Tag Archives: main dish

Roast Chicken with Couscous, Roasted Red Peppers and Basil

No fuss, no muss—perfect dinner for us. Every now and again (or perhaps all of the time), you want a quick, simple, yet satisfying meal. If that meal is a golden-brown, juicy, and tender roast chicken, then this recipe from Cook’s Illustrated (CI) is the ticket.

In a different twist, CI instructs to trim off excess skin and fat from the cavity and cut small slits in the skin above and below the thigh. Cutting these slits allows the juices to drain from the chicken into the skillet, where they brown, concentrate, and develop more flavor. Prior to roasting, the skin is brushed with melted butter instead of oil to facilitate browning.

Roasting the chicken breast side up in a preheated skillet set in a 400-degree oven helps the legs finish cooking at the same time as the breast. When the breast registers 150 to 155 degrees, remove the chicken from the oven and let it rest, tented with foil, for 15 minutes on a moated cutting board so that it can gently rise to the serving temperature of 160 degrees.

Even though our chicken weighed in at 5 pounds, it took only an additional 5 minutes to come to temp. While the bird rests, use the umami-rich jus as a base for cooking an ultra-flavorful side dish of couscous with roasted red peppers.

NOTE: This recipe was developed with Diamond Crystal Kosher Salt; if using Morton Kosher Salt, which is denser, decrease the amount for the chicken to 1¾ teaspoons and the amount for the couscous to ¼ teaspoon.

Roast Chicken with Couscous, Roasted Red Peppers and Basil

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients

  • 1 Tbsp. kosher salt, divided
  • ½ tsp. pepper1 (4-lb.) whole chicken, giblets discarded
  • 1 Tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, sliced thin
  • ¾ cup couscous
  • ½ cup water, more or less*
  • 5 tsp. red wine vinegar
  • ¾ cup jarred roasted red peppers, chopped fine
  • 2 Tbsp. chopped fresh basil

Directions

  1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Stir 2½ teaspoons salt and pepper together in small bowl. Place chicken breast side up on cutting board. Using kitchen shears, thoroughly trim excess fat and skin from cavity. Lift 1 drumstick and use paring knife to cut ½-inch slit in skin where drumstick and thigh meet. Turn chicken on side so breast faces edge of counter. Cut ½-inch slit in skin where top of thigh meets breast. Repeat both cuts on opposite side of chicken. Tuck wingtips behind back. Sprinkle about one-third of salt mixture into cavity.
  3. Brush top and sides of chicken with melted butter. Sprinkle remaining salt mixture evenly over all sides of chicken.
  4. Heat oil in 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Place chicken breast side up in skillet; transfer to oven; and roast until thickest part of breast registers 150 to 155 degrees, 1 hour to 1 hour 10 minutes, rotating skillet halfway through roasting.
  5. Lift the chicken cavity side down to drain the juices from the bird into the skillet. Transfer chicken to a moated carving board and let rest, tented with foil, for 15 minutes (chicken temperature will continue to rise as it rests).
  6. Meanwhile, pour pan juices into fat separator. Add 1 tablespoon fat to now-empty skillet. Add garlic and cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until garlic is pale golden brown, about 3 minutes.
  7. Add couscous and stir until well combined. Stir in all defatted pan juices with *enough water to equal one cup, vinegar, and remaining ½ teaspoon salt and bring to simmer. Spread red peppers in even layer over couscous; turn off heat; cover; and let sit until couscous is just tender and all liquid is absorbed, about 10 minutes.
  8. Carve chicken and transfer to platter. Pour any accumulated juices over the poultry pieces.
  9. Fluff couscous, stir in basil, season with salt to taste, and transfer to bowl. Serve chicken with couscous.

http://www.lynnandruss.com

Adapted from a recipe by Cooks Illustrated

Tortellini-Vegetable Bake

Looking for a new twist on a meatless pasta with veggies dish? How about this Tortellini-Vegetable Bake? While it does have quite a bit of dairy, there is also a wide variety of vegetables. Add a side salad, and your meal is complete!

We have to disagree with the Better Homes & Gardens qualification stating it feeds eight. Unless you eat very little, and/or you are serving other sides and bread, six portions is probably more realistic.

And it wasn’t until we were done eating and I referred back to the original recipe that I noticed I had only incorporated 4 ounces of cream cheese, instead of eight (yes, a senior moment). But you know what, we didn’t miss it, so we saved ourselves some calories.

BH&G noted prep time was 30 minutes, I’m saying at least 45 in reality. And in Step 4, they originally said to mix everything in the skillet before spooning it into the baking dish. No way José. Better idea to mix the mushrooms, bell peppers and tomatoes into the cream sauce in the skillet, place the tortellini mixture into the casserole dish, then spoon the cream sauce over that and mix well. Save yourself the agony of cleaning up the spillage if you were to try and blend it altogether in the skillet first.

Oh, and we doubled (so much for saving calories) the amount of grated Parmesan to four tablespoons, divided between topping it before it goes in the oven, and two tablespoons when it comes out piping hot.

Tortellini-Vegetable Bake

  • Servings: 8
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients

  • 2 9-oz. packages refrigerated cheese tortellini
  • 8 oz. fresh sugar snap peas, trimmed and halved crosswise
  • 1 medium carrot, sliced 1⁄8″ thick
  • 1 Tbsp. butter
  • 1 cup sliced fresh mushrooms
  • ⅓ cup vegetable broth
  • 2 tsp. all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ tsp. dried oregano, crushed
  • ½ tsp. garlic powder
  • ½ tsp. ground black pepper
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 8-oz. package cream cheese, cubed and softened
  • 1 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1 cup quartered cherry tomatoes
  • ½ cup coarsely chopped red or green sweet pepper (1 small)
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Cook tortellini according to package directions, adding sugar snap peas and carrot for the last 1 minute of cooking; drain.
  2. Meanwhile, in a 12-inch skillet melt butter over medium heat. Add mushrooms; cook about 5 minutes or until mushrooms are tender, stirring occasionally. Remove from skillet.
  3. In a screw-top jar combine broth, flour, oregano, garlic salt, and black pepper. Cover and shake until smooth. Add to the same skillet; add milk. Cook and stir until thickened and bubbly. Add cream cheese; cook and stir until smooth. Remove from heat; stir in lemon juice.
  4. Stir mushrooms, tomatoes, and sweet pepper into cream cheese mixture in skillet, the pour into an ungreased 3-quart baking dish. Spoon tortellini mixture over the other veggies in the casserole dish. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of the grated Parm on top, cover with foil.
  5. Bake, covered, about 30 minutes or until heated through. Sprinkle with remaining Parmesan cheese.

http://www.lynnandruss.com

Recipe adapted from Better Homes & Gardens

Rustic Sausage and Fennel Meatloaf with Gravy

A few years back, Fine Cooking published an article showcasing a variety of meatloaf recipes. It also instructed how to build your own loaf based on items from specific categories. From those, I made this rustic version, which is a blend of the two. It was surprisingly light and not dense as some meatloaves can be.

We also wanted a gravy, so, in lieu of a loaf pan, we cooked the meatloaf in a large, heated cast-iron skillet to facilitate browning on the bottom as well as the top and sides. When finished cooking, this provided some tasty drippings for the base of the gravy.

Of course, since this serves up to eight meals, we sliced one half for two separate dinners, freezing the other half for another time.

Rustic Sausage and Fennel Meatloaf with Gravy

  • Servings: 8-10
  • Difficulty: moderate
  • Print

Ingredients

  • 4 Tbsp. canola or olive oil, divided
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped small
  • 1/2 small fennel bulb, core removed and chopped small (save some fronds for garnish, if desired)
  • 3 large cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 3/4 cup dry white wine
  • 4 oz. medium-coarse white bread, such as Italian or French, cut into 2-inch pieces (about 2-1/2 cups)
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 2/3 lb. bulk sweet sausage
  • 2/3 lb. ground beef
  • 2/3 lb. ground veal
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • Kosher Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Gravy

  • Pan drippings from meatloaf
  • 4 Tbsp. butter
  • 3 cups beef broth, heated
  • 1 small shallot, minced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 3/4 tsp. thyme, minced
  • 6 Tbsp. flour
  • 1/2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce

Directions

  • Heat 2 Tbs. of the oil in a 10- to 12-inch skillet over medium-low heat. Cook the onion, fennel and garlic, stirring frequently, until softened and just beginning to brown, about 8 minutes.
  • Add the white wine, and simmer briskly, until almost dry, 4 to 5 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl and let cool until warm.
  • In a shallow dish that holds it in a single layer, soak the bread in the milk, flipping once, until soggy but not falling apart, 5 to 10 minutes, depending on the coarseness and freshness of the bread. Lightly squeeze a handful of bread at a time to remove some of the milk (it should be wet but not drenched). Finely chop and add to the bowl with the onion mixture.
  • Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 375°F.
  • Add the beef, veal, and sausage and eggs to the onion mixture. Scatter the Parmigiano, and parsley over the meat, and then sprinkle with the Worcestershire, 2-1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Use your hands to gently mix all the ingredients until just combined; try not to compact the mixture as you do this.
  • Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large cast-iron skillet. Form a rectangular block from the meatloaf mixture that will fit into your skillet. Carefully transfer the meatloaf into the hot skillet and put the skillet into the preheated oven. Bake until an instant-read thermometer registers 160°F in the center of the meatloaf, 40 to 55 minutes. (Ours was done at 45 minutes.) Remove the meatloaf to a platter and cover with foil while you make the gravy.
  • Add enough butter to the pan drippings to equal 6 tablespoons. (We had 2 tablespoons in the pan so we added 4 tablespoons of butter.) Sauté the minced shallot in the fat and drippings until it softens.
  • Add garlic and thyme and sauté another 30 seconds.
  • Stir in flour and cook for 2 minutes. Whisk in hot broth and Worcestershire sauce. Scrape up any browned bits and smooth out lumps.
  • Simmer gravy 10-15 minutes. Taste and adjust seasonings.
  • Arrange 1-inch slabs of meatloaf on the platter, top with gravy. Serve extra gravy at the dinner table.
Serve with mashed potatoes and a side veg.

http://www.lynnandruss.com

Loosely adapted from a recipe by Allison Ehri Kreitler for Fine Cooking

Ginger Roast Chicken and Elbow Macaroni with Tomatoes and Pan Sauce

Chef/author Molly Stevens says of her recipe, “This is what I call a sleeper recipe. At first glance it doesn’t look like much — a whole chicken rubbed with a little fresh ginger, roasted, and served alongside elbow macaroni tossed with diced tomatoes and the roasting juices. Exactly what makes this dish so remarkable is hard to pinpoint, but there’s a wonderful alchemy that occurs when the chicken, ginger, and tomato all come together. It’s comforting, a little exotic, and truly delicious.”

During roasting, the drippings, the wine, and the roasted giblets cook together, creating a savory jus. The chicken also roasts on a rack to encourage the drippings to caramelize a bit as they hit the hot pan, developing even more flavor. It can be made year-round using canned tomatoes; in season, use fresh if you wish.

In the end, the chicken was juicy and delicious! My only criticism was that there were too few tomatoes. Next time, I will double the amount and use two cans of diced. The Hubs thought it was fine as is, but also wouldn’t be adverse to the possibility of additional tomatoes. We completed the meal with a simple side salad.

Plan ahead: For the best flavor, season the chicken 8 to 24 hours ahead of roasting.

Ginger Roast Chicken and Elbow Macaroni with Tomatoes and Pan Sauce

  • Servings: 3-4
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients

  • 1 Tbsp. plus 2 tsp. peeled and grated fresh ginger, divided
  • 2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • One 3 1/2- to 4-lb. chicken, preferably with giblets
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 3/4 cup dry vermouth or dry white wine
  • 12 oz. dried elbow macaroni
  • 2 to 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • One 14 1/2-oz. can diced tomatoes, with juices, or 1 scant lb. fresh tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and chopped
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil or flat-leaf parsley, plus sprigs for garnish, if desired

Directions

  1. Season the chicken. In a small bowl, combine 1 tablespoon of the ginger, 2 teaspoons of the olive oil, 1 teaspoon salt, and 3/4 teaspoon pepper.
  2. Over the sink, remove the giblets from the chicken, if there are any (they are usually tucked into the cavity). Reserve all but the liver. (Discard the liver or save it for another use.) Hold the chicken over the drain and let any juice run out. Pat the chicken dry inside and out with paper towels. With your fingers, pull away and discard any large deposits of fat from the neck or body cavity opening. Then, using your fingertips and starting at the cavity opening, gently loosen the skin over the breast and thighs of the chicken. Once the skin is loose, rub about three quarters of the ginger mixture under the skin, over the breast and thighs. Rub the rest inside the cavity. Smear the surface all over with about 1 teaspoon olive oil. Season the breast liberally with more salt and pepper. Tuck the wing tips back so they are secure under the neck bone.
  3. If you are seasoning the bird ahead of time, refrigerate it for at least 8 hours and up to 48 hours, uncovered or lightly covered with plastic wrap. Refrigerate the giblets too, if using. If you are not seasoning that far in advance, let the bird stand at room temperature to allow some of the rub’s flavoring to penetrate; it can safely stay at room temperature for up to 2 hours.
  4. Heat the oven. Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat to 400 degrees (375 degrees convection).
  5. Roast the chicken. If you have giblets, put them in a medium, low-sided roasting pan or gratin or baking dish (about 8 by 12 inches). Set a roasting rack over the giblets and put the chicken breast side up on the rack. Squeeze the lemon juice over the chicken and put it in the oven, with the legs facing the rear wall. After 25 minutes, open the oven door and pour the vermouth or wine over the chicken.
  6. If at any time the liquid in the pan appears to dry up, add 1/4 cup water to the pan. Continue roasting, basting the chicken once or twice by spooning the pan drippings over the breast, until the juices run clear with only a trace of pink when you prick the thigh and an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the thigh (without touching bone) registers 170 degrees, another 35 to 55 minutes.
  7. Lift the chicken out of the pan, using a fork or tongs to steady it, and carefully tilt it to pour the juices from the cavity into the roasting pan. Transfer the chicken to a carving board (preferably one with a trough). Discard the giblets, but reserve all the juices in the pan.
  8. Cook the macaroni. About 10 minutes before the chicken is done, bring a large pot of well-salted water to a boil. While the chicken rests, warm a wide, shallow serving dish or bowl big enough for the cooked macaroni; I like to use a 2- to 3-quart gratin or baking dish. A pasta bowl works as well. Cook the macaroni until tender but not mushy, about 7 minutes or according to the package instructions.
  9. Meanwhile, make the sauce. In a medium 10-inch skillet, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat. Add the garlic, the remaining 2 teaspoons ginger, and a pinch of salt. Cook, stirring, until fragrant and just golden, about 1 minute (lower the heat if the garlic threatens to scorch).
  10. Add the tomatoes and their juices and increase the heat to high. Cook, stirring often, evaporating some of the juice, until the tomatoes begin to brown in spots, about 8 minutes. (They won’t get very brown because of the liquid, but you want to see a few caramelized bits.)
  11. Taste for salt and pepper. Remove from the heat and immediately stir in the basil or parsley.

http://www.lynnandruss.com

Recipe from Molly Steven’s cookbook, All About Roasting

Braised Asian-Style Pork Shanks

These braised pork shanks could become an ultimate comfort food for us, with the hybridizing of favorite Asian flavors and techniques. It was hard to fathom how they could have gotten any better than when served, but after a rest overnight in the fridge, just WOW!

Paired with fresh green beans from our garden (that were flash frozen until ready to use), and the decadent Garlic-Miso Butter Mashed Potatoes, we were on Cloud Nine! It is a LOT of ingredients, and will take a large chunk of time, so a slow Sunday afternoon during the chilly months is ideal.

While I tended to spud duty, The Hubs started working his magic on the meat. But first, as he analyzed the recipe, he realized there was WAY too much liquid (mirin, soy, sake, vegetable oil, and chicken stock) and brown sugar for the amount of meat, so all got cut in half. When everything was said and done, we still had a cup of reduced sauce leftover, which we decided would be great for a future stir-fry.

Braised Asian-Style Pork Shanks

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: moderate
  • Print

Ingredients

  • 4 lbs. pork shanks
  • 1/2 cup carrot, chopped
  • 1 cup Spanish onions, chopped
  • 1/2 cup celery, chopped
  • 4 oz. ginger root, minced
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup mirin
  • 2 cloves garlic, pressed
  • 3/4 cup soy sauce
  • 3/4 cup chicken stock
  • 1 tsp. crushed red pepper
  • 2 cloves star anise
  • 1 cup sake
  • 2 oz. vegetable oil, for searing shanks

Directions

  1. Dredge shanks in flour seasoned with salt and pepper. Heat oil in large Dutch oven and sear pork shanks on all sides, working in batches if necessary.
  2. Discard oil from pan and add onion, celery, carrots and ginger. Caramelize on medium high heat, stirring frequently, for about 8 minutes. Add garlic and sauté briefly, about 2 minutes.
  3. Deglaze pan with sake, then add soy sauce and mirin. Bring to a simmer, then stir in brown sugar. Add red pepper flakes, star anise and chicken stock. Let simmer for 5 minutes.
  4. Return shanks to the pot. Cover and cook in a 300 degree oven for 2 1/2 to 3 hours, turning once halfway through cooking. When shanks are completely tender, remove to platter and tent with foil. Strain liquid into a saucepan pressing on solids to get all of the juices; discard the solids. Return pot to a burner and bring to a boil.
  5. Lower heat to a simmer and reduce until desired thickness. Can thicken broth with a cornstarch slurry if desired. Serve shanks and pass sauce separately.

http://www.lynnandruss.com

Loosely adapted from a recipe by Yardley Inn

Stir-Fried Chili Garlic Duck Breast

As with most stir-fries, this one is quick and tasty, perfect for a weeknight meal. Originally from EatingWell Magazine, we altered the ingredients by doubling the sauce, and amping up the amount of shiitake mushrooms. And if you’re squeamish about eating duck, go ahead and substitute pork tenderloin, chicken or even beef strips.

Stir-Fried Chili Garlic Duck Breast

  • Servings: 2-3
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients

  • 2 Tbsp. chili-garlic sauce
  • 2 Tbsp. water
  • 1 Tbsp. rice vinegar
  • 2 tsp. reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tsp. cornstarch
  • 1 Tbsp. canola oil
  • 8 oz. boneless duck breast, skin removed and cut into 1/4-inch strips
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 Tbsp. finely chopped fresh ginger
  • 1 1/2 cups broccoli florets
  • 1 1/2 cups sliced bok choy
  • 7-8 shiitake mushrooms, cut into 1/4-inch slices
  • Steamed rice, prepared as per package directions

Directions

  1. Prepare steamed rice according to package directions.
  2. Whisk chili-garlic sauce, water, vinegar, soy sauce and cornstarch in a small bowl.
  3. Heat oil in a medium nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering but not smoking. Cook the duck, in a single layer, stirring once, until beginning to brown, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a plate.
  4. Add garlic and ginger to the pan and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add broccoli and bok choy; cook, stirring, until the broccoli is bright green, about 2 minutes.
  5. Add mushrooms and cook, stirring, until softened, about 1 minute. Add the chili-garlic sauce mixture; cook, stirring often, until the sauce is slightly thickened, about 1 minute.
  6. Return the duck and any accumulated juices to the pan; stir to coat with the sauce. Cook until heated through, about 1 minute.

http://www.lynnandruss.com

`Adapted from a recipe in EatingWell Magazine

Fennel-Steamed Salmon with Warm Olive and Caper Vinaigrette

While we know salmon isn’t a Mediterranean fish, this recipe riff from “Patricia Wells at Home in Provence,” uses high-impact Provençal ingredients which are an ideal match for the rich, meaty fillets. Here, steamed fish sits atop a bed of sliced fennel to add sweet, licorice-like perfume; after cooking, the tender-crisp slices make a delicious accompaniment.

The sharp flavors of the warm olive, caper and lemon vinaigrette complement both fish and fennel. Cook the salmon to medium doneness—that is, until only the center is translucent. For well-done fillets, steam the fish for a couple minutes longer than indicated.

If you prefer white fish over salmon, thick fillets of striped bass or sea bass work well, but increase the steaming time to about 10 minutes. No matter the type of fish you choose, try to select fillets of equal thickness so they cook at the same rate.

Don’t uncover the pot while the fish is steaming, as loss of steam will slow the cooking. Instead, simply set a timer (or tell Alexa to remind you 😉 ). Note to the wise: When opening the pot, angle the lid away from you to avoid a burst of steam to the face.

We chose broccoli rabe as the other side dish. By par-boiling it first, much of the bitterness is eradicated. Once chilled in an ice bath and drained, any extra moisture is wrung out in a clean dish towel. A little garlic, olive oil and red pepper flakes give it a boost of flavor when reheated in a pan.

Fennel-Steamed Salmon with Warm Olive and Caper Vinaigrette

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients

  • 2 small fennel bulbs (about 1 lb. total), halved, cored and thinly sliced (about 4 cups)
  • 1 tsp. grated lemon zest, plus ¼ cup lemon juice
  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper
  • 4 6-oz. salmon fillets, each about 1 inch thick
  • 6 sprigs dill, plus 1 Tbsp. chopped fresh dill
  • 1 cup pimento-stuffed green olives, roughly chopped
  • ¼ cup drained capers
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • ¼ tsp. red pepper flakes

Directions

  1. In a medium bowl, toss the fennel with the lemon zest and ¼ teaspoon each salt and black pepper; set aside. Season the salmon all over with salt and pepper.
  2. Place a folding steamer basket in a large Dutch oven. Add enough water to fill the bottom of the pot without submerging the basket. Remove the basket. Cover the pot and bring to a simmer over medium-high.
  3. Line the basket with the fennel. Place the salmon skin down on the fennel, then lay the dill sprigs on the fillets. Turn off the heat under the pot, then set the basket in it. Cover and return to a simmer over medium. Steam until the thickest parts of the fillets reach 115°F to 120°F (for medium doneness), 7 to 9 minutes; the fennel should be tender but not completely soft.
  4. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan over medium, combine the olives, capers, oil and pepper flakes. Cook, stirring, just until sizzling gently, about 2 minutes.
  5. Add the lemon juice and cook, stirring, just until warm, another 1 to 2 minutes. Cover and set aside.
  6. When the salmon is done, remove and discard the dill sprigs. Using a metal spatula, transfer the fennel and fillets, skin down, to a serving platter. Sprinkle with the chopped dill, then spoon on the warm sauce.

http://www.lynnandruss.com

Adapted from a recipe found in Milk Street; original by “Patricia Wells at Home in Provence”

Polenta with Shrimp and Tomatoes

The back story: Polenta e schie, a specialty of Venice, Italy, is polenta topped with tiny local shrimp called schie. The dish typically is a minimalist, sauce-free marriage of corn and crustacean, but Michela Tasca, owner of Ca’ de Memi farm and bed and breakfast in Piombino Dese, just north of Venice, taught Milk Street a version in which the schie are poached in a simple tomato sauce accented with garlic and fresh herbs.

So in this recipe, Milk Street uses the large shrimp available in the U.S. in place of the schie. The polenta is simmered in the oven; the gentle, even heat obviates the need for frequent stirring. This means that while the polenta cooks, you’re free to prep the other ingredients. While this method for making polenta may take longer, it sure is a heck of a lot easier than standing over a hot stove stirring constantly for nearly an hour… Works for me!

TIPS: Be sure to use coarse stoneground cornmeal; fine cornmeal produces gluey polenta, and steel-ground cornmeal lacks flavor. If juicy, ripe tomatoes are not available, look for cocktail or Campari tomatoes, as we find them to be dependably good no matter the season.

Milk Street warns not to begin cooking the shrimp until the polenta is done. In the covered pan or pot, the polenta will remain hot for the short amount of time it takes to cook the shrimp and tomatoes. Don’t worry if the shrimp are only parcooked after their quick sear. They’ll finish cooking when they simmer with the tomatoes for a couple of minutes.

Polenta with Shrimp and Tomatoes

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients

  • 1 cup coarse stoneground yellow cornmeal
  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper
  • 4 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1½ lbs. extra-large shrimp, peeled (tails removed) and deveined
  • 4 large garlic cloves, 2 finely grated, 2 smashed and peeled, reserved separately
  • 1½ lbs. ripe tomatoes, cored and cut into 1-inch chunks
  • ½ tsp. red pepper flakes
  • ½ cup chopped fresh basil or flat-leaf parsley

Directions

  1. Heat the oven to 375°F with a rack in the lower-middle position.
  2. In a large oven-safe saucepan or small (4- to 5-quart) Dutch oven, combine the cornmeal, 1 teaspoon salt and 5½ cups water, then whisk to combine. Bring to a gentle simmer over medium, stirring often, then place uncovered in the oven and cook for 45 minutes.
  3. Remove from the oven, whisk the polenta, then return, still uncovered, to the oven. Cook until the polenta is thick and creamy, another 15 to 30 minutes.
  4. Remove from the oven, whisk until smooth, cover and let stand for 5 minutes. Taste and season with salt and black pepper, then cover and set aside while you cook the shrimp.
  5. In a medium bowl, stir together 1 tablespoon of oil, the grated garlic and ½ teaspoon salt. Add the shrimp and toss to coat.
  6. In a 12-inch skillet over medium-high, heat the remaining 3 tablespoons oil until shimmering. Add half of the shrimp in a single layer and cook until browned on the bottom, 1 to 2 minutes. Using tongs or a slotted spoon, transfer to a large plate. Cook the remaining shrimp in the same way using the residual oil in the pan.
  7. Set the now-empty skillet over medium, add the smashed garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant and lightly browned, about 2 minutes.
  8. Add the tomatoes, pepper flakes and ½ teaspoon each salt and black pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes begin to soften and release their juices, 2 to 3 minutes.
  9. Stir in the shrimp with accumulated juices and cook, stirring occasionally, until the shrimp are opaque throughout, about 2 minutes. Off heat, remove and discard the garlic cloves and stir in the basil, then taste and season with salt and pepper.
  10. Whisk the polenta to smooth it out, adding water as needed to thin. Divide the polenta among individual bowls, then spoon on the shrimp-tomato mixture.

http://www.lynnandruss.com

Adapted by Rose Hattabaugh for Milk Street

Chicken Tagine with Apricots, Butternut Squash and Spinach

WOW, this tagine from Milk Street has it all! The richness of the dish comes from layers of flavor, not from laborious browning. There is a little heat from the cayenne, sweetness from the apricots and butternut squash, saltiness from the olives, a tad of sour from the citrus, acidity from tomatoes, and a bit of crunch from the pistachios.

Instead of using an actual tagine dish, a large Dutch oven does the trick. A fragrant spice paste seasons the chicken and acts as a base for the stew. While preparing the remaining ingredients, trim, cut and season the chicken first to let it absorb the flavors. Apricots add sweetness and vibrant color, that is balanced by briny green olives. An equal amount of carrots can be substituted for the butternut squash.

Don’t drain the diced tomatoes. Their liquid adds sweetness and acidity to the stew.

No, this is not your typical quick weeknight recipe. Not only does it involve a lot of ingredients, it’ll take close to two hours total from prep through time to eat. But it is sooo worth it! Serve the tagine with couscous, rice or warmed pita bread.

Chicken Tagine with Apricots, Butternut Squash and Spinach

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients

  • 4 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper
  • 2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 2 tsp.s sweet paprika
  • 1 tsp. ground coriander
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cayenne
  • 1½ lbs. boneless, skinless chicken thighs, trimmed and cut into 1½-inch pieces
  • 1 large yellow onion, thinly sliced lengthwise
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
  • 4 tsp. grated fresh ginger
  • 2½ cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 14-oz. can diced tomatoes
  • 3/4 cup dried apricots, quartered
  • 8 oz. peeled butternut squash, cut into ¾-inch cubes (about 2 cups)
  • 1 cup cracked Greek green olives, pitted and halved
  • 1 cup chopped fresh cilantro, divided
  • 1/4 cup pistachios, toasted and chopped
  • 2 tsp. grated lemon zest, plus 3 Tbsp. lemon juice (1 to 2 lemons)
  • 4 oz. baby spinach (about 4 cups)

Directions

  1. In a small bowl, stir together 2 tablespoons of the oil, 2½ teaspoons salt, ½ teaspoon black pepper, the cinnamon, cumin, paprika, coriander and cayenne.
  2. In a medium bowl, toss the chicken with half the paste, rubbing the meat to coat evenly; set aside.
  3. In a large Dutch oven over medium-high, combine the onion, garlic, remaining 2 tablespoons of oil and ¼ teaspoon salt. Cook until the onion is browned and softened, 7 to 9 minutes.
  4. Add the ginger and remaining spice paste and cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute.
  5. Add the broth, tomatoes and apricots and bring to a boil, scraping up any browned bits.
  6. Add the chicken, return to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 10 minutes.
  7. Add the squash and olives, return to a simmer and cook, partially covered, until the liquid has thickened and the squash is tender, 20 to 25 minutes, stirring occasionally and adjusting the heat to maintain a medium simmer.
  8. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, stir together ½ cup of the cilantro, the pistachios and lemon zest. Stir the spinach into the stew and cook until wilted, 1 to 2 minutes.
  9. Stir in the remaining ½ cup of cilantro and the lemon juice, then taste and season with salt, pepper and more lemon juice, if necessary.
  10. Serve topped with the cilantro-pistachio mixture.

http://www.lynnandruss.com

Recipe by Elizabeth Germain for Milk Street

Brined and Stuffed Roast Pork with Pears

Because pork loin is so lean, it has a tendency to dry out rather quickly in the cooking process. But this fool proof brining method will leave you with the most juicy pork loin roast you’ve ever eaten. The unsung hero of meat cooking, the brining process is similar to marinating. Unlike marinating though, brining actually packs the cells of the meat full of moisture. Thanks to The Hubs for thinking of pairing this recipe with the brining process.

The most common and most important component of brining is salt. In many cases brown sugar is also used to offset some of the saltiness of the brine solution. Once you have the main components of salt, water and sugar, you can pretty much throw any herb in there you want. Following the advice from Grilling Companion, we added bay leaves, rosemary, thyme and black peppercorns.

Afterward, the boneless pork loin was stuffed with a flavorful herb-and-garlic mixture and roasted with fresh Anjou pears and leeks. Finally, a creamy mustard pan sauce, which we doubled, added the finishing touch to this succulent dish. Brussels sprouts and butternut squash made for a healthy side dish with deep roasted flavors.

And I’d be remiss if I didn’t give a shout out to what our guests contributed. Along with welcome bottles of wine, the Zarrilli’s started the party with a not only attractive, but also delicious, leek and artichoke tart on puff pastry; while the Mortka’s put a bright note on the finale with their exquisite homemade apple bundt cake drizzled in a caramel glaze and topped with whipped cream.

Our first course for dinner was the most luscious Cream of Carrot and Caramelized Apple Soup which set the tone for the follow-up courses with the fruit-herb-vegetable-centric theme.

Brined and Stuffed Roast Pork with Pears

  • Servings: 8-10
  • Difficulty: moderate
  • Print

Ingredients

The Brine

  • 4 – 5 lb. pork loin roast with a nice fat layer on the top
  • 6 cups water
  • 1/2 cup salt
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 handful peppercorns
  • 4 sprigs thyme
  • 2 sprigs rosemary

The Pork Loin

  • 3/4 cup packed fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • 1/4 cup packed roughly chopped fresh sage, plus whole sage leaves for roasting
  • 3 whole garlic cloves, plus 2 cloves, minced
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 5 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 boneless pork loin roast, about 3 1/2 lb., halved horizontally
  • 3 ripe red Anjou pears, halved lengthwise
  • 4 leeks, white portions only, trimmed, halved
      lengthwise and rinsed
  • 1 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
  • 3 oz. dry white wine
  • 3⁄4 cup chicken broth
  • 3 Tbsp. whole-grain mustard
  • 3 oz. cup heavy cream

Directions

The Brine

  1. Combine the brown sugar and salt in the water and bring to a boil.
  2. Stir until dissolved and then add the rest of the brine ingredients.
  3. Lower heat and simmer for about 5 minutes.
  4. Turn off the heat and allow to cool completely to room temperature.
  5. Once the solution has completely cooled, add the pork loin roast and brine solution to a Ziplock type bag. Seal and squeeze out as much air as possible.
  6. Put the sealed bag with the now brining pork roast into a pot or large bowl, one that can hold all of the liquid in case something happens to the bag. Place the bowl containing the brining meat into a refrigerator for at least 12 hours, up to 24 hours.

The Pork Loin

  1. Position a rack in the lower third of an oven and preheat to 400°F.
  2. In a mini food processor, process the parsley, chopped sage, whole garlic, salt, pepper and 3 tablespoons of the olive oil until a fine paste forms. Spread the mixture on the cut side of one half of the pork loin, then place the other half on top.
  3. Tie the roast together with kitchen twine and tuck whole sage leaves underneath the twine. Season the roast with salt and pepper.
  4. In a 5 1/2-quart Dutch oven over medium-high heat, warm the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil. Add the pears, cut side down, and cook until browned, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a plate. Add the pork to the pot and brown on all sides, about 8 minutes total. Transfer to a plate. Place the leeks, cut side down, in the pot in a single layer. Set the pork on top and place the pears along the sides of the pot.
  5. Roast until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center of the pork registers 140°F, 45 to 55 minutes. Transfer the pork to a carving board, cover loosely with aluminum foil and let rest for 10 minutes before carving. Transfer the leeks and pears to a platter.
  6. Pour the pan drippings into a bowl and discard all but 2 teaspoons. of the fat. Warm the reserved fat in the pot over medium-high heat. Add the minced garlic and flour and cook, stirring frequently, for 30 seconds. Add the wine and cook, stirring frequently, for 1 minute.
  7. Add the broth and pan drippings and cook until slightly thickened, about 3 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat and whisk in the mustard and cream. Season with salt and pepper.
  8. Cut the pork into slices and arrange on the platter. Pour some of the sauce over the slices and pass the remainder alongside.

http://www.lynnandruss.com

Recipe compliments of William Sonoma Kitchen; brining method from Grilling Companion

Sous Vide Leg of Lamb with Salsa Verde

This is a great meal for a slow, cool Sunday afternoon—provided you have an immersion circulator for the sous vide process. If you don’t own one, Christmas is coming up and it could make your list—just sayin’. Sous vide, which means “under vacuum” in French, refers to the process of vacuum-sealing food in a bag, then cooking it to a very precise temperature in a water bath. This technique produces wonderful results that are impossible to achieve through any other cooking method.

The benefits:

Consistency. Because you cook your food to a precise temperature for a precise amount of time, you can expect very consistent results. Taste. Food cooks in its juices. This ensures that the food is moist, juicy and tender. Waste reduction. Traditionally prepared food dries out and results in waste. For example, on average, traditionally cooked steak loses up to 40% of its volume due to drying out. Steak cooked via precision cooking, loses none of its volume. Flexibility. Traditional cooking can require your constant attention. Precision cooking brings food to an exact temperature and holds it. There is no worry about overcooking.

It’s actually very affordable and easy to get started with sous vide cooking thanks to the recent availability of sous vide devices built for the home cook. We own a Joule which is the smallest sous vide tool on the market. But it’s also the most powerful. It heats to the perfect temperature—no more, no less—which means that your proteins won’t overcook, ever. Even if they cook for extra time. 

As far as this recipe, by all means, feel free to use whatever dried herbs you happen to have on hand. Don’t have coriander? No biggie. Only have dried rosemary? Don’t sweat it. Create a taste profile that suits your own preferences. The amounts below indicate how much overall you’ll need.

To begin, season the leg of lamb liberally on both sides with kosher salt. Lay with the fat cap side down and score the top with a sharp pairing knife by dragging the knife across in diagonal lines both ways. Rub your herb mixture all over the scored side. Roll it up, and secure in place with butcher’s twine. Simply, vacuum seal the rolled leg of lamb and she’s ready for her water bath.

Our roast was only 2 1⁄2 pounds and we got 4-5 servings out of it, so a 5-pounder would yield 8-10 servings. It was delicious! We prefer our lamb medium-rare, but if you like yours less pink, adjust the immersion circulator to preheat the water bath temperature as needed.

Sous Vide Leg of Lamb with Salsa Verde

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Difficulty: moderate
  • Print

Ingredients

For the lamb:

  • 3-5 lb. boneless leg of lamb
  • 1 Tbsp. mustard seeds, lightly toasted
  • 1 Tbsp. coriander seeds, lightly toasted
  • 1 Tbsp. cumin seeds, lightly toasted
  • 1 tsp. peppercorns
  • 2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • Leaves of 1 rosemary sprig
  • Leaves of 2 thyme sprigs
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • Ghee or butter for searing

For the salsa verde (optional):

  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley
  • 1/2 tsp. flaked sea salt
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • Zest of one lemon
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil

Directions

  1. Using your immersion circulator, preheat water bath to 130° F.
  2. Add all the ingredients except the lamb, ghee, and salsa verde ingredients to a food processor or use a mortar and pestle to grind them into a paste.
  3. Season the leg of lamb liberally on both sides with additional kosher salt. Lay with the fat cap side down (you can trim this if you want) and score the top with a sharp pairing knife (this means dragging the knife across in diagonal lines both ways).
  4. Rub the herb mixture all over the scored side. Roll it up, and secure in place with butcher’s twine.
  5. Vacuum seal the rolled leg of lamb or add to a gallon-sized zipper top bag and remove all the air. Add to preheated water bath and cook for 3-5 hours.
  6. When done, remove from the water bath and bag. Pat leg of lamb as dry as possible with paper towels.
  7. Get a cast iron skillet searing hot—as hot as possible—and add enough ghee to coat the skillet. Sear the leg of lamb on all sides until golden brown. You may need to prop up the lamb roast with tongs to make sure it is browned all over.
  8. Let the leg of lamb rest for a moment on the cutting board. Prep the salsa verde by mixing together all ingredients. Taste and adjust seasoning as desired.
  9. Remove the twine from the leg of lamb and slice into 1/2 inch slices. Top with salsa verde and serve!

http://www.lynnandruss.com

Recipe from Chelsea Cole, food blogger for A Duck’s Oven

Cabbage and Smoked Ham Butt Gumbo

BAM! If you were a connoisseur of food television back in the day, you’ll recognize that phrase from famed chef Emeril Lagasse. The basis for this gumbo recipe hails from Emeril, with a few changes of our own.

It uses an ingredient we had never heard of, filé powder, also known as gumbo filé. It is an herbal powder made from the dried and ground leaves of the sassafras tree, native to eastern North America. Powdered sassafras leaves were first used in cooking by the Choctaw Indians of the Southern U.S. When the Cajuns (Acadians) arrived in Southern Louisiana, they began using the spice as a thickener and flavoring in their soups, stews, and gumbos. It was easy enough to locate at our local supermarket, but you could also order online.

The original called for two ham hocks, but luckily the grocery store was out. Luckily?? The butcher steered us toward a better option, a smoked ham butt, which is all meat and has very little fat. Therefore I renamed the recipe to reflect that switch.

And instead of using chicken stock, we incorporated our homemade ham stock which added oodles of additional flavor. The Emeril Essence you can buy online, get at Target, or make your own from the recipe below, which uses mostly seasonings already in your pantry.

Cabbage and Smoked Ham Butt Gumbo

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Difficulty: moderate
  • Print

Ingredients

  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped onions
  • 1 cup celery, chopped
  • 1 large bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 head Savoy cabbage, julienned
  • 2 lbs. smoked ham butt, quartered
  • 1 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. cayenne
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 4 cups ham stock, preferably homemade
  • 3 cups water
  • 12 oz. beer
  • 1 Tbsp. Emeril’s Essence (see recipe below)
  • 2 Tbsp. chopped parsley
  • 1/2 cup chopped green onions
  • 1 Tbsp. filé powder
  • 2 cups cooked white rice

Directions

  1. Combine the oil and flour in a large cast-iron or enameled cast-iron Dutch oven, over medium heat.
  2. Stirring slowly and constantly for 20 to 25 minutes, make a dark brown roux, the color of chocolate.
  3. Add the onions, celery, and bell peppers and continue to stir for 4 to 5 minutes, or until wilted.
  4. Add the cabbage and continue to sauté for 2 minutes.
  5. Add the ham butt quarters, salt, cayenne, and bay leaves. Continue to stir for 3 to 4 minutes.
  6. Add the stock, beer and Essence. Stir until the roux mixture and stock are well combined. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium to low. Cook, uncovered, stirring occasionally, for 2 1/2 hours.
  7. Skim off any fat that rises to the surface. Continue to simmer for 30 minutes.
  8. Remove from the heat . Stir in the parsley, green onions, and filé powder.
  9. Remove the bay leaves and ham butt chunks. Shred the ham once cooled enough to handle and place the meat back into the gumbo.
  10. Serve in deep bowls with the rice.

Emeril’s Essence

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 Tbsp. paprika
  • 2 Tbsp. salt
  • 2 Tbsp. garlic powder
  • 1 Tbsp. black pepper
  • 1 Tbsp. onion powder
  • 1 Tbsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1 Tbsp. dried oregano
  • 1 Tbsp. dried thyme

Combine all ingredients thoroughly. Yields 2/3 cup.

http://www.lynnandruss.com

Adapted from an online recipe from Emeril Lagasse

Fideos with Chorizo and Arugula

Spanish fideos are thin, vermicelli-like noodles that typically are used to make a paella-like dish also called fideos. According to Milk Street where we obtained this recipe, the noodles are toasted until golden before cooking to bring out a nutty flavor and aroma. Here, vermicelli or angel hair pasta, broken into small pieces, is matched with rich and meaty Spanish chorizo, fire-roasted tomatoes that accentuate the smoky notes of the sausage, and peppery arugula or grassy parsley for fresh color and flavor.

TIP: Don’t forget to remove the paper casing off of the chorizo.

The real challenge is breaking the pasta down into 1 inch-sized pieces without spraying them all over the kitchen. Most of ours were actually 2 inches in length and it worked out fine, although, we did need to sweep up the floor some…

We paired ours with steamed broccolini, but a simple salad and/or crusty bread are perfect accompaniments too.

Fideos with Chorizo and Arugula

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients

  • 3 Tbsp. neutral oil
  • 4 oz. Spanish chorizo, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
  • 8 oz. vermicelli or angel hair pasta, broken into rough 1-inch lengths
  • 3 medium garlic cloves, minced
  • 14½ oz. can diced fire-roasted tomatoes
  • 4 cups lightly packed baby arugula, chopped OR 1 bunch flat-leaf parsley, chopped OR a combination
  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper

Directions

  1. In a 12-inch skillet, cook the oil and chorizo, stirring, until the oil turns red and the chorizo begins to sizzle. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to a small bowl.
  2. Add the pasta to the oil in the skillet and cook, stirring, until evenly browned, about 5-7 minutes.
  3. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant.
  4. Add the tomatoes with juices and 2 cups water. Simmer, uncovered and stirring occasionally and adjusting the heat to maintain a simmer, until the pasta is tender and the majority of the liquid has evaporated, about 15 minutes.
  5. Place the arugula in a large pasta bowl, add the chorizo, then top with the hot pasta mixture. Stir until well combined. Season with salt and pepper.

http://www.lynnandruss.com

Adapted from a recipe from Julia Rackow for Milk Street

Fusilli with Cherry Tomato Sauce and Fresh Sage

As we were eating this lovely pasta dish, The Hubs exclaimed how much he liked it. I responded “And the list of ingredients was short for such depth of flavor and it was simple to boot!” Then he looked at the Milk Street recipe print out and saw that this adaptation hailed from Yotam Ottolenghi’s cookbook titled “Simple”—how serendipitous!

That being said, I cut back the pasta from 12 to 8 ounces because it did not seem that the amount of sauce would be sufficient for the larger quantity. With gentle simmering and a bit of water to facilitate cooking, cherry or grape tomatoes are transformed into a bold pasta sauce. To ratchet up the flavor, herbs, red pepper flakes and pecorino Romano are added. Try to get a block of the cheese to create shavings as opposed to the already grated variety.

Fusilli was our choice, but spaghetti or bucatini (a tubular pasta resembling thick spaghetti) also pairs particularly well with the sauce. Be aware that you do not want to simmer the tomatoes until there is no liquid remaining. Some moisture is needed for the sauce to cling to the pasta.

Fusilli with Cherry Tomato Sauce and Fresh Sage

  • Servings: 2-3
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients

  • ⅓ cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more to serve
  • 4 medium garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • ¼ tsp. red pepper flakes
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 lb. cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
  • ½ tsp. white sugar
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 Tbsp. chopped fresh sage, divided
  • 8 oz. fusilli, bucatini pasta or spaghetti, cooked according to package directions
  • ¾ tsp. smoked paprika
  • Shaved pecorino Romano, to serve

Directions

  1. Add the oil to a 12-inch skillet. Turn the heat to medium-high, and add the garlic, pepper flakes and bay, then cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  2. Add the tomatoes, sugar, 1 teaspoon salt and 1 cup water. Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes begin to break down, about 4 minutes.
  3. Reduce to medium-low and cook, uncovered and stirring occasionally and adjusting the heat as needed to maintain a steady simmer, until the tomatoes have fully broken down and the sauce is thick enough that a spatula drawn through it leaves a trail, 40 to 50 minutes.
  4. Remove from the heat and remove and discard the bay. Stir in 1 tablespoon of sage and the smoked paprika, then cover to keep warm.
  5. When the sauce is almost ready, in a large pot, bring 4 quarts water to a boil. Add 2 tablespoons salt and the fusilli, then cook, stirring occasionally, until al dente.
  6. Drain the pasta, then return to the pot. Add the sauce and toss until well combined. Transfer to a serving bowl. Sprinkle with the remaining 1 tablespoon sage and shaved pecorino, then drizzle with additional oil.

http://www.lynnandruss.com

Loosely adapted from a recipe by Milk Street

Grilled Lamb Shoulder Chops Greek-Style

Shoulder chops aren’t the most tender, but they truly have great lamb flavor. Plus, they are far less expensive than other types of lamb chops. The steaks are usually rather thin, therefore make sure you have a hot fire ready so they get a good sear on the outside before they have a chance to overcook on the inside.

Lamb and grilling are a classic combination in Greek cookery. In just minutes over a hot fire, they are nearly ready to serve with that quintessential Greek flavoring combination of fresh oregano, fresh lemon juice, really good olive oil, and just a touch of garlic. Simple is, as simple gets.

To complete the meal we roasted some baby Yukon potatoes which benefited from some of that oregano-garlic sauce; and a side of Roasted Green Beans with Pecorino and Pine Nuts which are mixed with oil, salt, pepper, and a tad of sugar to enhance caramelization.

Grilled Lamb Shoulder Chops Greek-Style

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients

  • Four 10- to 12-ounce lamb shoulder blade chops, 1/2 inch to 1/4 inch thick
  • Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp. roughly chopped fresh oregano
  • 1 tsp. minced garlic
  • 1/2 lemon

Directions

  1. Preheat grill to hot.
  2. Dry the chops with paper towels and sprinkle them generously with salt and pepper. Place the chops on the grill and cook until well seared, 3 to 4 minutes per side. To check for doneness, use an instant-read thermometer. The chops are rare at 120°F, medium rare at 125°F, medium at 130°F, and well done at 145°F and higher. FYI, lamb can take on a gamey flavor when cooked past medium.
  3. When the chops are done, remove them from the grill, cover them loosely with foil, and let them rest for 5 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the olive oil, oregano, and garlic and mix well.
  5. Spoon the garlic mixture over the lamb chops, squeeze the lemon on top of them, and serve hot.

http://www.lynnandruss.com

Recipe by John Willoughby and Christopher Schlesinger