Two servings of lamb in one week might be overkill, but test this dish in advance so you can entertain with confidence. “Frenched” lamb racks have excess fat and sinew between the bones cut to free ribs for presentation.
2 18-oz (510-gram) organic lamb racks, Frenched and cut in half, with fat cap removed
2 Tbsp (30 mL) flour
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 egg, beaten
Lavender and Prosciutto Crust
2 cups (500 mL) fresh bread crumbs
3 Tbsp (45 mL) chopped chives
2 Tbsp (30 mL) chopped lavender
1 cup (250 mL) ground prosciutto
1/2 tsp (2 mL) salt
1 tsp (5 mL) cracked black pepper
2 Tbsp (30 mL) minced onion
1 tsp (5 mL) minced garlic
1 Tbsp (15 mL) cracked pepper
2 cups (500 mL) red wine (Pinot Noir)
2 Tbsp (30 mL) maple syrup
2 Tbsp (30 mL) cold butter
2 Tbsp (30 mL) chopped chives
Preheat oven to 425 F (220 C). Combine all ingredients for Lavender and Prosciutto Crust. Wipe lamb dry. Combine flour, salt, and pepper and dust lamb. Dip lamb in beaten egg and wipe off excess. Cover lamb with lavender mixture on all sides.
Oil roasting pan and heat in oven 5 minutes. Add lamb, bone side up. Roast 10 minutes. Turn and cook 15 more minutes for medium rare. Remove lamb and allow to rest.
To prepare Reduction Sauce, pour out excess oil from lamb pan. Add onion, garlic, and pepper. Cook over medium heat 1 minute, scraping pan with wooden spoon to loosen crystallized bits of meat. Add wine and maple syrup and continue to cook until sauce reduces to 1/3 cup (80 mL). Whisk in butter and chives. Serve immediately. Serves 4.
source: "Spring Dinner Party", alive #282, April 2006
A tribute to the bounty and beauty of nature, this chocolate bark is studded with nuts, seeds, and berries and flavoured with the warming spices of ginger and cinnamon. Adding sweet paprika and chili also gives an interesting kick to a winter favourite. Cut back on the red pepper flakes if you prefer a less spicy version. Chocolate contains tryptophan—an essential amino acid—that helps our brain produce serotonin. Eating chocolate is a delicious way to get a mood boost, which can help lift our spirits when sunlight levels are low. Food of the Gods In the taxonomy of plants, the cacao plant, from which chocolate is derived, is called Theobroma cacao. Theobroma comes from Greek for “food of the gods.” Cacao comes from the Mayan word for the plant.
Up your omega-3 intake with these easy-to-make salmon parchment pockets. The sockeye fillets are first rubbed with a marinade of juniper berries, citrus zest, and garlic before being enclosed in parchment. Juniper has a strong and piney flavour and lends a unique tang to this dish. It also contains antioxidants with anti-inflammatory properties. Be sure to capture the juices that arise during steaming. No mortar and pestle? Crush juniper berries by laying them between two sheets of parchment and bashing them gently with a rolling pin.
Escarole is a bitter green that stands up to heat and is suitable for grilling, braising, or using in soups. In this salad, it’s broiled with radishes before being dressed in a sweet, garlicky dressing that cuts the bitterness. Escarole is high in folate (vitamin B9), important in red blood cell formation, and vitamin A, important in immune function and eye health. Like kale and other cruciferous vegetables, it’s also very high in vitamin K, which assists in blood clotting. Bitter green substitutes If you can’t find escarole, use frisée (also called curly endive), mustard greens, or radicchio. Romaine also stands up to heat well and makes a good substitute, but it lacks the characteristic bitterness of the others.
In Japan, it’s a custom to eat kabocha squash on the day of the winter solstice as a symbol of good health. In fact, kabocha squash contains cancer-fighting antioxidants such as beta carotene and lutein. It’s also full of fibre and vitamins A and C. We’ve made a roasted version dressed in a sweet and tangy marinade that’s sprinkled with sesame seeds before roasting in the oven. The remaining marinade, full of ginger, tamari, and red pepper flakes, is used as a dressing to further flavour the squash. Know your squash You’ll recognize kabocha squash by its dark green rind and round shape. Its yellowish-orange flesh is sweeter than other types and has been likened to a cross between sweet potato and pumpkin. The rind is quite hard but is edible when cooked. Wash squash well and take care while cutting. You can microwave the whole squash for 4 to 5 minutes prior to cutting to help soften the rind and make things a bit easier.