Monday, April 1, 2013

Pistachio-Crusted Rack of Lamb with Roasted Asparagus, Sweet Potato Mash and Sherry Wine Reduction


Today is the last day of the Easter long weekend! Everyday had been full of cooking and fine-wine-dining in the comfort of my own home. For Easter Monday, I made rack of lamb, as per my suggestion for possible Easter dinners. Inspired once again by Chef Gordan Ramsay, this time his recipe for herb-crusted rack of lamb, I took a step further and made a pistachio crust made with pistachios, parsley, bread crumbs, salt n' pepper and olive oil. I was very disappointed to find very little pistachios available in the supermarket I went to. I salvaged what I could at the bulk section, just enough to cover my lamb rack and have some extra leftover. The pistachio nuts gave the crust an earthy, nutty and savory flavor and a little bit of parsley was added for subtle flavor and a bust of color. Since the crust is vegan, I may use the left overs to crust some tofu for dinner later on in the week.
I followed the cooking technique of Chef Gordan Ramsay for my dear lamb rack: scoring, seasoning, searing, resting, dijon and all. I served the rack of lamb with roasted asparagus (the best flippin' thing on Earth), sweet potato mash and a Sherry wine reduction. I love the sweet and fruity flavor of Sherry for cooking; not a fan of it with my meal. I'll stick to an organic Cabernet Sauvignon instead.

Pistachio Crust
1 cup shelled pistachio nuts
1 cup Panko/white bread crumbs
1/2 cup parsley leaves
1 tbsp olive oil 
salt and pepper to taste

In a food processor, blend the pistachio nuts until crumbly. Add remaining ingredients and blitz until parsley leaves are well blended and mixture is green. Pour onto a plate and dip lamb rack, coating generously and evenly with the crust mixture.


Roasted Asparagus
Asparagus. As much as you want.
Olive oil. To grease your baking sheet and coat the asparagus.
Sea Salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste.

Preheat oven to 375 F.
Trim asparagus of its' woody, chewy, non-flavorful ends. Take the end of the asparagus between your thumb and forefinger and bend until it breaks. The asparagus automatically breaks just where the woody part ends and the fresh, juicy asparagus begins. Easy-peasy.
Grease a large enough baking sheet to avoid the asparagus spears from crowding. Toss the spears with olive oil and your salt n' pepper. If you want more flavor, add a zest of one lemon or a few thinly sliced cloves of garlic. Even better, dice some bacon, crisp it up and use the bacon fat in place of the olive oil. Delish!
Roast for 15-20 minutes until the spears limp when you hold it by the end.

For myself, I made a Spinach, Mushroom, Goat Cheese and Pine Nut Phyllo tart. Mouthful, I know.
It's something I made a long time ago for a Christmas gathering and I got the inspiration from Chatelaine .
It's pretty simple to put together and it's a change from the puff pastry that I love.