Red Wine Braised Lamb

dinner | December 18, 2015 | By

The holidays have come and gone, and there is so much that has transpired…in the kitchen. 😉  We have been branching out and experimenting with different foods!  Chef Jess pulled me aside a week before Christmas, and with a super-duper serious look on her face exclaimed, “We really have to get our menu together!”  Talk about a role reversal!  So together we brainstormed, and came up with a smorgasbord of main dishes, sides, and hors d’oeuvres. 

One of the highlights was this simple, yet AMAZINGLY DELICIOUSLY SCUMPTIOUS Lamb dish.  Everything is done in one pot, and all the flavors melt in such a way that makes it seem like you slaved over the stove.  The truth is that you can simply forget about it once it’s in the oven.  Read a book, paint your nails…or, oh yah…take time to have a heart-to-heart with your young chefs.  That’s what I opted for.  🙂  Chef Jess talked incessantly about…well…EVERYTHING that’s girly.  (Clothes, shoes, friends, hair, nails…blah, blah, blahbedy, blah)  LOL!  It’s actually funny to watch her talk like talking might be outlawed at any moment.  But, our conversation became much deeper when Chef Fresh chimed in.  He has no patience for her endless chatter, so he felt obligated to cut her off.  (Teenagers!)  But in this instance, it was actually okay.  Let me explain…

He brought up a video we watched earlier in the day that was quite moving.  I don’t want to ruin it for you, so I won’t go in depth about the content.  But, please know that it will pull at your heartstrings.  It did for me, and it apparently also did for my (sometimes) temperamental teenager.  He simply stated…”I would do that for you Mommy.”  That’s all it took for the waterworks to begin.  My lesson in the moment is that sometimes our teens push and pull, but the foundation that we create absolutely helps to form their character.

 Oh, ok…about the Lamb. lol!  You will want to trim away the fattiness if your meat has too much of it.  We find that this is what makes it taste kinda…well..too “lamby.”  Give it a healthy dusting of salt and pepper on all sides.  Massage all that goodness in!  Sear it in coconut oil, and brown it on all sides.  That’s the hard work. 🙂  Next, you will just need to add all the other ingredients, and put it in the oven.  How easy!!!

Lamb in oven

Lamb in oven

Take the pot out of the oven when cooked, and take a second to look at how beautiful your creation is!!!!  Let it rest for a while, and then remove the rosemary, thymes, and oregano sprigs.  The sauce will be sooo deliciously rustic that you’ll want to put it on EVERYTHING.

Cooked Lamb 3

 

Plate it to your liking by adding any starch that you love.  Potatoes, rice, and polenta are some options for you.  However, we decided to lighten the dish by serving it with brussel sprouts.  Enjoy this dish which ever way you choose!  The lamb is your star item, and your guests will love you for sharing it with them.

John 15:12….. My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.

Faith, Family, Food…    In that order.

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Braised Leg of Lamb
An elegant dish with such depth of flavor! The leg of lamb is braised in red wine and fresh herbs. It's a perfectly rustic and hearty meal for any day!
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Ingredients
  1. 5 pound leg of lamb (bone in or out)
  2. 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  3. 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  4. 1/2 tablespoon coconut oil
  5. 2 cups of Mommy's favorite Red Wine
  6. 1 small 6 ounce can tomato paste
  7. 4 ripe tomatoes, quartered
  8. 3/4 cup golden raisins
  9. 3/4 cup currants
  10. 7 cloves garlic, peeled
  11. 6 sprigs fresh thyme
  12. 3 sprigs fresh rosemary
  13. 3 sprigs fresh oregano
  14. 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
Instructions
  1. 1.Make sure to preheat oven to 325°F. Generously season the leg of lamb with salt and pepper. In a large dutch oven, heat the coconut oil on high. Place the seasoned lamb in the pot and sear each side until dark brown.
  2. 2.Once the lamb is finished browning, turn off heat and add wine, tomato paste, tomatoes, raisins, cilantro, currants, garlic cloves, thyme, oregano, and rosemary. Stir to combine. Cover and place in the oven. Cook for 1 hour on 325°F. Then reduce heat to 275°F and braise for another 3 hours.
  3. 3.Once the lamb is finished, remove it from the oven. You will want to remove the rosemary, thyme, and oregano sprigs from the stock. The sauce will be nice and thick and rustic looking. Of course, add salt and pepper to taste.
  4. 4.The lamb is super duper tender, and will literally melt in your mouth. Serve with sauce and garnish with raisins and currants. (It makes the plate really pretty.)
Notes
  1. This meat dish pairs well with all types of starches (ie. rice, potatoes, polenta) However, we served ours with pan seared brussel sprouts for a slightly lighter meal. 🙂
Together Three Chef http://togetherthreechef.com/

 

 

Plated Lamb 1

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Fresh Heirloom Tomato and English Cucumber Salad

salad, side dish | December 7, 2015 | By

As a mom, I am ALWAYS looking for ways to get my kids to eat healthy food.  It’s not always easy or pretty!  However, I’ve learned through trial and error that kids will eat anything that tastes good…or ANYTHING they help make. 😉

They learned this recipe from their Nana recently, and it has quickly become a quick go-to side dish in our home.  Chef Fresh slices up the onions because Chef Jess’ eyes tear up too much.  She slices the tomatoes and cukes, while I whisk up the dressing.  In 10 minutes we have a really tasty side dish. 🙂

This is really great for picnics, but also as a accompaniment to a savory winter recipe that needs some lightening up.  I also imagine that you could kick this up for a filling lunch by adding chicken salad or tuna salad.  Yum!

Faith, Family, Food…In THAT order

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Fresh Heirloom Tomato and English Cucumber Salad

Tomato Cucumber Salad

Fresh Heirloom Tomato and English Cucumber Salad
Serves 4
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Prep Time
10 min
Prep Time
10 min
Ingredients
  1. 4 large Heirloom Tomatoes (varying colors)
  2. 1 Vidalia onion (THINLY sliced)
  3. 1 English cucumber (THINLY sliced)
  4. 3 TBSP honey
  5. 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  6. 1 1/2 tablespoon sherry vinegar
  7. 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  8. 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
Instructions
  1. Slice tomatoes evenly, and THINLY slice the English cucumber and Vidalia onion. Arrange on a platter, or in a salad bowl.
  2. Mix the honey, olive oil, vinegar, and salt/ pepper together. Make sure to whish thoroughly. Drizzle dressing over the tomato and cucumber salad.
Together Three Chef http://togetherthreechef.com/
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Seared Salmon and Garlic Spinach with a Dill Beurre Blanc

dinner, seafood | December 7, 2015 | By

 

Seared Salmon with Garlick Soinach with a Dill Beurre Blanc

It’s one week after Thanksgiving, and I don’t know about you, but I honestly don’t care to eat another slice of turkey ANYTIME soon! lol Although we had a fabulous time seeing family for the long weekend, we are now back to our regular routine. Of course this means cooking together!!! YAY 🙂

As usual, I (the Sous) stayed out of the way and allowed Chef Jess and Chef Fresh to come up with different menus. I was mum even when overhearing an argument about who would cook the protein. Chef Jess wanted steak, but Chef Fresh moaned that we had eaten enough meat during the holiday. Eventually they were able to settle down and agree on a seafood dish. So seared salmon with garlic spinach and a dill beurre blanc it was!

Just a quick trip to the supermarket, and we each began our cooking tasks. Chef Jess was still just a little pouty that her big brother was spearheading the menu, but she did really well with chopping the herbs. It’s amazing how her knife skills have improved! Chef Fresh made me chuckle because he seasoned the salmon steaks with such intensity…like it was brain surgery. 🙂

As usual, we talked about a whole range of topics as we stood shoulder to shoulder. See…we attended church earlier in the day during which the sermon was about intentional living, and doing things that add value to others. We talked about how we can do this on a daily basis, and why this is important. I shared the idea that you never truly know what a person is going through, and gave a few examples.  There was one about how there may be a kid in the class who seems to always misbehave.  While everyone sees them as bad, they may actually be acting out because they’re going through something really horrible at home. It was my next example that really seemed to resonate with my young chefs….especially my son. I simply stated that it is very likely that there are some students in their class that probably only eat when they are at school because their families are unable to buy food. He looked down at the salmon that he had so carefully seasoned, and said softly “That’s so sad. That’s so sad.”

From this discussion, we were able to brainstorm ways to intentionally impact others through our kindness….Not only during the holiday season, but as a way of life.

Faith, Family, Food…    In that order.

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Bon appétit,

 

 

Seared Salmon with Garlic Spinach and a Dill Beurre Blanc
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For Beurre Blanc
  1. 2 medium shallots, finely chopped
  2. 1/2 cup white wine
  3. 1/2 cup tablespoon heavy cream
  4. ½ teaspoon salt
  5. ¼ teaspoon ground white pepper
  6. 3 Tbs. chopped fresh dill
  7. 12 tablespoons (1½ sticks) salted butter, cold and cut into small cubes
For Spinach
  1. 2 large bunches of spinach, about 1 lb
  2. 2 tablespoons chopped garlic
  3. Freshly ground black pepper
  4. Salt
  5. 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  6. 1 tablespoon water
For Salmon
  1. 4 6-ounce salmon fillets
  2. Salt
  3. Pepper
  4. Garlic Powder
  5. Emeril's All Natural Fish Rub
  6. Olive oil
  7. Juice of 1/2 Lemon
For Beurre Blanc
  1. 1. In a heavy saucepan over high heat, combine the shallots, wine, and lemon juice. Boil the mixture until it is thick and syrupy.
  2. 2. Reduce the heat to very low, and add the cream, salt, pepper, and dill. Whisk in the cubed butter, a little at a time.
  3. 3. When the butter is fully combined and the mixture is emulsified, remove it from the heat. The sauce can be made up to about an hour before serving, and then reheated. HOWEVER...Do NOT let it bubble as you reheat.
For Spinach
  1. 1. Cut off the thick stems of the spinach and THOROUGHLY clean the leaves.
  2. 2. Heat butter on medium high heat. Add the garlic and sauté for about 1 minute, until the garlic is translucent.
  3. 3. Add spinach and water to pan. You may need to pack it down to get it to fit. Cover for 5 minutes. Uncover, and turn spinach over to coat with butter and garlic. Recover, and allow to wilt.
  4. 4. Add salt and pepper to taste.
For Salmon
  1. 1. Sprinkle the salmon fillets with pepper, garlic, and fish rub. Be careful not to go too heavy handed with the fish rub because it contains salt.
  2. 2. Coat the bottom of a large, cast-iron or heavy-bottomed pan with oil, and place over medium-high heat.
  3. 3. Once the oil is hot, add the salmon fillets. Please do not overcrowd the pan. Cook, without moving. There is nothing worse than overcooked fish! So, cook the 1st side until the it is cooked about 1/4 of the way up the fillet. Flip it, and repeat for the other side. The fillet will continue to cook even after it is removed from the fire. Drizzle each fillet with some lemon juice.
Notes
  1. The fun part is the plating! Pick your plate, and place a serving of the garlic spinach in the center. Lay a salmon fillet on top, and spoon some beurre blanc around the bottom of your beautifully balanced culinary creation! Enjoy!
Together Three Chef http://togetherthreechef.com/

 

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