Monday, March 30, 2009

Pesto Burger

Starting April 1st we will begin "Gourmet Burger " month. The pesto burger will be one of the choices. We will be using a ground chuck with 80% lean to 20% fat-I do not approve of lean burgers. They are dry and nasty, these are juicy and delicious, with a luxurious topping of fresh mozzarella cheese, and my own pesto which includes fresh Basil, parmesan cheese, pine nuts, and olive oil. Served on a corn meal dusted Kaiser Roll-butter toasted.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Rack of Lamb Roasted with Red Potatoes
I got this rack of lamb at Trader Joe's for the amazing price of just over $15, At my regular butcher, this rack would cost about $35. It is frozen, and pre-seasoned, two drawbacks as far as I'm concerned, but the roast was tender and juicy. I'm definitely picking up more of them.

1 lamb rack, bones Frenched

1/4 cup Dijon mustard

2 Tablespoon of minced fresh Rosemary, divided in half

1 Tablespoon of minced fresh Parsley

2 Tablespoon of butter, melted

1/2 cup bread crumbs

1 pound of red potatoes, size "B", or quartered large ones

1/4 cup olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees

In a roasting pan just large enough to hold the rack, toss the potatoes with the olive oil, salt, pepper, and 1 Tablespoon of the minced Rosemary, roast for 1/2 hour.

While the potatoes are roasting, season the rack on all sides with salt and pepper, next spread the fat side of the rack with the dijon mustard.

Toss the bread crumbs with the melted butter, 1 Tablespoon of the Rosemary, and the Parsley.

Pat the seasoned bread crumbs onto the Dijon coated lamb rack.

After the potatoes have roasted for 1/2 hour, place the lamb rack-bread crumbed side up, on top of the potatoes.

Return to the oven and continue roasting for 20 to 25 minutes for medium rare.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

A Jackie Kennedy Inspired Lunch.

Lori Lynn, who writes Taste With The Eyes, wrote about a preparing a Kennedy themed dinner party. It inspired me to create one of the dishes on her blog. It is an over the top salad with green and yellow beans interspersed with slices of foie gras, served over butter lettuce with dijon vinaigrette. It was an amazing combination of flavors, textures, and colors. Visit Lori's blog Here.

I also pulled out one of my books on the Kennedy's "In the Kennedy Style" written by Letitia Baldrige (Jackie's Social Sec) and Rene Verdon (White House chef for the Kennedy administration). From that book I chose to make Homard en Bellevue, which was a fish course served at a state dinner on May 11, 1962 honoring Andre Malroux, an important French diplomat and author. In the book, it is a lobster salad served under aspic. While personally I like aspics, I find alot of Americans do not, so I served the salad with Tarragon vinaigrette instead of being covered with aspic.

Homard en Bellevue has an interesting history. It was created for King Louis XV by Madame Pompadour, his mistress, or rather his mistress's staff-I heard she wasn't much of a cook herslf. Bellevue was the name of the chateau Louis built for her.

First I made a potato salad with small diced potatoes, baby turnips, carrots, and peas, dressed with mayonaise flavored with tarragon vinegar. Lobster tails are poached and pulled from their shells. When the lobster cools, slice the tails into 1/2" slices. Mound the potato salad into the lobster shells and lay the lobster slices across the salad. I served the stuffred lobster tails on a salad of pea shoots with tarragon vinaigrette on the side.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Banana Flan

Tim, a culinary student as well as one of our line cooks, made this lovely flan last week. He is especially interested in baking desserts, and his favorite flavor is banana. So when he wanted to bake this I said do it.

For the caramel:
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup water

In a saute pan, dissolve the sugar in the water and bring it to the boil. Boil until the syrup becomes a rich amber color.

Pour the caramel into custard cups and swirl the caramel around the sides of the cup.

2 1/2 cups half and half
1/4 cup banana liqueur
1/4 cup sugar
3 eggs
3 egg yolks

Whisk all of the ingredients together and strain. Pour the strained custard into the prepared custard cups and bake in a bain marie in a preheated 325 degree oven for 45 minutes to 1 hour until the custard is set and an inserted knife comes out clean.

Chill for several hours. To unmold, run a thin knife around the edge of the cup and unmold the custard, be sure to let all the caramel run out over the top of the flan. Serve with fresh fruit, if desired. We made a compote of bananas, oranges, and strawberries.