Friday, September 24, 2010

The last tidbits of lamb

 Ok. Like I said before this one pretty much cooks itself.  Here I am making nice vertical slices of all the veggies, letting their color and form shine.  Then I cube the eggplant.  This is my preferred way to treat eggplant whether I am sauteing or roasting it.  It's texture comes through in velvety perfection.  Isn't it great to be surrounded by so many colors and textures! to be alive and involved? 
 The grill is hot. The lamb has been massaged with an herb oil that contains dill, rosemary, parsley, basil, lemon and garlic.  Once placed on the grill's hottest spot I like to place fresh thyme around the chops to impart a subtle smoke to the meat as it cooks.  I allow approximately one minute, then rotate 90 degrees, one minute more.  This gives the lovely cross grill marks.  Then i flip the meat and repeat the process.  For the final step I set the meat up on end for about one minute more. During this step I rub sumac berries in a sieve to release their fragrant pollen onto the meat.  This assures that the bones in the chop are hot and conducting their heat through the morsel.  Then the meat needs to rest off the grill for about four minutes which gives an ideal opportunity to work on the vegetables.....
 Applying the sumac to the lamb.
 These lovely veg need about a tablespoon of olive oil and a hot pan for just long enough to add color marry the flavors of the oil, garlic, and onion to the peppers and eggplant.  Then toss in a handful of fresh basil leaves and turn onto a plate.
 Then the lamb goes on top. I had some lamb stock on hand and I deglazed the veggie pan with it allowing it to reduce a bit and poured it over the lamb.  The smells and sounds here are amazing. I really need to incorporate video and scratch and sniff!
And here is the final centerfold piece.  Robin and Tammy are so patient to shoot it from every possible angle and on several tables before they dig in.  I just got another lamb in from Gaelan yesterday and i can't wait to try some new things out with it but this was truly delicious.

Monday, September 13, 2010

more details on a really simple recipe

Great scenes from an August harvest.  Again I really have to emphasize my jealousy of Nicole and Gaelan and their office on days like this.  The mornings and nights are cool and the days are perfect.  It is so easy to be inspired and so easy to know just what to do with these veggies.  The answer seems always to preserve their natural beauty.  Not too much fuss just cut them a few times to make them more fork-manageable but not enough to diminish their shape. These amazing sweet peppers actually taste different where they are green and where they are red so I like to cut strips that have red fading into green. Man, people all really need to grow their own food.  We all need a little more work in our lives and a little less convenience.  I think this would be a good way to fight american obesity and get people to move away from congested city centers and search for land.  I don't want to make all this seem too simple or give you the impression that I have all the answers. I do not.  I can cook and I can work hard and these two things have been a catalyst of great joy and a decent chip in a barter based local economy.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

On the lamb....

The air and the light are subtly changing as we begin to round the slow curve into fall. The colors and textures of onions and garlic curing in the top of the green toe barn make me think of every fall i've ever been through and the excitement and energy in the air. i have been in a mad rush to put up tomatoes and potatoes for the winter. Not to mention keeping tabs on firewood and household repairs that need to be done before the roof is covered in snow. And while that is still a good ways off it must remain on my mind.....
This session at the farm was easy to plan as on each visit all the ingredients seemed to jump out at me. Onions, garlic, eggplant, sweet peppers, basil, and LAMB! I love getting lamb from Gaelan because I know what a luxurious life they have had. Sunny southeast pastures and lovely grass and fresh water all abundant. After eating so much of what this farm has to offer I feel that I could pick out their products in a blind taste test. The terroir is very evident and delicious.
This recipe almost made itself. I massaged a fresh basil and garlic paste onto two lamb chops and grilled them rare while I sauteed garlic, onion, pepper, and diced eggplant in a pan with extra virgin olive oil, salt,pepper, thyme and a splash of fresh lemon. Turn the sautee out onto a plate and top with a few fresh basil leaves and mount the chops on top and then drizzle a reduction of lamb stock over the whole! Fantastic!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

4 the pig hot sauce recipe

The hot sauce is real easy.
Just take one cup of sugar and two cups of apple cider vinegar and put them in a sauce pan. Add four cloves peeled garlic, one tablespoon salt, and ten mixed hot peppers. I used czech black, cayenne, poblano, jalapeno, and hidalgos. Then add two sweet peppers that are red. Bell peppers will work but I had jimmy nardello peppers and sweet red pimiento peppers. Bring all this to a boil and allow to simmer about thirty minutes or until all the peppers are soft. Then blend. I use a stick blender but you could use any other blender just make sure to follow maximum hot liquid recommendations as to not have caustic hot liquid explode in you face or all over the walls of your kitchen. This sauce will keep in the fridge in a jar for months but i usually don't have the chance to find out.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

So, without digressing into just the details of all the mad fun that we had at this last fourth of july roast, let me get into some details. When feeding a frenzied, hot, and tipsy crowd of revelers a roast pig make sure to have around one pound of animal per person. This includes bone weight and in this case pepperoni weighed in at about 140 with the three chickens and the organs and herbs.
It is of the utmost import that the fire is vigilently tended and maintained. The most quoted internal temperature for a fully cooked, pullable whole pig is 200 degrees F. This took us a full nine hours and to keep people from pulling too much skin off before she was done there was a giant, mostly vegetarian potluck buffet about an hour before the pig was done. This was a most capital idea. Also we had endless entertainment including the tunes and general MC talents of DJ Abbot and after dinner we had live music where I got to beat on the drums a bit and of course, fireworks, a fashion show, and lots of dancing. I long to do this again. If you were not there you really missed out.