Dill Oregano Dry-Rubbed Rack Of Lamb

This Labor Day weekend we decided to get a rack of lamb for a special dinner.  We were planning on salmon, but when we went shopping it all was farm-raised and looked a little ragged.  I couldn’t remember the last time we did a rack of lamb (have we ever?!), but decided I was up for the challenge.  This recipe was so fantastically simple, I hope you all give it a shot sometime soon.  Tender, juicy, and flavorful––I will put this back on the menu sooner than later.

Dill Oregano Dry-Rubbed Rack of Lamb

  • 1/8 tsp lemon zest
  • 1/8 tsp sea salt
  • 1/8 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp dill
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
Process:
Let rack of lamb rest on counter to come to room temperature.

Combine all ingredients into your mortar and pestle and grind to a medium-fine consistency.

Rub this herb mix onto the entirety of the rack of lamb.  Preheat oven to 450ºF while the rub rests on the lamb.

Once the oven is preheated, place lamb in the oven (fat side up) for 8 minutes.  The top should be slightly browned at this point.  Then, lower the oven temperature to 350ºF and cook for approximately 20 minutes.  Keep an eye on the lamb’s internal temperature using a meat thermometer, and adjust the time to suit your preferences: an internal temperature of 120ºF will result in a rare cooking and 140ºF medium.  We took the lamb out after 21 minutes with an internal temperature of 130ºF, which was medium rare.

After removing the lamb from the oven, allow the meat to rest on a plate or serving platter for approximately 5 minutes tented with tin foil. Serve with a side or two of veggies. We enjoyed steamed broccoli and cauliflower with it.

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Bacon & Sweet Potato Jalapeño Boats

This was an experiment that Heather and I have been tossing up back and forth for about two weeks now.  We weren’t sure exactly how to execute it, but we finally pulled the trigger yesterday morning when we decided we were going to attend our first meat-up hosted by Stacy and Matt, of Paleo Parents fame.  We have lived in this area for some time and always had or found an excuse to not go, but it was absolutely amazing!  We also spent some time chatting with The Domestic Man.  Both of these blogs are great resources, if you’re not already aware of them.
If you are in the Northern Virginia area, I highly suggest you attend. If not, try to get together with friends monthly–the positive reinforcement and social gathering is very powerful.


Ok, enough preaching.  We threw these together for the gathering, and while I’m not sure they were perfect, I was pretty happy with the outcome.  The idea started as another “bacon-wrapped jalapeño” fill-in-the-blank, but then grew into a twice-baked sweet potato fantasy.  Here’s what you’ll need to make your own:

  • 2 large sweet potatoes
  • 6 strips Whole30 friendly bacon
  • 10 jalapeños, halved and cleaned
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • smoked paprika (for sprinkling)

 Preparation:

1.  Chop bacon into small chunks, peel (and shred) sweet potatoes, and halve and deseed jalapeños.
2.  Sautee bacon over medium heat to soften (no more than 2 minutes) and then add shredded sweet potato.
3.  Cook for 5 minutes, stirring regularly.
4.  Once cooked through, allow to cool and then place into blender or large bowl to mash.  Add salt and pepper.  At this point, preheat oven to 375ºF.
5.  With a spoon/spatula, fill jalapeño shells with mashed bacon and sweet potato mixture.
6.  Bake for 10-12 minutes.
7.  Remove and sprinkle with roasted paprika.
These were very hot, I think in large part due to the fact that Whole Foods only had gigantic jalapeños. Smaller sized peppers would definitely help.  Also try this mixture in mushroom caps or non-spicy peppers.  It is a great flavor finger food that’s also pretty filling.  We hope you enjoy!

Eggs with Saute of Baby Portobellos, Roasted Bell Pepper and Red Onion

This morning for breakfast, I threw together a few items found in our fridge and it turned out great! Sadly, I was in such a rush, I didn’t take any photos during the process. To be honest, I wasn’t thinking about posting this recipe at all! But, a request for details came in via Twitter, after I posted a picture of the final product; how could I deny their curiosity?

So, here it is…!

Eggs with Saute of Baby Portobellos, Roasted Bell Pepper and Red Onion

Ingredients:

  • 2 teaspoons of olive oil, separated
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 roasted red bell pepper, sliced* 
  • 2 slices, quartered, from one large red onion
  • 6 baby portobello mushrooms, washed and sliced
  • seasonings to taste: freshly cracked black pepper, sea salt, and fresh thyme
*I used a roasted red bell pepper from a jar (see below for a photo with the brand name); but you could certainly roast your own bell pepper, any color, prior to whipping this up. In fact, it would be best to roast your own because then you know exactly what’s in it–simply a bell pepper. If you buy, like I did, just be mindful (as you probably already are) of the ingredients. It’s amazing what companies sneak into what otherwise ought to be very simple jars of food!

Yield: 2 servings

Method:

1. With 1 teaspoon of the olive oil, sauté the onion pieces and mushroom slices for about 2 to 3 minutes over medium heat.
2. Toss in the sliced roasted red bell pepper and sprinkle with black pepper, sea salt and thyme.
3. Continue sautéing for 1 to 2 minutes, until bell pepper is heated through and the onion is just about translucent.
4. Plate, cover with tin foil to keep warm (optional), and set aside.
5. Next, cook the eggs. To make them over-hard: Pour the last teaspoon of olive oil into the same skillet in which you sautéed the veggies. Crack the eggs into the skillet. (Optional: sprinkle seasons over the eggs.) Turn down the heat to medium-low and cover the pan. Let it cook for about 2-3 minutes, flip the eggs, and let them cook another 1 to 2 minutes, or until yolk is firm.
6. Plate over your veggies and enjoy!

This jar is as free from sugars, additives and other nasties as we have found. Ingredients include Red Peppers, water, citric acid and salt. We buy it at Costco for a good price and once opened it’ll last at least a month (we’ve pushed it to two before) in the fridge.

Broccoli-Mushroom Sauté

Yesterday we completed our first Spartan race: The Mid-Atlantic Super Spartan 2012. It was 8 miles with over 75 obstacles (that’s a world record!), and we loved it. We’re both a bit sore and we have some scraps and bruises, but we feel great. We finished in under three hours and next year, we’re determined to do it in less than two. 😉

Anyways, to celebrate, we got nice New York Strip steaks for dinner tonight. We enjoyed these delicious cuts of meat from Whole Foods with a side dish that Brent dreamed up while we were wandering through the Costco.

While he grilled the steaks, I created this simple, sweet and savory sauté per his suggestion. (Woo, check out that little bit of alliteration! …sorry, word nerd alert, haha.) We hope you enjoy it!

Broccoli-Mushroom Sauté
Ingredients

  • 1 cup broccoli
  • 1 cup baby portobello mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/2 cup red onion (about two slices from a large red onion, quartered)
  • Sprinkle of homemade rosemary-salt (essentially, equal parts dried rosemary and sea salt)
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil

Method

1. Melt oil over medium heat.

2. Sauté broccoli for one minute.

3. Add mushrooms, onion, and a sprinkle of rosemary salt.

4. Sauté for 4 minutes.


5. Remove from heat and let it sit covered for about 2 minutes.

6. Serve next to your favorite steak and dig in!

Indian Spiced Whole Roast Chicken

This chicken was absolutely the most moist and tender roast chicken Brent or I have ever made. We were in complete awe of our success. The complex flavors and strong aromas had us smiling and drooling for days. It actually took us two days to make it, because our efforts were very much trial and error. But it was worth it. You must try this!


Indian Spiced Whole Roast Chicken
Ingredients

  • 1 whole, 4-pound chicken
  • 7 cloves garlic, separated into 4 cloves pressed and 3 cloves pressed
  • 3/8 teaspoon freshly grated ginger, separated into 1/4 teaspoon and 1/8 teaspoon 
  • 3 and 1/2 teaspoons graham marsala, separated into 1 and 1/2 teaspoons and 2 teaspoons
  • 1 teaspoon ground hot chili
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/3 teaspoon powdered tarragon
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 4 tablespoons ghee (or coconut oil or olive oil)
  • 6 cloves
  • 8 black peppercorns
  • 4 cardamom pods, cracked
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 cups chicken broth, separated evenly
  • 2 tablespoons of water
  • chopped fresh cilantro, for garnish
Method

*Note: This is a low and slow recipe. Plan to have it cooking all day.

1. Rinse the chicken inside and out, and pat it dry with paper towels or a cloth.

2. Make a paste by combining the following:

  • 4 cloves garlic, pressed
  • 1/8 teaspoon ginger, grated
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon ground chili
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice

3. Rub the inside cavity of the chicken and the entire outside of the chicken with the paste.

4. Place the whole chicken in your large baking/roasting dish, cover, and allow it to marinate for 2 to 3 hours.

5. Preheat the oven to 250 degrees F.

6. Heat the ghee in a skillet over medium-high.

7. Add the onion, 3 remaining cloves of garlic (pressed), and remaining 1/4 tsp of ginger (grated) and cook until the onion is browned.

8. Add the cloves, black peppercorns, cracked cardamom pods, cinnamon stick and 1 cup of the chicken broth to the skillet mixture. Simmer for about 2 minutes, until fragrant and well blended into a baste.

9. Spread the baste over the chicken, cover and cook in the oven for at least 90 minutes, basting every 15 minutes or so with the pan juices, or until the internal temperature of the chicken reaches somewhere between 150 and 155 degrees.

10. Uncover the chicken and pour the remaining cup of chicken broth over it.

11. Turn up the oven to 410 degrees F.

12. Bake the chicken until it browns on the top and reaches an internal temperature somewhere between 160 and 165 degrees.

13. Mix the tarragon and remaining 2 teaspoons of garam masala into the 2 tablespoons of water. Then drizzle over the chicken.

14. Finish it off by sprinkling a little chopped cilantro for garnish on top.

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