Sushi Two Ways–Fish free

Well, it’s the middle of summer and it…is…HOT! As if the outside temperature weren’t enough, my giant kitchen windows face west. While having the setting sun’s rays streaming across my prep areas is aesthetically pleasing, it certainly raises the temperature of the kitchen noticeably. This, combined with the fact that the oven loves to radiate heat in any way it can makes for a sweaty dinner preparation. After a long day, any recipe that allows me to keep my cool is welcome in my house in the peak of summer for sure.

While my spring rolls are also a great choice, I do like to look towards sushi in times of serious heat. While it does involve cooking the rice, those of us lucky enough to automatic rice cookers (you’ll have to pry that appliance from my fingers–I’m never living without one) means that we can push the button and run away.

Since my palette has not quite graduated to raw fish, and living in a landlocked state hardly places confidence in any fish available, I love to make this fruit sushi as inspired from DK Sushi in Austin. About once every few months I get a craving for these flavors that can only be quenched by bringing out the sushi mat. For a more savory version, I have also made a cucumber and turkey roll that showcases the regional favorite, provel cheese.

If this post has ignited a need for sushi but you’re still craving that fish, I’d suggest checking out Amanda’s too-hot-to-cook post, the Poke Bowl with Avocado Rice, for some fish marinade suggestions that can easily be incorporated into a roll of your choice. For now though, enjoy these alternative options!

Yogurt Drizzle Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup of strawberry yogurt
  • 2 tbsp pineapple juice
  • 1 tsp sugar

Instructions:

  1. Stir together the yogurt, pineapple juice and sugar until you have a smooth consistency and sugar is dissolved. Chill until ready to serve.

Sushi Rice Ingredients:

  • 2 cups of uncooked, short grain white rice
  • Water
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 2 tbsp rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp salt

Instructions:

  1. Rinse the uncooked rice in cold water until the water is clear (this is very important!). I usually like to add rice and water to the pot in which I’ll be cooking and then use my hand as a claw to agitate the starches. Then drain the starchy water and repeat until the water is clear.
  2. Add 2 cups of fresh water to the rice pot and either cook using a rice cooker or the traditional method (bring to boil over stove, cover and cook on low heat for 15 minutes and fluff).
  3. Add the sugar, rice wine vinegar and salt to the rice and stir until well incorporated. Traditionally these are heated together to form a syrup but we’re trying to use heat as little as possible here and I find the residual rice heat can help dissolve the granules.
  4. Allow rice to cool for 15-20 minutes. It can still be slightly warm when you are ready to assemble.

Sushi Assembly Ingredients:

  • Fresh Pineapple, thinly sliced
  • Apple, peeled and sliced into matchsticks
  • Avocado, sliced
  • Fresh Mango
  • Strawberries, sliced
  • Nori Sheets
  • Black sesame seeds

Instructions:

  1. Sprinkle the black sesame seeds over your sushi mat and then spread 1/3 of your rice evenly onto the mat it in a square, about 1/4″ shorter than the nori height. Then add the nori, shiny side down.
  2. Place the slices of avocado, apple and pineapple about 2/3 of the way down the nori sheet trying to fill in as many gaps as possible. However, try not to overfill.
  3. Roll your mat over the filling ingredients and continue to roll. s you complete a rotation, press to make sure the roll is coming together. Pull the mat away from the roll as you keep going.
  4. Slice the roll into 8 equal portions.
  5. Using a vegetable peeler, peel slices of mango so you have a small 1 inch sheet of mango.
  6. With a pastry brush or your finger, brush a little bit of your yogurt drizzle onto the mango sheet and lay it over the top of one of your sushi pieces. Place a slice of strawberry on top.
  7. Once all pieces are assembled, drizzle the yogurt over top and enjoy!IMG_2880IMG_2882

Quick Cucumber and Turkey Sushi

  • Sushi Rice
  • Nori Sheets
  • Cucumber, seeded and sliced into matchsticks
  • Provel cheese (can also use cream cheese)
  • Sliced turkey, deli meat.

Instructions:

  1. Place the nori sheet, shiny side down on your sushi mat. Spread a thin, even layer of your sushi rice over the nori sheet and leave about 1/4″ of the nori visible at the top.
  2. Place the cucumber, turkey and cheese about 2/3 down the nori sheet avoiding gaps.
  3. Roll your sushi; when you get to the top, brush some water onto the nori to help it seal itself.
  4. Slice into 8 equal portions and enjoy.

Wine Pairing: Obviously, we’re going for refreshing here so a chilled white or rose wine sounds fitting. Something like a riesling is an excellent choice!

Poke Bowl with Avocado Rice 

Usually, Saturdays are cooking days in my house while I get ready for my blog dates with Merideth. In the heat of the summer, this is way less exciting. I just got back from a week in California and, now that I’m home in, realized I never truly appreciated how absolutely hot it is in Florida. This minimal-cooking, refrigerator friendly recipe is perfect for lazy, hot summer afternoons when you want to make the most of your air conditioning and chilled white wine.

Ingredients

Ahi Tuna and Marinade 

  • 1 tuna steak, sushi grade (about 1lb), cut into bite-sized chunks
  • 2 tbs soy sauce
  • 2 tbs sesame oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbs ground ginger 
  • Toppings: Sriracha, green onions, and/or sesame seeds (optional)

Avocado Rice

  •  2 cups cooked jasmine rice 
  • 1 medium avocado, diced
  • 1 tbs ground ginger
  • Salt and pepper 

Instructions

  1. Whisk marinade ingredients together and pour over tuna in a bowl and Marinade for at least 15 minutes.
  2. Stir diced avocado into jasmine rice until smooth. Season with salt, pepper, and ginger.
  3. Top rice with marinated tuna and other accompaniments as desired.

Wine Pairing: Though I’m tempted to justify a Pinot noir because I tend toward red wine, this tuna was great with a Pinot Grigio, which is slightly sweeter than a Sauvignon Blanc without being too rich.

Stir-fried Scallops with Strawberry Spinach Salad

Merideth and I are big fans of  MasterChef and their “stunning” dishes, including the signature “me on a plate” entries. In honor of the newest season, Merideth and I made our own signature dishes! For me, it’s scallops and a spinach strawberry salad. Probably not MasterChef worthy in its complexity, but tasty, light, and protein rich! Scallops and spinach are also high in iron, which I am usually low in due to my exercise.

There are two types of scallops you’ll commonly find: bay and sea scallops. Usually, I get sea scallops, as they are larger and better for pan-searing, but I didn’t pay close attention and got bay scallops for this dinner instead. No worries though – bay scallops are well suited for stir-frying! In both cases, seasoning with salt, pepper, and some lime juice is all you need.

Ingredients 

  • 1/2 lb scallops (about 25)
  • Canola oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • Lime juice
  • Spinach
  • Strawberries
  • Vinegrette: red wine vinegar, olive oil

Instructions

  1. Lay out scallops on a cutting board or plate and pat dry. Season with salt and pepper and let sit for about 5 minutes. Pat dry again.
  2. Heat canola oil in a skillet on medium-high heat and add scallops. If using the larger sea scallops, sear for 2-3 minutes on each side, or until the top and bottom are caramelized. If using smaller bay scallops, stir fry for about 5 minutes or until scallops feel more dense.
  3. Meanwhile, slice strawberries and use to top spinach salad. Dress with oil and vinegar!

Wine Pairing: I usually prefer red wine, but this goes well with a Sauvignon Blanc or, if you’re feeling fancy, some bubbly!

Chickpea Burgers with Pineapple Salsa

Its settled down now, but a few weeks ago it was raining nonstop here in Florida. We badly needed the rain, but it left outdoor dining options pretty limited (and gave me a good excuse to sit inside and enjoy the cloudy night!) Not having a grill anyway, I decided to go for a baked chickpea burger. The pineapple salsa was a last minute addition and made dinner feel tropical on a stormy night!

Ingredients

Chickpea Burger

  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 1 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs
  • 1 egg (or equivalent egg substitute)
  • Hamburger buns (I used Hawaiian sweet rolls!)

Pineapple Salsa

  • Pineapple chunks, drained
  • Salt
  • Red wine vinegar
  • Cilantro

Instructions

Chickpea Burger

  1. Preheat oven to 400.
  2. Add garlic, onion, chickpeas, and salt and pepper to taste to food processor and drizzle oil into bowl. Blend until it forms a rough paste.
  3. Empty food processor into medium bowl. Add egg and bread crumbs and combine.
  4. Mold chickpea blend into palm-sized patties, about 3 inches across and half an inch thing. If they cannot hold their shape, add a little more olive oil.
  5. Bake for 20 minutes.

Pineapple salsa

  1. Drain pineapple through colander and sprinkle with salt. Let sit for 20 minutes.
  2. Move pineapple to bowl and toss with red wine vinegar and cilantro to taste.
  3. Serve on top of chickpea patty.

 Rosé Strawberry Punch

Mix ingredients in a pitcher and serve!

  • 1 bottle rosé
  • Juice from can of pineapple, drained
  • 1 liter Sprite
  • Frozen whole strawberries (to chill your punch)

Enjoy!

Greek Chicken Burger

It was burger week for Amanda and me with our latest Distance Dishes date. While I don’t crave them often, something about that warm, summer air that has been moving in made me want to bite into a nice, juicy burger. While classic beef burgers are all well and good, we wanted to experiment with some alternatives for when red meat just won’t do.

Amanda got creative with a vegetarian version soon to come, but Mediterranean flavors were calling my name. With a heavily seasoned patty topped with a refreshing tzatziki, this burger packs an amazing flavor punch while still feeling refreshing. Biting into this delicious sandwich topped with fresh vegetables is quite the reward for standing over a hot grill (or pan).

One tip I will say Amanda and I both learned is not make your patties too thick or you’ll be waiting forever for that middle to cook. I had to delay our skype date because I was waiting for a safe internal temperature forever. The picture above is an eight ounce patty, but I’ve adjusted the recipe below. Learn from my mistakes 😉

Greek Chicken Burger Patty:

  • 1 lb ground chicken
  • 3 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 mini bell pepper, minced
  • 1/4 cup cooked spinach, chopped
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp pepper

Instructions: 

  1. In a large bowl, hand mix together all ingredients so that everything is well incorporated into the meat.
  2. Form into 4 patties and cook in a pan or grill over medium heat until internal temperature reaches 165°F. Then, they are ready for assembly.

Tzatziki

  • 1/4 cucumber, shredded
  • 1 cup greek yogurt
  • juice of half a lemon
  • 2 tbsp fresh chopped dill

Instructions: 

  1. Whisk together all ingredients and chill until ready to use.

Assembly/Toppings:

  • Ciabatta Rolls
  • Tomato
  • Red onion slices
  • Lettuce
  • Tzatziki

Assemble as desired and top burger with Tzatziki. If you’d like, serve with the Grilled Balsamic Zucchini and enjoy!

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Wine Pairing: For this meal, I wanted to try out a new pitcher and actually made a Summery Wine Punch (below) to add to the summery vibes. However, for a true pairing, actually a Pinot Noir might stand up to the tartness of the Tzatziki  while also balancing out the flavor profile. 

Summer Wine Punch: 

  • 1 bottle of dry white wine
  • 1 qt pink lemonade
  • 4 oz pineapple juice
  • Fresh, sliced strawberries for garnish

Add all ingredients into a pitcher, stir and serve with ice.

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Roasted Pork Tenderloin with Mango Cilantro Sauce

Wanting to live vicariously through Amanda’s recent vacation to the sparkling shores of Miami, we decided to cook up our best tropical inspired meals to keep the vacation magic alive. I, being nowhere near a beach now or in the near future, was a big fan of this idea. While munching on something with these tropical flavors is undoubtedly more enjoyable while breathing in the fresh sea air and listening to waves crash in the background, I’ll take what I can get.

Since I’m currently and tragically landlocked, and any attempt at obtaining fresh, Caribbean fish seemed futile, I opted for pork. Recently, I’ve been on a bit of a cilantro kick and I knew I wanted those fresh, albeit divisive, flavors to be included. Fortunately, cilantro pairs wonderfully with mango and nothing screams tropical to me more than the bold and tart flavors of the mango. This slow roasted pork tenderloin topped with the coconut sauce was enough to give me the taste of the vacation I didn’t have, even if I couldn’t quite smell the ocean air.

Roasted Pork Tenderloin:

  • 1 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper

Mango Cilantro Sauce

  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 1/2 onion
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 1 1/2 cups diced mango (I used frozen)
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped into fine pieces.
  • salt
  • lime juice
  • 2 Serrano peppers, minced.
  • 1 tbsp grapeseed oil (or canola/vegetable oil)

Instructions:

  1. For the pork tenderloin, pre-heat the oven to 375°F. Combine the garlic powder, cumin, paprika, cinnamon, cayenne, salt, and pepper in a small bowl and spread onto the pork tenderloin until all surfaces are covered.
  2. Place tenderloin in a roasting pan and roast in the pre-heated oven for 40-45 minutes, or until the internal temperature is at least 145°F. Allow to rest outside the oven for 5-10 minutes before slicing.
  3. While the pork is roasting (probably about 20 minutes before done), prepare the sauce. In a small pot over medium heat, add the onion, garlic, salt and grapeseed oil. Stir until the onions are fragrant and semi-translucent, about 3-5 minutes.
  4. Add the coconut milk, mango, and the Serrano peppers. Allow this to simmer until reduced by at least 1/3 and thickened, about 10 minutes.
  5. Remove from the heat and add the cilantro and lime juice. Wait for the cilantro to wilt and then transfer mixture to a blender (once cooled slightly). Pulse until the mango chunks are smooth and the cilantro is well incorporated–about 30 seconds to 1 minute. You can also use an immersion blender for this step if preferred.
  6. Transfer back to the stove to warm until the tenderloin is ready. Slice the rested pork tenderloin, and top with sauce. Enjoy!

Wine Pairing: While I’ll admit, I actually decided to make rum runners instead for this dish to get the full beach bar experience from my couch, I would say that an aromatic white wine, such as a chenin blanc would work nicely.

 

Farmer’s Market Challenge: One-Pan Steak with Spring Onions and Roasted Brussels Sprouts

It’s been spring in Florida since…February, basically…so I was so excited when Merideth’s true seasonal weather cleared up and we could do this Farmer’s Market challenge! There is a wonderful farmer’s market near where she and I went to college, so it felt extra fun to go revisit it for our post! Dragging my dog around the market (she had to sniff everything) was a fun experience and I definitely think I’ll be going back for fresh ingredients and the great community vibe.

Merideth and I set the ground rules that our dishes had to be made from the ingredients at the farmer’s market plus three home ingredients, salt, and pepper. After lots of wandering following the dog, I finally settled on some Brussels sprouts, spring onions, and cucumber. I had a steak at home and some butter and garlic to round out the menu. Not knowing how to incorporate the cucumber, I just ate it.

Being limited by ingredients pushed me to think more carefully about the preparation to impart extra flavor and, consequently, I decided to use my favorite technique: the one pan meal. Ingredients are added one after the other, so prepare the veggies and steak first to decrease total cooking time.

Ingredients

  • 1 ribeye steak (approximately 4-6oz)
  • 1 cup Brussels sprouts, halved
  • 1 bushel spring onions, trimmed halved
  • 4tbs butter
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • Salt and pepper

Instructions

  1. Melt 2tbs butter over medium heat in a cast iron pan, and add minced garlic.
  2. Saute onions in butter, turning occasionally, under tender (about 6-8 minutes). Remove onions and place in covered bowl.
  3. Season halved Brussels sprouts with salt and pepper. Melt additional tbs butter in pan, or as needed to cover bottom of pan.
  4. Add Brussels sprouts to pan and sear for 3 minutes. Turn and sear for an additional 4 minutes, or until tender. Remove sprouts and add to bowl with onions to keep warm.
  5. Pat steak dry and season with salt and pepper. Lay steak away from you in the pan to avoid burns from the hot butter. Using tongs, pick up steak after 3 minutes and hold fatty sides of steak again for about 10-15 seconds the pan to render the fat.
  6. Lay steak on opposite side and cook until desired doneness (I left it for another 2-3 minutes for medium rare. With about a minute left, add onions and Brussels sprouts to reheat and infuse flavor.
  7. Transfer contents to a plate and enjoy!

Wine Pairing: Because of the steak, char from the cast iron pan, and the simple seasoning of salt and pepper, this dish is good with a full-flavored red wine like cabernet. I had a local wine to go with the locally sourced vegetables!

 

Farmers Market Challenge: Asparagus & Sausage Pasta Bowl

Feeling inspired by our favorite cooking challenge shows, Amanda and I decided this week to give ourselves a bit of a challenge. Since I needed to get out and discover more of the area in which I live, and the warmer weather was in full swing, we decided on a farmers market challenge. The rules: try and get as many ingredients to create a dish from your local farmers’ market as you can. Everything in the dish must be made with something from the market with a few exceptions. The protein, salt & pepper, and three other ingredients to be personally determined could be used in addition to the fresh market items. It seemed simple…until I went to the market.

Let’s just say, the turnout was a bit underwhelming. There was one vendor of vegetables, and not much variety at that. However, the real treat of the day was a local farm selling their own meat. We picked up some locally produced pork sausages from this vendor, and then traipsed over to the vegetable cart to acquire some asparagus and garlic. This was my not so impressive haul from the market, although I suspect with the recent flooding in the area that it might not be typical. Needless to say, I looked at my purchases like a stressed-out contestant on Chopped, wondering what to do next. There was also a chocolate covered pretzel purchased, but that was promptly eaten on the ride home.

In the end, I used my three TBD ingredients (lemon, pasta and saffron) to put together this surprisingly quick and easy pasta dish and I will definitely be keeping it in mind for future weeknight dinners. The sausage added so much flavor that no other seasonings we needed, although the saffron did add a nice flavor if desired. I gobbled up this meal more enthusiastically and more quickly than many others I had made for this, and cleanup was a breeze.

Ingredients: 

  • 4 oz small pasta, I used rotini, but orzo or shells would work too.
  • Water for boiling.
  • 15 threads of saffron (optional)
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2-3 chicken or pork sausages of your choice, sliced into 1/2 inch slices
  • 10-15 stalks of asparagus, chopped into 1 inch pieces
  • 3-4 cloves of garlic, minced.
  • Freshly squeezed juice of half of a lemon
  • Pepper to Taste

Instructions:

  1. In a large pot, add enough cold water to handle the amount of pasta you have, probably no less than 1 quart, but more if needed. Add the saffron threads if using and the salt, and bring to a boil.
  2. Add the pasta and cook until al dente, about 6-10 minutes depending on your pasta. Once finished, strain the pasta, but do  not rinse.
  3. While the pasta is boiling, add the sausage slices to a skillet over medium heat and allow to brown for about 3-4 minutes. Add the asparagus and the garlic, which should be able to cook in the rendered fat from the sausages.
  4. Cook over medium heat for another 4-5 minutes until the asparagus is bright green and everything is cooked through.
  5. Add the drained pasta and stir to incorporate and re-warm the pasta.
  6. Remove from heat, add lemon juice, stir and serve! Top with pepper to taste.

Wine Pairing: This dish just seems so spring-like to me, maybe because of the journey to the market and eating on a warm spring evening before the sun sets. Because of this, a chilled glass of pinot gris just feels right. 

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A Trio of Tea Sandwiches

While reality television has never quite captured my attention, Amanda has recently gotten me hooked on a little show about the elite of Charleston called Southern Charm. The fourth season recently premiered and the Amanda household was kind enough to include me via Skype for their premier-watching party. Naturally, I wanted to make a meal that allowed me to feel the elegance and flavors of the south and to celebrate with the Florida crew in spirit.

I wanted to make something light, summery, and fancy-feeling that both touched on a southern classic (pimento cheese! yum!) but also represented the class of our favorite character on the show. Therefore, this trio of tea sandwiches–two savory and one sweet–was the perfect option for a viewing party (even if it was a party of one) and let me pretend I was one of the Southern Charm gang at one of their fancy garden parties (but without any drama or drinks thrown in faces).

Spicy Cilantro Cucumber Sandwich:

  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro
  • 4 oz can green chiles
  • 1 cup spinach leaves
  • 1 jalapeno
  • 1 tbsp lime juice
  • 4 oz cream cheese
  • 4 oz sharp cheddar cheese, freshly shredded
  • 1/2 cucumber, peeled and sliced thinly

Instructions:

  1. Combine cilantro, spinach, chiles, jalapeno and lime juice in a food processor and pulse until you have a fine puree. Add this mixture to a small bowl with the cream cheese and stir until combined. Refrigerate until ready to use.
  2. Spread the cream cheese mixture onto 3 of the white bread slices and top with cucumber slices. Top with the other 3 slices of bread to form 3 separate sandwiches.
  3. Trim edges and slice into triangles, and they are now ready to serve!

Pimento & Pulled Chicken Tea Sandwich:

  • 4 oz of cream cheese
  • 2 cups cooked chicken breast, shredded
  • 4 oz jar of pimento peppers, drained and rinsed
  • 4 oz cream cheese
  • 1/4 cup greek yogurt
  • 2 tsp hot sauce
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 6 slices of white bread

Instructions:

  1. Mix together the all ingredients (it does make it a bit easier if the chicken is still warm).
  2. Spread onto 3 slices of the white bread as thick and even as you can manage.
  3. Top with the other 3 slices of white bread to form 3 sandwiches.
  4. Trim edges and slice into triangles. Ready to serve!

Sweet Strawberry Mascarpone Tea Sandwich

  • 3/4 cup of strawberries, trimmed of greens and roughly chopped
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 8 oz mascarpone cheese
  • Loaf of angel food cake or pound cake
  • 3-4 large strawberries, trimmed of greens and sliced longways-thinly

Instructions:

  1. In a small saucepan over medium heat, add the strawberries, sugar and salt and cook for about 5 minutes until the sugar is liquified and the strawberries are mushy
  2. Pass this mixture through a fine sieve to filter out the seeds and allow to cool slightly.
  3. Once cooled, mix together the strawberry puree and the mascarpone cheese until fully incorporated and there are no white specs in the cheese.
  4. Refrigerate for 30 minutes to allow the cheese to cool.
  5. Slice the angel food cake/pound cake into 1/4″ thick slices.
  6. Spread the strawberry mascarpone onto one slice of bread and then top with sliced strawberries. Add another slice of the cake to the top. Trim edges and slice into triangles. Ready to Serve!

Drink Pairing: With these yummy sandwiches, I decided to forego wine this time in favor of a more Charleston representative cocktail: 2 parts firefly sweet tea vodka, 2 parts pink lemonade and 1 part firefly peach tea moonshine. Be warned though, these little numbers are tasty and dangerous. 

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Easter Lamb Shank and Side Dishes

This was our first recipe Amanda and I cooked together when we first had this idea to keep in touch through food and it was right around Easter last year! We decided for our first meal together, we wanted to cook the same dish so we’d have something to discuss on our skype dates. Our first meal was something of a departure from my usual dinner rotation recipes and it was a new experience in both cooking and eating for me. We decided to cook one of the traditional Easter recipes, a leg of lamb. However, upon examining the goods at the grocery store, we quickly and independently decided that a whole leg of lamb was entirely too much (much to my husband’s dismay) and decided on lamb leg shanks: much smaller and more economical.

To start, we both seasoned our lamb shanks similarly, and I decided to serve my lamb with a simple cauliflower mash and roasted green beans. It was the perfect introductory meal to our new food and communication goals which have so far been successful and a blast to continue.

Roasted Lamb Shank Ingredients:

  • 1 lamb shank, on the bone
  • 3-4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp fresh cracked pepper
  • 1/4 tsp ground thyme
  • 1/4 tsp dried marjoram
  • 2-3 sprigs of fresh rosemary

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F
  2. Trim the lamb shank of any large, unwanted pieced of fat, although it is not necessary.
  3. mix together the garlic, salt, pepper, thyme, and marjoram in a small bowl. Rub lamb shank with spice mixture and place in on rack in roasting pan.
  4. Add sprinkle some of the fresh rosemary over the lamb shank and add the remaining sprigs to the top for cooking.
  5. Place lamb shank on rack of roasting pan* and cook in oven for 30 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 160°F for Medium or 170°F for well done. I would recommend removing from the oven a few degrees lower than your desired temperature, covering with foil and allowing to rest for 10 minutes to keep everything juicy.
  6. Serve with vegetables of your choice, or the two recipes I made follow.

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*I did not have a specific roasting pan, so I fashioned these foil tubes to lift the shank above the floor of the pan so that it was not sitting in its own juices, and it seemed to work in a pinch. 

Cauliflower Mash Ingredients:

 

  • 1 head of cauliflower cut into rough florets
  • 2 cloves of garlic-minced
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Additional herbs to your liking ( I added a bit of rosemary, some oregano and thyme to tie to the lamb)

Instructions:

  1. Place the cauliflower in a large pot and pour in enough water to cover, you can salt the water a bit if you like
  2. Bring to boil and cook for 5-10 minutes until fork tender
  3. Drain and let the cauliflower cool a bit until it is suitable for a food processor
  4. Place in food processor with salt, pepper and any additional herbs and blend until smooth
  5. Reheat over low heat if necessary and serve

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Balsamic Roasted Green Beans Ingredients:

  • 1 lb of green beans ends removed
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 tbs balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • salt & pepper to taste

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F
  2. Spread green beans on a baking sheet and sprinkle on all other ingredients
  3. Use hands to toss ingredients together so that beans are well coated
  4. Bake at 375 for 20-25 minutes and enjoy!

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Wine Pairing: It makes sense that our first recipe would pair well with one of our favorite and most readily available wines. Because lamb has notes of traditional beefy flavors while also being pleasingly different, a fruit forward cabernet would be a great match with this dish. Happy cooking!