menu planning, lamb marinade, mint sauce

From 2011-04-25 – 2011-04-30 botanical gardens
From 2011-04-25 – 2011-04-30 botanical gardens

For our Easter menu, my end of it came about by sitting at the table on Saturday morning and putting my flavors and ingredients together. I mostly stuck to the cards, but the intent is to demonstrate that you can conceptualize your menu and edit according to how you want the flavors to present themselves in the final dish.

Minty “spring” sauce
From my neighbor’s yard, I picked a bunch of mint. It would probably be the equivalent of what you might buy as a bunch at the grocery store, around 2 cups or so. This was going into the blender, so the more the better.

From 2011-04-17 – 2011-04-24 up to easter

I removed the leaves from the stems (which I saved and used for a quick stock for bulgur wheat) and put them into the blender.

From 2011-04-17 – 2011-04-24 up to easter

To this, I added
1 lime zested first, then juiced
about 1/2 cup of cilantro leaves and stems
1/8 cup of sugar
neutral oil ~ 1 cup

This was pretty liquidy, and I didn’t want to thicken it with oil alone. I mixed 1/2 tsp of xanthan gum in a cup of water and gave it a good stir until it formed a gel. I added about 1/2 cup or so to the mixture and it thickened up to the consistency of ketchup, which is what I was going for. I salted it to finish.

This sauce was used to season some of the lamb, but I’ve used it other places as well (future post). The combination of mint and lamb is classic, in this case it doesn’t have to rack of lamb and mint jelly.

The marinade for the other leg of lamb was a balsamic vinaigrette with rosemary and garlic (see card above). I omitted the red wine vinegar and yogurt, although either could have been added. I think I would probably use red wine vinegar or balsamic but not both. The yogurt could definitely have been added.

Roasted lamb marinade
I cup of balsamic vinaigrette (3:1 ratio of olive oil to balsamic with mustard powder and salt)
6 cloves of garlic
2 large bunches of rosemary leaves
2 minced jalapenos
heavy pinch of black pepper

Let this soak into the meat a few hours or overnight. Remember that salt is good for the protein, but acid can cook it. Neutralize that acid in a vinaigrette. Here it is on the lamb legs while they’re getting seared on the kamado with an inverted grid to put it right on top of the coals.

From 2011-04-17 – 2011-04-24 up to easter
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One thought on “menu planning, lamb marinade, mint sauce

  1. Pingback: salmon and edamame and mint succotash « Big Dawg Eats

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