The Yummy Life™

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The Mediterranean Feast: Rack of Lamb

When Mediterranean food is being served, my mouth gets excited.  A barrage of adjectives come to mind.  Too many to list, really.  But here are a few: fresh, light, brilliant, zesty… I could keep going.  Maybe it’s because of the Mediterranean lifestyle.  I think maybe they’ve managed to somehow bottle it and infuse it into the regional cuisine.  From Italy, France, Spain and Greece come a regional style that hasn’t been duplicated anywhere in the world.

I have the good fortune of being able to source, locally, some of the best Mediterranean food products in the country in Yummy’s Choice.  They speak for themselves as they stand alone on the plate, but they also represent a palette of flavors that can be painted into limitless culinary creations.

I will be sharing some of my “paintings” with you each month.

One of my favorite street foods is the Greek Gyro sandwich.  The combination of flavors and textures is second to none.  At the same time, I’ve long believed that a well-plated rack of lamb is one of the prettiest things you could ever sit down to eat.  Why not combine the two?

Start by picking out a rack of lamb at your local butcher shop.  Typically, it will already be “Frenched” for you.  Here’s a fun video to show you how it’s done:

Moisten your lamb lightly and evenly with olive oil.  Season it generously with salt pepper, minced garlic and freshly chopped rosemary.  Be sure chop the rosemary as finely as possible.  Cover your meat in a pan, and refrigerate it for at least a few hours, overnight if you’d like.

Before you start your cooking, fill a plastic freezer bag with Yummy’s Choice Plain Pita Chips.  Poke a couple small holes in it to release air, and use a rolling pin or a fist to crush the chips into peas-size pieces.  Reserve these for plating.

Boil about 3 pounds of potatoes until they are about fork Tender, drain, and then return them to the pan.  Add ¾ of a stick of butter and a half-pint of heavy cream.  Mash them up to a desired texture, salt and pepper them to taste. Here’s where you give them some Mediterranean magic- fill a ¼ cup measure with finely chopped fresh mint and fresh rosemary.  Fold them into the potatoes, cover them and keep hot.  You should be able to coordinate this step while your lamb is roasting.

Now you’re ready to cook your lamb.  Heat a large skillet and add a few tablespoons of olive oil.  Sear your rack of lamb on each side until it starts to brown slightly, a minute or so.  This step will seal the meat and keep it moist as it roasts.  After you’ve seared the lamb, place it in a metal 9×13 pan, and place it in the middle oven rack and cook at 350 degrees for 15-18 minutes for medium rare-medium.  When you remove it from heat, place it on a cutting board for about 4-5 minutes to let it cool slightly and allow the juices to redistribute in the meat.  This step is very important in keeping your lamb deliciously moist.

When you are ready to plate, use a very sharp knife, evenly separate the chops.  Mound your potatoes in the center of the plate, and evenly rest the chops vertically against them, bone-side up and facing the potatoes.  Generously circle the items on the plate with Yummy’s Choice Taziki Sauce and balsamic glaze.  For aesthetic appeal, put the sauces into squeeze bottles for an attractive layout on the plate.  Sprinkle your crushed pita chips over the sauces on the plate.

You can serve this dish with a green vegetable of your choice… I’ve always been a fan of asparagus.  This dish will also pair well with pinot-noir, or a cotes-du-Rhone if you want your wine to come from a Mediterranean country.

Enjoy these brilliant flavors by sweeping your chops through your sauces, and Pita Chips will give a nice crunch with the soft, rich lamb meat.  The essences in the potatoes will blow you away, too.  Give this dish a trial run, and then impress your friends at a dinner party!

Ingredients:

Yummys Choice Pita Chips

Yummys Choice Taziki Sauce

Rack of Lamb, Frenched

Balsamic Glaze

3Lbs of Potatos (Gold potatoes if available)

¾ Stick of Butter

Half Pint of Heavy Cream

Fresh Mint

Fresh Rosemary

Salt and Pepper

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