Monday, January 18, 2010

Rack of Lamb, Kiwi Mint Sauce, and Wild Mushroom Risotto

Mmmm doesn't it just make your mouth water? I love lamb, it's so succulent, and now that I know how to make risotto, I just don't see any reason to ever make plain white rice again. Last Thursday I made this for my friend Christen. It turned out awesome. I've done this lamb recipe before, but the risotto part was new for me. Sure, it takes about 25 minutes and a lot of patience to cook, but it's so worth it. Also, the kiwi mint sauce/salsa came out much better since I let the wine properly reduce and turn into more of a syrup.

Here is the recipe that I used for the lamb. I'd recommend 2-3 pieces per person, though three pieces plus the risotto was almost too much. (but of course I ate it all!)

1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup raspberry vinegar
1/3 cup fresh lime juice (i actually use a bit less)
2 cups chopped fresh mint leaves
4 kiwis, peeled and diced
1 tablespoon finely grated lime zest
2 racks of lamb with about 7 bones each
3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 cloves minced garlic
1/2 tsp ground pepper
2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
2 cups fresh bread crumbs
1/2 cup melted butter

In a small saucepan, combine sugar, raspberry vinegar and lime juice. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes (or until reduces to a syrup). Remove from heat and cool to room temperature. When cool, add mint, kiwi, and lime zest. Chill until serving time.

Place racks of lamb in roasting pan or on boiler pan. Convect Roast at 400 degF for 20 minutes. Remove from oven after 20 minutes and let cool slightly.

Brush cooled lamb with Dijon mustard, sprinkle with minced garlic, pepper, and thyme. In a small bowl, combine parsley, bread crumbs and melted butter. Coat the lamb generously with the crumb mixture. Return lamb to oven and roast for 20 minutes longer. At this point the lamb will be about medium rare (145 deg). Remove from oven and cover loosely with foil and allow to stand for 5 minutes before cutting.

Serve with kiwi mint sauce.

Now I know what you're thinking. Great, now I can make the lamb, but how about that risotto. Okay, okay, here ya go. This one I got from, but I modified it a little.

4 cups (32 oz) chicken broth (I recommend Kitchen Basics unsalted)
2 tablespoons olive oil
diced mushrooms (whatever kind you like best)
1-2 shallots diced
1 cup Arborio rice
1/3 cup white wine (since I wasn't drinking white wine this evening, I just used some basic cooking wine)
ground pepper to taste
2 1/2 tablespoons butter (set out on the counter to soften before you start the risotto)
3 1/2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese

In a pot warm the broth over low heat and keep warm.

Warm 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir in the mushrooms, and cook until soft (about 3 minutes). Remove mushrooms and their liquid, and set aside.

Add 1 tablespoon olive oil to skillet, and stir in the shallots. Cook 1 minute. Add rice, stirring to coat with oil, about 2 minutes. When the rice has turned a pale, golden color, pour in the wine, stirring constantly until the wine is fully absorbed. Add 1/2 cup broth to the rice, and stir until the broth is absorbed. Continue adding broth 1/2 cup at a time, stirring continuously, until the liquid is absorbed and the rice is al dente (about 15-20 minutes).

This takes time. Don't be afraid if the liquid looks like it isn't being absorbed. Give it a few minutes, you'll be surprised how much liquid that little amount of rice can absorb. When I made it, it took about 20 minutes to get through the 4 cups of broth, but with each addition and absorption, the rice took on a thicker consistency as its natural starches were released.

Once finished, take the skillet off the heat and stir in the mushrooms (and any mushroom liquid), butter (sliced), and the Parmesan cheese. Garnish with mint (or other fresh herb) and serve.


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