Lamb is something that you’ll find on a lot of menus throughout Europe, but for some reason it isn’t that common in the United States. When you do find it, it is often very expensive and the portions are small. Not everyone enjoys lamb since it can taste a little gamey, but we like the flavor. In our opinion, it needs to be cooked to no more than medium-rare, otherwise it can get a little tough. Rack of lamb can be an elegant meal and we asked the butcher to “French cut” the bones, which is simply removing the meat and fat from the bone tips. Some people like mint jelly with lamb, but we prefer to simply roast it with herbs like rosemary and thyme. This recipe is for two, but one of the nice things about rack of lamb is that the recipe can easily adjusted by adding more ribs (chops).
2 to 3 lbs of Rack of Lamb (about 4 to 5 ribs or chops)
4 tbsp Unsalted Butter
1 1/2 tsp Dried Rosemary
1 1/2 tsp Dried Thyme
1 tsp Granulated Garlic
Salt and Pepper to taste
Trim some of the fat off of the rack of lamb, leaving about a quarter inch of fat. Combine room temperature butter with the rosemary, thyme, and garlic. Slather the fat cap of the lamb with the butter mixture. The butter just adds some additional fat to help keep the lamb tender and adds additional flavor. Sprinkle with a generous amount of salt and pepper. Heat an oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and spray with a non-stick coating spray. If you have French cut the lamb, wrap the bone tips with aluminum foil to keep them from burning in the oven. Place the lamb in the oven and roast it for 10 minutes. Then turn the heat down to 300 degrees and continue to roast the lamb for an additional 20 to 30 minutes until it reaches an internal temperature of 135 degrees. Let the lamb rest for 15 to 20 minutes and then cut the rack into individual chops and serve, usually two chops per person.
Salmon is a wonderful fish to have throughout the year. It is strong enough to hold up to a variety of flavors, so we decided to do a variation of a sauce that we saw on a cooking show. We had so many similar style dishes when visiting the Mediterranean regions, we only wish that we could have been sitting on a beach while we ate. It is a combination of sweet and savory and can be used on a variety of proteins from chicken to other types of fish. Having salmon with a light and refreshing sauce such as this makes for a wonderful weeknight dinner or it can be dressed up for a special occasion. We decided to bake the salmon, but you could just as easily pan fry it if you would like to create a crispy skin. It certainly made for a wonderful meal and is something that we will likely make again and again. This recipe is for two, but can easily be adjusted to serve more.
1/2 lb Salmon – cut into 4 oz filets
1/4 cup White Wine Vinegar
2 tbsp Capers – rinsed
2 tbsp Honey
2 tbsp Dried Dill
2 tbsp Dried Tarragon
1 tsp Garlic Powder
2/3 cup Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper to taste
Brush the flesh side of the salmon with olive oil and then sprinkle them with salt, pepper, the garlic powder, and a pinch of the dill and tarragon. Place skin side down on a pan that has been covered with foil and sprayed with cooking spray. Bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees for 25 minutes for medium-well or cook to your desired temperature. In a blender, add the vinegar, honey, capers, and remaining dill and tarragon. Blend while slowly adding olive oil until it reaches the desired thickness (you may not use all of the olive oil). Remove the salmon from the oven and drizzle with the desired amount of sauce, about 2 to 3 tablespoons per filet.
For every holiday, we have a food tradition that we are adamant about doing every year. Don’t ask us why, but we are very superstitious about our holiday meals. We’ve been very fortunate over the years and, although we know it has nothing to do with the meals that we’ve eaten, we just don’t want to jinx ourselves. Our Christmas tradition is to have prime rib (or standing rib roast) with Yorkshire pudding. It isn’t a complicated meal, but it is certainly delicious. We flew home on Christmas Eve so that we could be home for Christmas and cook our traditional dinner on Christmas Day. It was the perfect complement to being home. You don’t need to have a holiday or a superstition to give this meal a try 😉
6 – 8 lb Prime Rib (3 or 4 ribs)
5 Garlic Cloves – minced
1/4 cup Prepared Horseradish
4 tbsp Fresh Rosemary – roughly chopped
1 tbsp + 1 tsp Thyme
1/4 cup Sea Salt
1/8 cup Fresh Ground Black Pepper
1/3 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
3/4 cup All Purpose Flour
1/2 tsp Salt
3/4 cup Whole Milk
1/2 cup Pan Drippings from the Prime Rib
Stir together the flour and salt into a bowl. In another bowl, beat together the eggs and milk. Stir the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until fully incorporated. Stir in 1 tablespoon of Rosemary and 1 teaspoon of thyme. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Place the prime rib, bone side down, into a large roasting pan that has been sprayed with cooking spray. In a small bowl, combine the garlic, horseradish, 3 tablespoons of the rosemary, 1 tablespoon of the thyme, sea salt, pepper, and olive oil. Whisk the ingredients until it forms a paste (whisking instead of stirring allows the ingredients to bind together). Generously rub the paste over the top (the fat cap) of the prime rib. Roast the prime rib in the oven for 2 – 2 1/2 hours (approximately 20 minutes per pound) until it reaches an internal temperature of 125 degrees.
Pull the roast from the oven and set it aside, tented, for 20 to 30 minutes to rest (cutting into the roast without letting it rest will cause the juices to run out and the prime rib to be dry). Increase the oven temperature to 450 degrees. Pour the pan drippings into a 9 inch square baking dish. Place the baking dish into the oven for 5 minutes to get the drippings smoking hot. Take the baking dish out of the oven, pull the batter out of the refrigerator, and add the cold batter to the pan drippings. Place the pudding back into the oven and cook until puffed and dry, about 15 to 20 minutes.