Archive for February, 2007

Rack of Lamb & Potato Gratin

Although Valentine’s Day was almost two weeks ago, I’m just getting around to my dinner recap. My husband and I usually do not go out for Valentine’s Day, we just don’t like the crowds or the inflated prices. I prefer to stay home and cook something extra special that I normally wouldn’t cook for a regular dinner. This year I tried making one of my favorite meals I order out but have never tried making myself before- Rack of Lamb. I didn’t have Rack of Lamb for the first time until a few years ago at a upscale restaurant in Cape May, NJ. I can still remember how succulent and juicy the meat was. If it’s on the menu, I will almost always order it.

I found the recipe for Rack of Lamb with Rosemary Scallion Crust on the Food Network’s web site. It was from Cooking Live with Sara Moulton. I don’t think I’ve ever made one of her recipes although I often watch Sara’s Secrets. The recipe only had two good reviews and it sounded relatively simple and tasty so I went for it. It was quite time consuming and messy, but the results were absolutely delicious! The rosemary scallion crust with just a hint of heat was very complimenting to the juicy lamb meat. And I must say, it looked beautiful as well.


Along with the lamb I also chose to make fresh broccoli and yes, another one of Sara Moulton’s recipes. I chose to pair the lamb with a Gruyere Potato Gratin, and while I normally would not eat Gruyere on it’s own, I think it has a delicious texture and taste when melted. Again, the result of the gratin was perfect. It looked beautiful and tasted scrumptious. The melted Gruyere was just the right compliment to the soft potatoes and combined with the lamb, it was a perfect pair. Both dishes were quite time consuming, it took me approximately 2 and a half hours to pull this whole meal off. This would make a great meal for a quite romantic dinner or even for a large dinner party.



*No substitutions were made to either recipe.

Overall rating: 4.5 stars

Rack of Lamb with Rosemary Scallion Crust

Recipe courtesy Gourmet Magazine

1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 teaspoon dried hot red pepper flakes
1 garlic clove, minced
3 tablespoons thinly sliced scallion including the green part
1 teaspoon dried rosemary, crumbled
1/2 cup fresh bread crumbs
1 (1 1/4 pound) trimmed and frenched single rack of lamb (7 or 8 ribs)
Salt and pepper, to taste
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup mustard
Watercress sprigs, for garnish
In a small skillet heat the oil over moderate heat until it is hot but not smoking, add the red pepper flakes, and cook them, stirring, for 10 seconds. Add the garlic and cook it, stirring, for 30 seconds. Add the scallion and the rosemary and cook the mixture, stirring, for 10 seconds. Stir in the bread crumbs and salt and pepper, to taste, and remove the skillet from the heat. Mix the mayonnaise and mustard in a small bowl, set aside. Heat an ovenproof skillet over moderately high heat until it is hot and in it brown the lamb, seasoned with salt and pepper, turning it for 5 minutes, or until the sides and the ends are browned evenly. Pour off any fat from the skillet, arrange the lamb, fat and meat side up, and brush with mayonnaise/mustard mixture. Then pat the crumb mixture evenly on the fat and meat side of the lamb. Bake the lamb in the middle of a preheated 475 degree oven for 15 minutes, or until a meat thermometer registers 130 degrees for medium-rare meat. Transfer the lamb to a platter, let it stand, uncovered, for 10 minutes. Serve garnished with watercress sprigs.


Recipe Summary
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Yield: Yield: 2 servings

User Rating: 5 Stars



Episode#: CL9641
Copyright © 2006 Television Food Network, G.P., All Rights Reserved

Gruyere Potato Gratin

Recipe courtesy Gourmet Magazine

2 pounds large red potatoes
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 cups coarsely grated Gruyere (about 6 ounces)
2 large eggs
2 cups milk, heated just to boiling
Preheat an oven to 400 degrees F and butter a 1 1/2-quart gratin or shallow baking dish. Bring a large saucepan of salted water to a boil. Peel potatoes and cut into thin slices (about 1/8-inch thick). Add potatoes to boiling water and par cook for 4 minutes. Drain potatoes well in a colander.
In gratin or baking dish, arrange potatoes, overlapping them, in 3 layers, sprinkling first two layers each with a third of Gruyere and salt and pepper.
In a small bowl whisk eggs and add hot milk in a stream, whisking. Season mixture with salt and pepper and pour evenly over potatoes. Sprinkle potatoes with remaining cheese and bake 30 minutes, or until top is golden and potatoes are tender.
Wine Suggestions: Penfold Shiraz Rosemount Shiraz


Recipe Summary
Difficulty: Easy
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Yield: 4 servings

User Rating: 4 Stars



Episode#: SS1A04
Copyright © 2006 Television Food Network, G.P., All Rights Reserved


Comments (4)

Balsamic-Glazed Pork Chops


This is one of Rachael Ray’s recipes that I will make again and again. I’ve noticed over the last few years, her recipes are hit and miss with me. Some come out very good, like this Balsamic-Glazed Pork Chops, and others were disasters (tales for another time my friends). The glaze combines olive oil, balsamic vinegar, honey, chicken stock, fresh rosemary and thyme, onions and garlic. The result is a slightly sweet and tantalizing sauce that not only compliments the pork chops but whatever starch you serve with it. I usually serve brown rice with this but have also served couscous.  Surprisingly, I could not locate this recipe on The Food Network but found it on this site. I did not make the Arugula-Basil Rice Pilaf with this as you can see from the pictures. I tried it the first time and it really did not impress. I did serve a vegetable with this, but it was just frozen corn and wouldn’t have made the picture look any better (although I know the picture is looking pretty bland and beige)!

Overall rating: 4.5 stars

Balsamic-Glazed Pork Chops with
Arugula-Basil Rice Pilaf

Recipe from: Rachael Ray 365
by Rachael Ray
Cookbook Heaven at

Serves 4

  • 3 tablespoons cold unsalted butter

  • 1 (6 ounce) box rice pilaf mix, such as Near East brand

  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO)

  • 4 (1-inch-thick) center-cut pork loin chops

  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

  • 1 small onion, chopped

  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves (from a couple of sprigs), chopped

  • 1 sprig of fresh rosemary, chopped

  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped

  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar (eyeball it)

  • 2 tablespoons honey

  • 1 cup chicken stock or broth

  • 2 cups trimmed and chopped arugula (from 1 bunch)

  • 15 to 20 fresh basil leaves, shredded or torn

  1. In a medium pot over high heat, combine 1 tablespoon of the butter and 1 3/4 cups water. Cover and bring to a simmer. Add the rice and flavor packet to the water. Stir to combine, reduce the heat, and cook for 18 minutes, covered.

  2. While the rice is cooking, heat a large skillet over medium-high heat for the chops. Add 2 tablespoons of the EVOO (twice around the pan). Season the chops with salt and pepper, then add to the hot skillet. Cook the chops for 5 minutes on each side.

  3. Transfer the chops to a platter and cover with foil. Return the pan to the heat and add the remaining tablespoon of EVOO and the onions, thyme, rosemary, and garlic, then sauté for 4 to 5 minutes. Add the balsamic vinegar, honey, and chicken stock. Cook until the liquids have reduced by half.

  4. While the glaze is reducing, finish the rice pilaf. Add the arugula and basil to the cooked rice, stirring with a fork to fluff the rice and combine the greens at the same time.

  5. Once the balsamic glaze has reduced by half, turn off the heat and add the remaining 2 tablespoons of cold butter. Stir and shake the pan until the butter melts. Add the chops to the pan and coat them in the balsamic glaze. Serve the glazed chops alongside the arugula-basil rice pilaf.

Comments (1)

Shrimp in Green Sauce


I can’t begin to tell you how many times I’ve made this recipe since I first discovered it in the January 2004 issue of Cooking Light. I absolutely love this meal! It’s been a go-to recipe for several reasons: it’s quick, it’s easy, it’s delicious, and it looks beautiful! Shrimp in Green Sauce is an Iberian recipe, probably the only Iberian recipe I’ve ever made, that reminds me of a scampi dish, but better. The green sauce is not only vibrant against the contrast of the pink shrimp but the fresh herbs create a fabulous aroma. Additionally, the green sauce is so light, fresh, and flavorful, that it’s a must as Cooking Light suggests, to soak every last bit of it up with some bread. This dish could easily be served over rice or pasta as other reviewers on Cooking Light have remarked. Because of the flavor, ease, and presentation of this dish, I suggest this as a great meal for guests when you want to impress.

Overall rating: 5 stars!!

Shrimp in Green Sauce

From Cooking Light
This Iberian dish is similar to shrimp scampi. Good bread to soak up the rich sauce is a must.

3 1/2 tablespoons extravirgin olive oil
6 garlic cloves, peeled
1 cup coarsely chopped green onions
1 cup coarsely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
2 1/4 pounds large shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/3 cup dry white wine
6 ounces sourdough or French bread, torn into 6 (1-ounce) pieces

Preheat oven to 500°.Place olive oil and garlic in a food processor; process until garlic is finely chopped, scraping sides of bowl occasionally. Add green onions and parsley in food processor; pulse until minced. Spoon garlic mixture into a large bowl. Add 1/2 teaspoon salt, black pepper, red pepper, and shrimp to garlic mixture, and toss well to coat.

Spoon the shrimp mixture into a shallow roasting pan, and add the wine. Bake at 500° for 7 minutes or until the shrimp are done, stirring once. Serve with bread.

Yield: 6 servings (serving size: about 5 ounces shrimp mixture and 1 ounce bread)

CALORIES 352 (30% from fat); FAT 11.8g (sat 1.8g,mono 6.6g,poly 2g); PROTEIN 37.6g; CHOLESTEROL 259mg; CALCIUM 131mg; SODIUM 630mg; FIBER 2g; IRON 5.6mg; CARBOHYDRATE 19.5g

Cooking Light, JANUARY 2004

Comments (9)

Hamburger Soup


I found this recipe while looking through The Good Home Cookbook. I wanted to make soup and this one sounded quick and easy, but odd. I was a little hesitant to make this. Okay, I admit, I was feeling a bit food snobbish when I read it (same way I feel when my husband sneaks a can of Chef Boy-ar-dee in our grocery cart). It turned out to be a decent tasting soup. Didn’t really remind me of having a juicy, mouth-watering hamburger. More of quick and simple veggie soup that just happened to have ground beef in it. I think in the actual cookbook, Richard Perry describes this as a good soup that the kids will enjoy. I think he was right. This is a good, go-to recipe if you have small kids and can tempt them to eat soup by calling it Hamburger Soup. I doubt I would make it again, good, but just wasn’t memorable.Overall rating- 3.5 stars (me – 3, hubby- 4)

Hamburger Soup from The Good Home CookbookServes 4 to 6

1 tablespoon oil

1 pound ground beef or ground turkey

1 medium onion, finely chopped

3 cups beef broth (page 118) (I used canned beef broth)

1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes

3 tablespoons chili powder

2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce

Salt and pepper

1 cup elbow macaroni

1 cup frozen corn

1 cup frozen green beans or peas

Grated Parmesan cheese (optional), to serve

1. Heat the oil in a large soup pot or saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the meat and brown, about 8 minutes, stirring to break up any clumps. Add the onion and sauté until soft and translucent, about 3 minutes. Drain off any fat.

2. Add the broth, tomatoes, chili powder, and Worcestershire sauce. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil. Stir in the macaroni, reduce the heat, and simmer until the macaroni is tender, 15 to 20 minutes.

3. Stir in the corn and green beans or peas. Simmer until tender and heated through, about 10 minutes.

Comments (1)

Triple-Corn Spoon Bread


Although this recipe was in the November 1997 issue of Cooking Light, I didn’t discover it until recently when I had purchased the Holiday Cookbook from Cooking Light. This was so incredibly easy to make and was absolutely delicious. I would definitely consider this comfort food and a perfect side dish. I did not use margarine for this recipe, instead using Land O Lakes Fresh Buttery Taste Spread. Definitely consider making this easy side dish for any meal or bringing to a potluck. Enjoy!

Overall rating: 4.5 stars

Triple-Corn Spoon Bread

From Cooking Light
This moist, slightly sweet dish is a cross between corn bread dressing and creamed corn.

1 cup fat-free sour cream
3 tablespoons stick margarine, melted
1 large egg
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 (15.25-ounce) can no-salt-added whole-kernel corn, undrained
1 (14 3/4-ounce) can no-salt-added cream-style corn
1 (8 1/2-ounce) package corn muffin mix
Cooking spray

Preheat oven to 350°.Combine first 3 ingredients in a large bowl; stir well with a whisk. Stir in onion, corns, and muffin mix. Pour into an 8-inch square baking dish coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350° for 1 hour or until pudding is set and lightly browned.

Yield: 8 servings

CALORIES 262 (30% from fat); FAT 8.6g (sat 2.2g,mono 3g,poly 2.9g); PROTEIN 6.2g; CHOLESTEROL 28mg; CALCIUM 15mg; SODIUM 322mg; FIBER 1.6g; IRON 1.2mg; CARBOHYDRATE 39.3g

Cooking Light, NOVEMBER 1997

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