Sunday, June 13, 2010

Stellar Weekend of Recipes to Share

It was a great weekend for cooking and entertaining. Many times a portion of a dish does not get executed according to plan: a bad mix of ingredients, something gets overcooked or overspiced, etc.

Other times everything comes together to really make an impression.

First meal this weekend was on Friday night.

Sousvide Lamb w/roasted tomato, cauliflower, mushroom. (Flickr photo)

I've talked about how much I love my favorite piece of cooking equipment at length. Here I'll simply say that the leg of lamb loin was sourced from Costco and cooked in the sousvide for 2.5hrs at an average temperature of 57 degrees Celsius. In the vacuum sealed bag went some zest of lemon, fresh rosemary and thyme, and salt & pepper. I am leery of adding olive oil or any other kind of oil as I have heard that most do not stand up well to the long term, high temperatures of the water bath.

My method of finishing the lamb is to fire up my grill, heat some grapeseed oil in my castiron saute pan (it has a higher smoking point than olive oil) then place it directly on the coals, and sear the meat for 90 seconds max on each side - just before its ready to be served. It's a triumph of flavor and juiciness.

The vegetables get their time on the grill as well (about 45-55 minutes), cooked on a cookie tray lined with aluminum foil and then covered with another cookie tray flipped over to make an effective oven that retains the steam and moisture.

I served this with a Sangiovese that sighed a deep breath of relief to finish its journey as well paired as it was!

Sunday night dinner: Steelhead Trout with Honeydew and Fried Shallots

This meal surprised me at how good the flavors and textures came together. It will definitely enter the rotation of meals in a pinch as it was relatively easy to put together. The recipe was inspired from the July 2010 issue of Food & Wine. It is a recipe by John Shields of Town House in the small town of Chilhowie, Virginia. What counts in my mind is his experience at Alinea in Chicago.

The original recipe appears here. You'll note I substituted honeydew for the cantaloupe - it was all I had and it wound up giving the plate just as pleasing a color palate. I also grilled the fish and added a bed of sauted spinach.

I paired this with a bracing and acidic Pinot Gris that did wonders on the oily fish.

Try these out and let me know how you fared!

Chive Veggie Face

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