Sunday, January 24, 2010

Lamb with Olive Crust

KSo, first order of business, it's Love Boat's birthday. He's six. We call him Dinky, because of this:

I mean, seriously. How could you NOT call him Dinky? You can tell from the picture he was a punk even then. This is him now.

Bigger, "phatter", and slingin' more 'tude.

So Happy Birthday to Dinky Doo, who got a bath instead of a kegger and a bunch of Hooters chicks for his birthday. Poor doo. And he had to smell our dinner of Lamb crusted with olives and mashed potatoes and roasted carrots and parsnips. While he ate Hard Crunchy Bits. (Well, to be fair, I did give him a bite of lamb and a couple of raw carrots. It won't kill him.)

Lamb with Olive Crust
Mashed potatoes with olive oil and parmesan cheese
Roasted carrots and parsnips

It was just a plain old meat and potatoes night, for the most part. The lamb was good, but I'm not sure I'll do the olive crust again. It didn't stick well to the lamb and I'm (ooo!!! My husband just brought me a cup of post-dinner coffee!! Yay!) where was I?  - Oh yes, I'm not sure I was terribly pleased with it. The lamb had good flavor, but when I carved it, the crust just popped right off. I need to check with the Food Geek on that one. (He's a cool, funny dude, and if you follow him on Twitter, you'll get to see pics of his new kitten.) But the flavor was good. It's a Fine Cooking recipe. (I know, you're shocked. Close your mouths.) So in keeping with my new menu planning trend, I present to you the recipes and a shopping list, just in case you want to try any of this. My comments in italics.

Rack of Lamb with Herb & Olive Crust
Recipe By : Molly Stevens (
LOVE her stuff!! She's awesome!)
Serving Size 6

OK, I know. You're going "Geez, Andie! Rack of Lamb? On a school night??? Here's the deal. Costco has these pretty smallish racks of lamb for a really good price, and occasionally, I'll snag one and shove it in the freezer. It makes a good dinner for the two of us, plus enough leftover for lunch. So there you go.
1/3 cup very coarsely chopped pitted Kalamata, Picholine, or Manzanilla olives, or a mix
1/4 cup very coarsely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 1/2 Tbs fresh thyme (I was out, and it's January here, so no grow. I used rosemary, of which I have gracious plenty.)
2 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped

pinch crushed red pepper flakes
1 1/2 Tbs mayonnaise
1 rack of lamb (7 to 8 ribs each), trimmed, or frenched (um... whatever. I just opened the package and went to town on it.)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

3/4 cup fresh breadcrumbs

1.Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 450°F. (I used the gas grill outside and put the lamb on a foil lined baking sheet.)
2. Combine the olives, parsley, thyme, garlic, and red pepper flakes in a

mini food processor or a mortar. Process or pound with a pestle to a rough paste. Stir in the mayonnaise. Set aside. (Have I ever mentioned how much I love my food processor?)
3. Spread the breadcrumbs in a pie plate. Coat the surface of the lamb with the olive paste, then roll the meat in the breadcrumbs, pressing the crumbs so they adhere. Arrange the rack, bone side down, in a roasting pan (or in my case, on a foil-lined sacrificial baking sheet on the grill). Wrap the tips of the bones with a strip of foil so they don’t burn. (psh. sure. On a school night? who cares if they're burned? I don't happen to be cooking for The Queen.)
5. Roast until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the meat reads 120° to 125°F for rare or 130° to 135°F for medium rare, 20 to 25 minutes (the temperature will rise about another 5°F once it’s out of the oven or off the grill). Let the lamb rest for about 5 minutes. Cut down between the bones to carve into chops, then serve.

Here's what it would have looked like if I worked for Fine Cooking and had a photographer as good as Scott Phillips.


Oh. And if I had nice dishes and had bothered to set the table all pretty. Which I didn't, so much. At least we had silverware and napkins. Anyway, their crust is all still attached. Mine wasn't. But the lamb was that pink and pretty. And it was tasty!

Mashed Potatoes with Parmesan Cheese and Olive Oil
5 medium Yukon Gold potatoes
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp salt (more to taste)
1/4 cup good quality extra virgin olive oil
1/4 (or less) milk

Boil the potatoes in salted water until tender. Put them through a ricer when they're doe,or peel and mash. Mix in parmesan cheese, olive oil, and salt. Add milk to the desired consistency.

Roasted Parsnips and Carrots
5 carrots, peeled and cut into same size chunks
5 parsnips, peeled and cut into same size chunks
1 Tbs. olive oil
pinch kosher salt
a few grinds of black pepper
pinch nutmeg
pinch of ground thyme

Toss the carrots and parsnips with the olive oil, salt and seasonings. Place on a parchment lined baking sheet. Roast at 400F for about 30 minutes, until browned and tender.

Final Step:
After eating, yell obscenities at Birthday Dog for trying to eat the placemat, have husband clean kitchen (but clean some as you go so as not to get "You have GOT to be kidding me! I'm not cleaning this!!", then have husband bring you a cup of coffee while you sit on your heinie at the computer and eat bon bons. Or Jelly Bellies. Whatever. Listen to Bad Birthday Dog snore.

Shopping List

5 medium Yukon gold potatoes
1 lb. carrots
1 lb. parsnips
fresh rosemary
1 head garlic

Small Rack of lamb (2 - 3 medallions serves each person)

Ground thyme
Ground nutmeg
Red pepper flakes
Good Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Regular Olive Oil

Good parmesan cheese
Kalamata olives
Bread (for bread crumbs)



DCGuru said...

I've had other meats with Crust on them and they seem to always fall off so don't feel bad (-: love your blog

Andie Reid said...

Thanks! Go Team Nekkid! :)