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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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A Lovely Leg of Lamb

I didn’t get to do a blog entry yesterday. We had company early and all day, so I just never had time to do it, so today I will probably do two posts to get caught up. Catching up is more for me because it keeps me writing, but it also keeps everything on schedule for my meal plan as well. Anyway, yesterday was Roast Leg of Lamb, Baked Potatoes, Cauliflower and Turnips (and it was quite tasty by the way). None is hard to make, just maybe a little time-consuming and there is some prep work to be done, but it’s well worth it.

Roast Leg of Lamb

5-6 pound leg of lamb (semi-boneless or boneless is fine, although boneless is quite expensive)

1/2 cup Dijon mustard

2 tablespoons soy sauce

1 clove of garlic, mashed

1 teaspoon ground rosemary

1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

2 tablespoons olive oil

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a small bowl, blend mustard, soy sauce, garlic, rosemary and ginger until mixed thoroughly. Whisk in the olive oil by droplets to make the mixture have a mayonnaise-like consistency. With a rubber spatula, paint the mixture on the lamb to coat it thoroughly. Set the lamb on a rack in a roasting pan. Cover and refrigerate for 2-3 hours to allow to marinade.

Roast lamb in 350 degree oven until an oven-safe thermometer inserted in the meat reads 150 degrees for medium-rare (about 1-1 1/4 hours), or 160 degrees for well done (about 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 hours).

Making the marinade and marinading the lamb takes longer than the actual roasting, but it does add a nice flavor and crust to the meat.

For the side dishes, I made baked potatoes, which we have done before. If you would like to see my method for making them, you can check here for the recipe. Both the cauliflower and the turnips are quite simple to make but I will put both recipes up here so you can see what I did with them.

Steamed Cauliflower

1 head (about 2 pounds) cauliflower. cored and florets cut into 1-inch pieces

Place a steaming rack or basket into a large pot or Dutch oven and add water until it touches the bottom of the rack. Bring the water to a boil over high heat. Lay the cauliflower in the steaming rack, cover, and steam until tender, about 7 to 9 minutes. Check the pot periodically to make sure the water has not boiled dry, adding more water as needed.

The turnips are just as simple:

Pureed Turnips

1 1/2 pounds turnip, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes

Salt

2 tablespoons olive oil or butter

Ground black pepper

Place the cut turnips in a large pot with water to cover and add a large pinch of salt. Bring to a boil and cook until the turnips are tender, about 10 to 15 minutes. You want them fully tender but not mushy. Drain the turnips well, reserving some of the cooking liquid. Cool slightly and put them in a blender or food processor with as much of the cooking liquid as you need to get the machine going. (You can also mash the turnips with a large fork or potato masher, adding the cooking liquid as needed.) Add the olive oil or butter and stir, then taste and season with more salt if necessary and sprinkle with pepper.

You could also add up to 1/2 cup of cream, sour cream, half-and-half or milk to make the mixture rich and creamier if you like.

That was our dinner yesterday, and there were some leftovers, which makes things a perfect lead-in for tonight’s dinner, which will be Shepherd’s Pie. We’ll be using the leftover lamb and turnips as part of the recipe, which I’ll be posting later on today as the start of our one pot meals week. Until then, enjoy your afternoon and I’ll be back later!

 

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

 

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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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