And now for the last holiday of March… Easter! Man oh man did everything seem to come early this year! I don’t actually celebrate Easter, but I have had the pleasure of celebrating with friends for the past few years now. While I was at Bucknell, I went to my roommate Katlyn’s house for quite a few years and I always had so much fun with her family. I remember strawberry pretzel pie and her grandmother having tons and tons of chocolate around the house. As the weather really starts to heat up here in Florida, I thought I would make a spring-inspired menu, featuring some of my favorite dishes of the season. I’ll start with the main event today: Rack of Lamb.
I positively LOVE rack of lamb; I am definitely my grandmother’s granddaughter. She has always served it very traditionally, mint jelly and all, but I wanted to go for a different approach. I crusted the lamb with garlic, herbs, and panko crumbs. This creates a very flavorful crust and continues to give the meat flavor as it cooks. I always cook lamb by pan searing the meat and finishing it in the oven. You develop the most flavor this way. I always think that it cooks faster than it does, so for lamb especially I really recommend using a meat thermometer to let you know when it’s finished. You should remove it from the oven when it reaches 145 degrees, and let it rest for 5-7 minutes before slicing. That temp will give you a medium, pink color. I’ve chosen to serve the rack with a quick mustard sauce for dipping. The spiciness of the mustard balances out that delicious, meaty flavor and complements all of those fresh herbs.
Makes: 3 servings (3 chops per person)
Prep Time: 15 minutes Cooking Time: 20 minutes Total Time: 35 minutes
1 frenched rack of lamb, roughly 9 chops
1 1/2 cups panko bread crumbs
2 tsp fresh thyme
1 tsp fresh rosemary
2 tsp fresh parsley
2 large cloves of garlic
1/2 cup olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
2 tbs whole grain Dijon mustard
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1 tsp white sugar
1 tsp water
salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
- Combine the panko, herbs, and garlic in a food processor. Pulse until they are combined and the herbs are minced. Add the oil and pulse again to combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Lightly season both sides of the lamb with salt and pepper. Heat a large, oven-safe, saute pan over medium high heat. Add a drizzle of olive oil and let the oil get hot. Add the lamb chops and cook for about 3 minutes per side, or until they are nice and brown. Remove from the pan onto a cookie sheet and let them sit for a few minutes so they are cool enough to touch.
- Press the panko mix onto the lamb chops to create and even crust. Try to create as firm a crust as possible so that it sticks to the lamb. Put the lamb in the oven and cook for 13-15 minutes, or until the a meat thermometer reads 145 degrees. Remove from the oven and let it rest for about 7 minutes before slicing.
- While the lamb is cooking or resting, whisk the ingredients for the mustard sauce together and season to taste. Serve along side the lamb.
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