Saturday, July 24, 2010

Menu du Jour

As mentioned yesterday,  I am preparing a nice meal for Frank and me tonight, which I started on yesterday. Thomas Keller's "ad hoc at home" is the inspiration for this menu. Liz, my friend, I actually will use three, count them, three, recipes from Keller. The potato pave, the rack of lamb, and a garlic confit, which is used in the lamb recipe. 

Le Menu:

  • Herb Crusted Rack of Lamb with a Honey Mustard Glaze
  • Potato Pave
  • Braised Endive 
  • Honey and Thyme Poached Figs for dessert

The recipes follow - the pave recipe was in yesterdays post. Please note, I pared down the ingredients for two, the recipes are for the servings shows, so you do the math.

Herb-crusted rack of lamb with honey mustard glaze
From “ad hoc at home” by Thomas Keller

Serves 8


2 Frenched 8-bone racks of lamb (2 to 2 ½ lbs each)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Canola oil
¼ cup Dijon mustard
3 tablespoons honey
6 tablespoons (3 ounces) unsalted butter at room temperature
4 gloves Garlic Confit (recipe follows)
3 to 5 anchovy fillets, salt or oil packed, rinsed,, dried , and minced
1 ½ cup dried bread crumbs or ground panko crumbs
3 tablespoons finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
1 tablespoon minced rosemary
Gray salt or course sea salt

1.          Score the fat covering the lamb in a ½-inch crosshatch pattern; be careful not to cut into the meat. Season the racks on all sides with salt and pepper
2.         Set a roasting rack in a roasting pan. Heat some canola oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat until it shimmers. Put 1 rack fat side-down in the pan and sear until golden brown, 1 ½ to 2 minutes; carefully move the lamb as it sears to brown as much of the fat as possible. (It is best to sauté 1 rack at a time, so the temperature of the pan doesn’t drop dramatically.) Transfer the lamb to the roasting rack, meat-side-up. Drain off the fat, reheat the pan, adding fresh oil, and sear the remaining rack.
3.          Combine the mustard and honey in a small bowl; set aside. Combine the butter, garlic, and anchovies in a small food processor and puree until smooth. Transfer the puree to a medium bowl and stir in the bread crumbs, parsley , and rosemary to combine. Do not overmix; the mixture should be moist, but it may not all come together.
4.         Brush the mustard mixture over the fat and meat (do not coat the underside of the racks). Spread the bread crumbs evenly over the racks, pressing gently and patting them so the crumbs adhere. (The lamb can be refrigerated, on the rack in the roasting pan, for up to 6 hours; remove it from the refrigerator 30 minutes before roasting it.
5.         Position an oven rack in the bottom third of the oven and preheat the oven to 425oF.
6.         Put the lamb in the oven, with the meat side toward the back, and roast for 25 to 35 minutes, until the temperature in the center of the meat registers 128o to 130oF.  Let the racks rest on the rack in a warm place for about 20 minutes for medium-rare.
7.          Carve each rack into four 2-bone chops and arrange on a platter. Sprinkle with gray salt and serve.

Garlic confit and oil

1 cup peeled garlic cloves
About 2 cups canola oil

Cut off and discard the root ends of the garlic cloves. Put the cloves in a small saucepan and add enough oil to cover them by about 1 inch; none of the garlic cloves should be poking through the oil

Set the saucepan over medium-low heat. The garlic should cook gently; very small bubbles will come up through the oil, but the bubbles should not break the surface; adjust the heat as necessary and/or move the pan to one side of the diffuser if it is cooking too quickly.  Cook the garlic for about 40 minutes; stirring every 5 minarets or so, until the cloves are completely tender when pierced wit the tip of a knife. Remove the saucepan from the heat and allow the garlic to cool in the oil.

Refrigerate the garlic in a covered container, submerged in the oil, for up to one week.

Braise endive
Serves 4
4 heads Belgian endive, halved lengthwise
2 ¼ teaspoons kosher salt
1/4 cup chicken stock or low-sodium chicken broth
1/2 orange, cut into 4 pieces

Preheat oven to 325°F. Lay endives, cut sides down, in large shallow pan or braising dish with lid. Sprinkle with salt, pour in stock, and arrange orange pieces around pan. Cover and braise until tender, about 25 minutes. (Endive can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cool to room temperature and discard oranges, then refrigerate, covered, in braising liquid. To reheat, add 1/2 cup fresh chicken stock and simmer, covered, over moderate heat until warm, 5 to 10 minutes.)

Honey-and-Thyme-Poached Figs
From Gourmet and
Serves 4
            1 cup Sauternes or other dessert wine
            1/2 cup apple juice
            1 tablespoon honey, or to taste
            1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
            1/4 teaspoon vanilla
            1/2 pound dried Calimyrna figs, stemmed, halves, and each half cut into 5 thin strips
            mascarpone, crème fraîche or sour cream as an accompaniment
            1 tablespoon julienne strips of lemon zest

In a saucepan bring the wine and the apple juice to a boil with the honey, the thyme, and the vanilla and simmer the mixture for 3 minutes. Add the figs and simmer the mixture, covered partially, for 5 minutes, or until the figs are very soft. Serve the figs warm with the syrup in stemmed glasses topped with the mascarpone and the zest.

I used fresh figs as they were in season.
I served the poached figs over vanilla bean ice cream and skipped the mascarpone, etc.

Comments on the results will be posted tomorrow.

No comments: