beef instead of ground lamb if that suits your tastes better, but since I have the lamb anyway, and that is the traditional ingredient, than why not?

Shepherd’s Pie

3 cups lamb, cooked and diced

1 tablespoon butter

1 small yellow onion, finely chopped

2 carrots, finely chopped

3/4 cup frozen peas, thawed

1 cup beef broth

1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme

2 cups  cooked and cooled mashed potatoes

2 cups cooked, pureed and cooled turnips

Take the 3 cups of lamb and run through a food processor until ground. Set aside. In a large saucepan or skillet over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the onions and carrots and cook, stirring often, until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the peas, ground lamb, broth and thyme and bring to a simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally, until heated through, about 7 to 10 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Spoon the hot lamb mixture into a baking dish. Spread the turnips over the top of the mixture evenly, then spread the mashed potatoes evenly over the top of the turnips. Place the dish in the oven and cook until the potatoes start to brown and the edges of the pie begin to show some bubbles, about 7 minutes. Serve directly from the baking dish.

You can serve the pie with some nice, crusty bread, which I’ll  be doing since I forgot to serve the bread last night with dinner and have not heard the end of it from Michelle and Sean :). A quick meal, easy clean up and a good use of what is left over from previous meals.

Tomorrow’s meal will be from scratch and it’s going to be a good one. I’ll be making Chicken Marsala in the slow cooker tomorrow with some rice on the side. It’s the first time I’ll be making it in the slow cooker, so it will be interesting to see how it turns out. If you have any questions, comments or any input at all, feel free to leave a comment or message here. I hope everyone had a nice, long weekend and enjoy your meal tonight!

 
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Posted by on February 20, 2012 in Cooking, Dinner, Potatoes

 

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This Week’s Meal Plan

We made it home from Saranac Lake. Winter Carnival was lots of fun and we had a great time visiting everyone, but we are all pretty tired tonight, so they’ll be no cooking tonight. Tonight we rely on the delivery of Planet Wings to feed us. They have good wings and burgers and we don’t have to leave the comfort of our home to enjoy it, so that’s what we are going with today. if you want to check out Planet Wings, you can visit their website here. We did, however, go shopping and have the meal plan in place for this week. Since it is going to be a bit chillier this week, we are going with two soup dinners for the week to war us up:

Monday: Chicken and Rice Soup

Tuesday: A special Valentine’s Day meal: Riesling Onion Soup with Herbed Croutons, Rib Eye Steak with Red-Wine Sauce, Spinach Sauteed with Pine Nuts, and Warm Molten Chocolate Cakes (I know, a dessert! Well it’s a special occasion)

Wednesday: Cream of Cauliflower Soup (our meat-free meal of the week)

Thursday:Oven-Fried Catfish with Potatoes and an Herb Salad with Champagne Vinaigrette

Friday: Pot Roast, Mashed Potatoes and Green Beans

Saturday: We have down as a leftovers day.

Sunday: Roast Leg of Lamb, Roasted Potatoes, Carrots

You’ll need a few things that you may not normally buy to make some of these recipes, like the Riesling wine for the onion soup, cocoa powder for the chocolate cakes, pine nuts for the spinach, champagne vinegar for the vinaigrette, catfish, and leg of lamb. We’re doing some entertaining this week since Sean is off on Friday, we’ll entertain for Sunday dinner, and Valentine’s Day will be a special weeknight meal, so we do have some more labor-intensive recipes this week, but none of them are very difficult or time consuming. Even though the pot roast takes several hours to cook, once it’s prepared, it pretty much takes care of itself, and you could do it in a slow cooker if you prefer. You’ll also need lots of chicken stock this week since we are really making 3 soups, so if you had a chance to make some of your own stock, you’re in luck. I’ll have to make some more stock of my own to cover everything for the week.

Well, sorry, it’s a short post today, but I am tired from all the driving (it’s a 4 hour trip back from Saranac Lake) and I am going to eat some wings 🙂 Tune in tomorrow to start off the week with a nice, simple recipe of Chicken and Rice Soup. if you have any questions, comments or just want to say hello, please do! I look forward to any input at all. Have a great night and we’ll start cooking again tomorrow!

 
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Posted by on February 12, 2012 in Cooking, Dinner, Meal Plan Menu

 

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Jennifer Probst

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Laissez Faire

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