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Monthly Archives: December 2011

Spring Rack of Lamb (GREAT for New Year’s Eve)

I know it is not spring, but this is the usual Christmas Eve dinner for Larry and I. Visit your friendly Costco for the rack of lamb. Our dinner is usually preceded by escargot in garlic and butter, with a touch of Black Sambucca liqueur to which we also add some crumbled blue cheese. Ok…we are blue cheese freaks! Our racks come with six bones and if we are hungry we each eat three (depending on how many escargots we have already eaten). The italicized remarks are mine…

The size of the eye of the meat will alter the time it takes to roast the chops. The thicker the eye, the longer it will take. In general, the rule of thumb is 15 minutes to the inch (2.5-cm).
1 rack of New Zealand lamb
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 tbsp (15 mL) olive oil

Marinade
2 tbsp (25 mL) grainy mustard
2 tbsp (25 mL) chopped fresh rosemary
2 tsp (10 mL) chopped garlic
¼ cup (50 mL) olive oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper

Crumbled blue cheese if you like that….I find it incredible when just drizzled over the lamb when served!

1. Season racks with salt and pepper. Heat oil in a skillet over high heat and add racks, fat-side down. Sear until golden, about 2 minutes. Pick up the racks with tongs and sear the back and each end as well. Place on baking sheet.

2. For marinade, combine mustard, rosemary, garlic, olive oil and salt and pepper. Spread over racks, including bones. Marinate for 30 minutes.

3. Preheat oven to 450ºF (230ºC).

4. Bake racks for 12 to 15 minutes or until medium rare. Let sit for 5 minutes before carving down into chops. Serve 4 chops per person.

Sprinkle on the crumbled blue cheese!!!

Serves 4

 I like to serve it with baby whole potatoes and fried asparagus….

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Poblano Chocolate Mole Sauce

Typically, Poblano Mole is a recipe from Puebla, Mexico. It is often used with chicken, but Emeril has chosen to serve it with the turkey. Unfortunately, Larry is not  huge ‘mole’ fan, so I rarely make this, even though I enjoy it when I am in the right restaurant…LOL

Poblano Chocolate Mole:

  • 1 pound poblano chiles
  • 1 large yellow onion, peeled and halved (root end left on)
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup shelled pistachio nuts
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
  • 1/2 cup pine nuts
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 cups chicken stock or canned low sodium chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 ounces semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream

To roast the peppers, place them directly on the burners of a gas stove over medium heat and turn them frequently with tongs until all sides are charred black, 7 to 10 minutes. (Alternatively, the peppers can be roasted under a broiler or over a hot gas or charcoal grill.) Transfer the peppers to a plastic or paper bag, seal the bag, and let cool for about 15 minutes. Peel the peppers, remove the seeds and stems, and coarsely chop the flesh.

Roast the onion halves over medium heat, using the same procedure, until the cut surfaces are lightly charred and the onion is slightly softened, about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool. Remove and discard the root ends from the onions; coarsely chop the onions.

Heat the vegetable oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the pistachios, pumpkinseeds, and pine nuts and cook, stirring occasionally, until the nuts are browned. Add the peppers, onions, chili powder, garlic, cumin, coriander, salt, and pepper and stir for 1 minute. Add the chicken stock and cilantro and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium low and simmer for 45 minutes. Add the chocolate and stir until melted. Add the cream, stir well, and simmer for an additional 15 minutes. Puree with an immersion blender. Serve over the sliced turkey.

Funky Brined Turkey (courtesy of Emeril Lagasse)

I have been making this turkey for many years and it always is stunning! Hope you will take the time to try it and let me know how you liked it. It does work just as well with a whole turkey as a breast! For my Yucatecan friends, the Poblano Chocolate Mole sauce follows on a separate posting…

Funky Bird (a.k.a. Southwestern Turkey Breast)

Brine:

  • 1 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 3/4 cup orange juice
  • 1 cup kosher salt
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 cup chopped yellow onions
  • 2 oranges, halved
  • 2 jalapenos, minced (with their seeds)
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons chopped garlic
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano, preferably Mexican
  • 1 (6 1/2 pound) whole turkey breast
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon Essence, recipe follows
  • Poblano Chocolate Mole, recipe follows

Directions

In a large non reactive container, (I use a large clear garbage bag with NO deodorizers and if necessary, put it outside if you are in Canada in a cooler in your garage) combine lemon juice, orange juice, kosher salt, light brown sugar, yellow onions, oranges, jalapenos, cilantro, garlic, chili powder, ground cumin, and oregano with 1 gallon water and stir to dissolve the sugar and salt. Put the turkey in a large colander and rinse under cold, running water, then add the turkey breast to the brine, cover, and refrigerate, turning occasionally, for at least 12 hours and up to 24 hours.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Remove the turkey from the brine and put it breast side up in a large, heavy roasting pan and pat dry with paper towels. (DISCARD ALL OF THE BRINE!!!)

Rub the turkey with vegetable oil and sprinkle both sides with Essence (see below) Roast until deep golden brown and an instant read thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the thigh reads 165 degrees F., about 1 hour and 45 minutes. Transfer to a platter and let stand for 15 minutes before carving.

Essence (Emeril’s Creole Seasoning):

  • 2 1/2 tablespoons paprika
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon dried leaf oregano
  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme

Combine all ingredients thoroughly and store in an airtight jar or container.

Slow Cooker Salsa

Salsa with fresh tortilla chips

This recipe comes courtesy of our friend, Chuck, who prepared this as an appetizer the other night. At the end of the salsa recipe is a suggestion for using it with chicken on tortillas….it was great!!

Watch for next week’s post on brining your Christmas turkey, something I learned from Emeril Lagasse many years ago and always a hit! It has to be done 24 hours in advance, so I want you to have lots of time to prepare it!

Slow Cooker Salsa

Put into a slow cooker:
1.5 cups onion finely diced
1 red sweet pepper finely chopped.
2 jalapenos finely chopped. (Include the seeds if you want a spicy salsa)
15 diced Roma tomatoes (you could use 3 cans of canned tomatoes)
(All can be chopped coarser if you like a chunky salsa)
1/4 cup white vinegar
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 tsp each thyme, oregano
2 tsp cumin
Juice of 1 lime
1/2 tsp brown sugar (more if you like a sweeter salsa)
1 can tomato paste
1/4-3/4 cup water to add if it cooks down
Red pepper flakes (or not, depending on your taste)

Cook on low for 4 hours.  Add water to keep it boiling if necessary.  Chill and serve. Just before serving you might want to consider chopping up some fresh cilantro on top of the dish to add a crispness to the salsa.

Serving suggestion:
Pan fry chicken breasts, then cool before slicing thinly
Thinly slice 1/2 green pepper
Grate 4 oz of your favorite cheese
Layer a pizza pan with tortilla chips. Arrange the sliced chicken breast and green peppers on top, then cover with cheese.
Broil until cheese bubbles.
Enjoy with the fresh salsa on the side!

BBQ Shrimp with Sweet Chili Dipping Sauce

Life can be a bummer sometime when your main computer dies and that is where all of your recipes are! Fortunately I was able to go to my Canadian Living Recipe Box site and pull this recent one up for you. If you have never used an online recipe box they are great. When we were in California I could pull out my recipes from the various sites. Primarily I use Kraft Foods and Canadian Living.
This great holiday appetizer recipe comes from Canadian Living Magazine (see note at the bottom). I did these on the stove top grill and they were great, just turn halfway through cooking.

Ingredients

  • 2 lb raw jumbo shrimp , (about 18) peeled and deveined
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil

Sweet Chili Dipping Sauce:

  • 1/2 cup rice wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 tsp grated lime rind
  • 4 tsp lime juice
  • 2 tsp Asian hot chili sauce (I use Sambal Oelek chili paste which is in the Oriental section at Super Centre or Saveway  in Canada)
  • 2 garlic cloves , minced
  • 1 tsp cornstarch
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh coriander

Preparation

Sweet Chili Dipping Sauce: In saucepan, bring vinegar, sugar, 2 tbsp (25 mL) water, lime rind and juice, hot sauce and garlic to boil over medium-high heat. Whisk cornstarch with 1 tbsp (15 mL) water; whisk into pan and boil until thickened, about 1 minute. Set aside. (Make-ahead: Let cool; refrigerate in airtight container for up to 2 days.) Stir in coriander.

In large bowl, toss shrimp with oil and half of the sauce; let stand for 10 minutes. Place shrimp on greased grill over medium-high heat; close lid and grill, turning once, until pink, about 6 minutes. Serve hot with remaining sauce for dipping. Source : Canadian Living Magazine: September 2006; Get