Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Mint and Cucumber Relish

2 large cucumbers, peeled, seeded and cut into small dice
1/4 cup minced shallot
1/4 cup minced fresh mint
3 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 pinch red pepper flakes
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar

Place the diced cucumber in a fine mesh sieve set over a bowl. Lightly salt and let drain for 1 hour. Pat dry with paper towels and place in a clean bowl.
Add the remaining ingredients and toss to combine. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour and up to 4 hours before serving. Stir well before serving.

Rack of Lamb

8 single baby rib lamb chops, frenched
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons minced fresh rosemary
2 tablespoons minced fresh mint
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 Shallot finely sliced
1 tsp thyme

Place lamb chops and above ingredients in zip lock bag and marinate in refrigerator for approximately 4 hrs.

Place the chops in a flat layer on a broiler pan. Cook chops at 450 degrees for 10 minutes, reduce temperature to 350 and continue to bake for another 20 minutes. Remove from oven and let rest for 5-10 minutes.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Fingerlings and Aioli

For the Aioli:
1(1/2-inch thick) slice white bread, crust removed
2 tablespoons Champagne or white wine vinegar
6 large garlic cloves, chopped (roasted is nice too)
2 extra-large egg yolks, at room temperature
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon saffron threads
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 cups good olive oil
Chives, chopped

Rinse the potatoes and put them in a large saucepan. Cover them with cold water, add 1 tablespoon of salt, and bring to a boil. Simmer uncovered for 15 to 20 minutes, until they are just tender.

For the aioli, tear the slice of bread into pieces and place in a bowl. Pour the vinegar over the bread, and set aside for 5 minutes.

Place the garlic cloves, egg yolks, zest, juice, saffron, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Add the bread, and puree into a paste. With the processor running, slowly pour the oil into the bowl through the feed tube and process until it is the consistency of thick sour cream ( I used a hand blender). Place in a serving bowl.

Slice the potatoes in half and place them on a serving plate. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, and decorate with the chopped chives. Serve with the aioli.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008


1 French boule, or loaf of round Tuscan bread, torn into bite-size pieces (I used a baguette)
Extra virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Juice of 1/2 a lemon, or as needed
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar(could use balsamic)
1/2 a shallot minced
4 small tomatoes
1 yellow pepper
1/2 cucumber diced
1 carrot diced
8 medium leaves of basil cut in chiffonade style

Preheat the oven to 400F. Toss the bread chunks with 1/4 cup oil until the bread is wet with the oil. Spread the bread on a baking sheet and back until the bread begins to brown, about 10 minutes. While the bread is going, make the dressing. Use a large knife to chop and mash the garlic, shallots, and salt to a paste on a cutting board. Scrape it into a large mixing bowl, add the lemon juice, vinegar, oil, salt, pepper, and stir together. Add all of the rest of the ingredients and gently stir. Taste for seasoning. Finally, add the toasted bread and toss it all together. Taste it and season one last time with salt, pepper, and lemon juice.