Sunday, April 4, 2010

Easter Sunday Supper

Salad of Tomato Tartare and Haricot Verts and Chive Oil  from The French Laundry Cookbook
Asparagus Coins  from Ad Hoc at Home Cookbook
Potato Pave  from Ad Hoc at Home Cookbook
Herb Crusted Rack of Lamb with Honey Mustard Glaze  from Ad Hoc at Home Cookbook
Poulet Roti   from Bouchon Cookbook
Lemon Bars from Ad Hoc at Home Cookbook

As you see I gravitated to Ad Hoc at Home which is far less demanding than the other two books. Actually they should be weighted Heavy (TFL) Medium (Bouchon) and Light (Ad Hoc) - it's still Thomas Keller remember so "Light" is a relative term. And for those you wondering why we have two meat dishes, I'm not really thrilled with the flavor of lamb so I'll have a taste and then I'll eat chicken. I'm the cook. So I can.
I have posted the chicken recipe before so I won't repeat it today. Click here if you want to read it.

So grab a beverage, settle in and enjoy, I'm afraid this will be a long one! I'll go dish by dish if that's ok with y'all.

TFL Salad: Haricots Vert, tomato confit, minced shallot, balsamic vinegar, frisee, heavy cream, red winevinegar, salt, pepper and tomato powder and chive oil.

Take some thin green beans and blanche them in salted water. Then send them to the ice bath. Cut them into one inch pieces and set them on paper towels to dry. Take your tomato confit out of the fridge and finely mince it. Combine the confit with finely minced shallots a touch of balsamic and a few minced chives. Put that bowl into the fridge until ready to plate. Pick out some tender leaves of frisee, wash and set aside. In a bowl set inside a larger bowl holding ice, Whisk your cream until slightly thickened then fold in the vinegar and season to taste with salt and pepper. Then you mix the green beans into this different sort of vinaigrette. It really is a vinaigrette, he just substituted butter fat for oil, Classic Keller.

Using a 3 inch ring mold, or a biscuit cutter like I did, place the confit mixture in the center of the plate

Carefully add a  ring of chive oil around the tomato mixture, then place the gren beans on top leaving a 1/4 in ring of tomatoes showing. Finally top with frisee, drizzle with a tiny bit of olive oil and add a dusting of tomato powder. You can make your own tomato powder but it is a very long and often failed process. I just ordered some much easier. The final plating:

Pretty isn't it?  It was quite tasty as well. Lovely mix of textures and flavors. The frisee and the green beans gave a nice crunch to the confit and cream smoothness. The raw shallots gave just a hint of a bite in comparison with the sweetness of the tomato. The creamy dressing tasted a bit like sour cream, which when you think about it, should come as no surprise. Definite do again.

Asparagus Coins: Asparagus, chive oil, parsely water, salt and pepper.
The book says to slice your asparagus on the mandoline. My stems kept breaking and I ended up with this:

Usually WSH does the mandoline-driving around here. This is due to an incident several years ago when trying to impress my sister with my mandoline skills I had a bad accident. I kept the end of my finger but just  barely. So I am somewhat shy around mandolines, and you know what? They can sense that. They sense fear in you. So I decided to go the old fashioned way and cut the Asparagus with a knife. Worked fine.

To cook this dish you start with the tips in chive oil and sautee till they start popping, then add the coins and swirl it all around. Cook until the edges of the coins are done but the center is still raw. Then add parsley water and cook until tender.  I have no pictures of this because a) they were bad pictures and b) they were bad pictures because everything was coming together at this point and I had 3 timers going 3 pans going and couldn't be bothered. LOL You will see them on the final plating shot. Honestly the lack of pictures probably has a lot to do with this was my least favorite dish . It had no redeeming value that I could find. I mean..why? Just roast the asparagus and be done with it.  Moving on....

Potato Pave: Canola oil, a previously made potato pave, butter and minced chives.
You unmold your pave by running a knife around the sides and using the parchment handles to lift it out of the baking dish and invert onto a cutting board.

It sort of resembles bacon to me... maybe I am just wired for pork fat. Anyway, trim all edges and cut the pave into cubes. If WSH had done this they would have been precisely equal... but as you can see, they were cut by yours truly. Notice the little slices of potato, like pages in a book.

Heat canola oil in a large frying pan and add the cubes sliced side down. Actually you're supposed to add thyme and garlic but I couldn't find my thyme and please reference the statement above regarding 3 timers. This is why mise en place is so important.. Anyway, it was a minor oversight on something with as much innate goodness as fried potatoes.

Carefully turn the cubes until all sides are browned. Here's a sneak preview:

Honestly these are really fancy, really good hash browns.

Rack of Lamb 8 bone frenched rack, dijon mustard, honey, dried breadcrumbs, butter, garlic confit, minced rosemary and finely chopped italian parsley.

Let the rack come to room temp and score the fat in a  1/2 in crosshatch design.

Before proceeding further with the lamb, puree the butter and garlic confit, mince the herbs and blend all together in a small bowl with the breadcrumbs. I found hands were the best tools for this. Also, mix together the honey and mustard in a separate small bowl.

Back to the lamb: Heat canola oil in a large skillt until it shimmers, place the lamb, meat side down and allow it to brown the fat. Move it around to brown as much fat as you can.

When that's done remove the rack to a roasting pan, meat side up. Brush the honey mustard mixture on the top and sides, don't brush the underside. Then pat the breadcrumb mixture onto the meat.

Roast in a preheated 425 oven for 25 min. Let it rest about 10 min before carving for medium rare.

And here are the shots that expose me for the loving amateur I am. Did you know the word amateur has its root in the word love? At least that's what Joel Hudson taught me. And I believe it. Anyway, so that you can see the inside of the lamb here's a final plating:

The lamb was really good. Obviously high quality. It was tender and flavorful but not overpowering. WSH had no use for the breadcrumb coating, he had several descriptions, each time trying to pull himself out of a hole he had imagined he'd dug himself in. I wasn't hurt in the least, it wasn't my recipe. But I know the secret ingredient that was missing for his palette. The recipe calls for unsalted butter and I'd be willing to bet the words "Shake and Bake" would have never been mentioned in this home if I'd used salted butter.

Lemon Bars: previously made lemon bars and topping of choice
Ad Hoc at Home uses a piped meringue topping that is then browned with one of those nifty personal blow torches. Given my safety record with the mandoline, I don't see a blow torch in my future. But that's really OK because I am not a huge meringue fan anyway. I chose powdered sugar as one, and freshly whipped cream with a tiny bit of Tupelo Honey for sweetness. Sorry for the blurry pics :(

Lemme just tell ya.. either one of these toppings, or both or neither is great! These bars are sooo incredibly lemony and tart and smooth and crisp. The crust is buttery and not too sweet. These lemon bars are fantastic. And thank goodness I have neighbors requesting them already! Definite do again.

Salad: Excellent!
Asparagus coins: not so much.  Wont do this one again.
Potato Pave: Very Good
Lamb: Excellent!
Lemon Bars: I WANT MORE~!

So that was our Easter feast. I wanted to make a meal worthy of the day. Blessings to you all and additionally Happy Easter to those who observe it. Much Love!

See you soon!

1 comment:

  1. Most wonderful and blessed Easter meal i have ever had. He has Risen. WSH