Monday, October 26, 2009

Recipe for Lamb Roast with Lemon & Oregano

An easy way to roast a leg of lamb, using just a handful of pantry ingredients. The recipe produces moist and fall-off-the-bone tender meat that collects many compliments!

Lamb with Lemon & Oregano

When I was a child, the Macks raised sheep on a farm out by the lake. Why my city-girl mother chose a farm visit the very day Mr. Mack docked the lambs’ tails, who can know? It must have scarred us all. Lamb never – ever? – made it to the family table and has perhaps once – maybe twice? – to my own.

That’s changed, however, with the delivery of a lamb raised by Farmgirl herself on a 280-acre, 140-year old Ozark-holler farm in what she calls ‘the middle of nowhere’ Missouri. (Yes, this farm girl has a name, Susan, but I really do think of her as ‘Farmgirl’!)

For anyone new to lamb, there’s something quite natural, primal even, about choosing a whole animal over plastic-wrapped cuts from the grocery store; knowing the lamb was raised in grassy fields, protected from weather and predators by people whose names I know. For anyone looking for farm-raised organic lamb in the St. Louis area, I am happy to recommend Farmgirl lamb. Susan couldn’t have been more helpful, from guiding the processing decisions (the cuts, the length of hanging) to delivery and even, naturally!, recipes.

Shortly after the lamb was delivered, Farmgirl shared her ‘less fuss, more flavor’ recipe for lamb, by happenstance already starred in Falling Cloudberries, one of my two favorite new cookbooks this year. (The second favorite? Seven Fires.)

Wow, what a recipe. It was simple to prepare. Rubbing the meat with herbs and butter really felt like cooking. After a long, slow roast in the oven, the lamb meat is fall-off-the-bone tender, the potatoes cook right alongside. Weeks later, I’m still getting compliments. You will too!

ALANNA's TIPS If oregano isn’t to your taste, consider ground fennel or rosemary. Next time, I will use just 1 tablespoon of butter and 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Before handling the raw meat, get out the roasting pan, seasonings and oils. That way, there will be no need to wash your hands in between steps. I think this recipe would work well for a bone-in pork roast too.

RECIPE for
LAMB ROAST with LEMON & OREGANO

Hands-on time: 15 minutes up front plus occasional attention throughout
Time to table: 3-1/2 - 4 hours
Serves about 6
  • 1 leg of lamb (3 – 4 pounds), on the bone, room temperature if possible
  • Juice of 2 lemons (about 4 tablespoons)
  • Kosher salt & pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 - 3 tablespoons butter (see TIPS), in tiny cubes
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 - 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1-1/2 pounds potatoes, skins on (or a mix of potatoes and peeled sweet potatoes), cut into bite-size chunks
  • Kosher salt & pepper

Preheat oven to 425F. Rinse the lamb, then trim off excess fat and pat dry. Transfer to a roasting pan (choose one with a lid if possible and big enough for meat and potatoes both). With your hands, pat with lemon juice (see TIPS). Season one side with salt, pepper and half the oregano and dot with half the butter. Pour water around the lamb. Uncovered, roast one side for 15 – 30 minutes until a pleasing brown color. Turn over, season with salt, pepper and remaining oregano, dot with remaining butter and roast another 15 – 30 minutes.

Lower oven to 325F. Arrange the potatoes around the meat, sprinkle with salt and pepper and then toss in the liquid alongside, adding a little more water if needed. Cover with lid or foil and bake for 2-1/2 hours, turning the meat and tossing the potatoes once midway.

Slice and serve warm with potatoes on the side.

NUTRITION ESTIMATE (How many calories in lamb? How many Weight Watchers points in lamb?) Per Serving (made with 6T fat/2T fat): 501/427Cal; 34/26g Tot Fat; 15/11g Sat Fat; 95/85mg Cholesterol; 111/83mg Sodium; 22g Carb; 2g Fiber; 1g Sugar; 22g Protein; Weight Watchers 12/10 points
Adapted from Falling Cloudberries by Tessa Kiros. With my connections to Finland, Greece and South Africa, all three cuisines featured in this multi-cultural cookbook with such gorgeous photographs, it was first on my wish list. Many thanks to Andrews McMeel Publishing for making that wish come true with a complimentary review copy! Farmgirl has modified the same recipe quite significantly, I especially like how she drops the lemon rinds and fresh garlic into the potatoes.

Kitchen Parade is written by second-generation food columnist Alanna Kellogg and features fresh, seasonal dishes for every-day healthful eating and occasional indulgences. In 2009, Kitchen Parade celebrates its 50th anniversary with a special collection of my mother's recipes. Do you have a favorite recipe that other Kitchen Parade readers might like? Just send me a quick e-mail via recipes@kitchen-parade.com. How to print a Kitchen Parade recipe. If you like Kitchen Parade, you're sure to like my food blog about vegetable recipes, too, A Veggie Venture. Become a Kitchen Parade fan on Facebook!

Menu: A Fall Feast

Cheese Puffs

~ Lamb with Lemon & Oregano ~
(recipe above)

Roasted Cauliflower
or
Roasted Pear Salad

Extra-Crispy Apple Crisp

More Recipes for Fall Comfort Food

(hover for a description, click a photo for a recipe)
Milk-Braised Pork Roast Cauliflower Risotto Chicken with Creamy Cider Gravy
~ more fall recipes ~


Shop Your Pantry First

(helping home cooks save money on groceries)





© Copyright 2009 Kitchen Parade



Sunday, October 18, 2009

Recipe for Extra-Crispy Apple Crisp

The Recipe: The perfect combination for apple crisp, barely sweet, perfectly soft apples with an extra-crispy and flavor-rich topping.

The Conversation: Over the years, I've eaten (and baked) too-many so-so apple crisps, there's just so much that can go wrong with this simple classic. So I set out to create my very own "perfect" recipe: barely sweet apples firm and tart, topped with an extra-crispy topping. That extra-crispy topping? It's thanks to a secret ingredient!

Extra-Crispy Apple Crisp ♥ KitchenParade.com, finally my perfect apple crisp, barely sweet apples firm and tart with an extra-crispy topping. It's got a secret ingredient!

How one makes a bad apple crisp is beyond me. What can go wrong with apples and butter, cinnamon and nuts? Trouble is, over the years, I've eaten (and baked, myself) one so-so batch of apple crisp after another. The culprits?

The Sugar Too often, apple crisp is just way too sweet, masking the sweet seduction of the apples themselves.

The Apples For texture and tartness, apple variety matters. Some apples 'melt' into something cousin to apple sauce. Other apples are just too sweet for apple crisp.

The Topping Ever heard of Apple Sog? That's what I call too-soft and too-sweet toppings that turn apple crisp into Apple Soggy and something more like granola (too much oatmeal) or cake (too much flour) or a layer of frosting (too much sugar).

At last, I've found what to my taste, anyway, is the perfect combination for apple crisp, barely sweet, perfectly soft apples with an extra-crispy and flavor-rich topping.

So what do you think of my secret ingredient for apple crisp, graham cracker crumbs? The first time, they filled in for flour, just because I was short. But they added such a great texture, such a nutty sweetness, that I've been adding them to apple crisp on purpose ever since!

ALANNA's TIPS I start with half Granny Smith apples which are tart and hold their shape. For a contrasting sweetness and softness, I use another baking apple such as a Braeburn or Gala. Black walnuts are spectacular paired with apples. Too bad, however, they're not so easy to find. If using English walnuts or pecans or even almonds, be sure to toast them first. You can do this easily by slipping them into the oven as it preheats.
Kitchen Parade is written by second-generation food columnist Alanna Kellogg and features fresh, seasonal dishes for every-day healthful eating and occasional indulgences. In 2009, Kitchen Parade celebrates its 50th anniversary with a special collection of my mother's recipes. Do you have a favorite apple recipe that other Kitchen Parade readers might like? Just send me a quick e-mail via recipes@kitchen-parade.com. How to print a Kitchen Parade recipe. Never miss a recipe! If you like this recipe, sign up for a free e-mail subscription. If you like Kitchen Parade, you're sure to like my food blog about vegetable recipes, too, A Veggie Venture. Follow Kitchen Parade on Facebook!

RECIPE for
EXTRA-CRISPY APPLE CRISP

Hands-on time: 35 minutes
Time to table: 90 minutes
Serves 8 (easy to halve)
    APPLES
  • Juice of two lemons
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 6 large apples (see TIPS), peeled, quartered, 'thirded' and 'thirded' again
    TOPPING
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs (the secret ingredient!)
  • 1/2 cup oatmeal (old-fashioned or quick, not instant)
  • 1/2 cup walnuts (see TIPS)
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon table salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, cold or at room temperature

Heat oven to 375F/190C.

APPLES In a large bowl, stir together all the ingredients except apples. Drop in the apple pieces as they're prepped, stirring often so that each piece is lightly covered.

TOPPING In a separate bowl, stir together all the ingredients except the butter. With your hands, work in the butter until small even clumps begin to form.

ASSEMBLE Lightly butter a shallow baking dish such as a quiche pan or pie pan. Transfer apples into the dish, then top evenly with the topping. (If making ahead of time, stop here and let rest for 3 - 4 hours.)

BAKE Bake for 50 - 60 minutes, covering with foil or a baking sheet for the last 15 minutes if the topping starts to get a little dark. Let cool a bit.

SERVE Serve warm, plain or dolloped with whipped cream. Just whip a cup of heavy cream with a tablespoon of sugar, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg and a 1/2 teaspoon of black walnut extract or vanilla.

NUTRITION INFORMATION Per Serving: 378 Calories; 16g Tot Fat; 8g Sat Fat; 30mg Cholesterol; 264mg Sodium; 56g Carb; 4g Fiber; 39g Sugar; 4g Protein. WEIGHT WATCHERS POINTS WW Old Points 8 & WW PointsPlus 10 (a definite indulgence and worth it!)

Love-Love-Love that Extra-Crispy Topping!


Extra-Crispy Apple Crisp ♥ KitchenParade.com, finally my perfect apple crisp, barely sweet apples firm and tart with an extra-crispy topping. It's got a secret ingredient!

More Apple Recipes

(hover for a description, click a photo for a recipe)
Apple Pudding Cake with Cinnamon Butter Sauce Naturally Sweetened Apple Butter Baked Apples

More Not-to-Miss Fall Desserts

(hover for a description, click a photo for a recipe)
Autumn Pumpkin Bread Molasses Cookies Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars
~ more fall recipes ~

Shop Your Pantry First

(helping home cooks save money on groceries)





© Copyright 2009, 2014 & 2015 Kitchen Parade



Thursday, October 8, 2009

Recipe for Rock-Star Fried Chicken

For the longest time, I've yearned to learn how to make fried chicken. My friend Linda's recipe turns out finger-lickin' fried chicken, crispy on the outside and moist on the inside, one skillet after another.

Fried Chicken bone

The trick to Rock-Star Fried Chicken starts with a thin coating of spicy mustard. After that, the brilliance is in the three-step cooking process: first, for browning and crisping, a fast fry on both sides; second, to cook the chicken, a slower fry at a lower temperature in a covered skillet; third, to recrisp the coating, a last few minutes uncovered at a fast fry at a higher temperature again.

“Then I crossed the empty street
Caught the Sunday smell of someone fryin' chicken ...”
- Johnny Cash in the Kris Kristopherson song 'Sunday Mornin' Comin' Down' (sound clip below)

In the food world of my childhood, a woman’s no cook, not a real cook anyway, until she masters a tender flaky pie crust, hot-from-the-oven homemade bread and picnic-worthy fried chicken. So here I am, a woman of a certain age, and only now tackling that fried chicken.

No question why it’s taken this long: sheer intimidation. There was no matching my grandmother’s fried chicken, even following her recipe step by careful step. My home ec-teacher mother tried and failed. If she failed, well, there was no way I could succeed.

But then this summer my friend Linda shared her favorite fried chicken recipe, one she's perfected over many years. The very first night I poured the oil into the inky black cast-iron skillet, I felt like a fried-chicken rock star, like I knew what I was doing, like I was guaranteed success.

That first batch of fried chicken? Dark and oh so crispy. Succulent, even.

There was no looking back. Gramma Kellogg, your legacy continues! I know how to cook great fried chicken!

ALANNA’s TIPS You know all those tips about how to keep a cast iron skillet well-seasoned? For a few years, I’ve coddled cast iron with a rub of warm olive oil after use. Forget that, the only seasoning a cast iron skillet needs? Cookin’ up some fried chicken on a real reg’lar Sunday basis. That said, my cast iron is going to be feeling mighty lonely. I've just switched to a ceramic stovetop and was much chagrined to read, "Cast iron may scratch and permanently damage a ceramic surface."
Kitchen Parade is written by second-generation food columnist Alanna Kellogg and features fresh, seasonal dishes for every-day healthful eating and occasional indulgences. What food have you always wanted to make and finally mastered? Share your story in the comments or share a recipe via e-mail at recipes@kitchen-parade.com. If you like this Kitchen Parade recipe, consider a free e-mail subscription. Once or twice a week when a new recipe is published, you'll be notified via e-mail. How to print a recipe on Kitchen Parade. If you like Kitchen Parade, forward this recipe to a friend who might too!

ROCK-STAR FRIED CHICKEN RECIPE

For detailed tips about frying chicken, see How to Make Great Fried Chicken

Hands-on time: 10 minutes to start, 30 minutes to chill, then occasional attention while frying
Time to table: 1-1/2 hours
  • Chicken legs and/or chicken thighs, skins on
  • Spicy brown mustard
    COATING
    (enough for about 5 legs and 5 thighs)
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 cup peanut oil per skillet

Rinse chicken pieces under running water and pat dry with paper towels. With your hands, lightly coat the pieces with mustard. Arrange in a single layer on a plate and refrigerate for about 30 minutes.

Turn on the stove’s vent fan. In a large cast iron skillet with a lid (or two smaller skillets), heat the oil on medium high until hot. While the oil heats, mix the flour, salt and pepper in a gallon-size freezer bag. Add the chicken and toss until coated.

Without crowding, use tongs to arrange the chicken pieces in the skillet, top-side down for thighs and any breasts. Without moving the pieces, cook for 10 minutes. Turn the pieces over and cook for 5 minutes. Reduce heat to medium to medium-low, cover and cook for 20 minutes. Remove cover, turn pieces over again, increase heat to medium high and cook for 5 minutes. Arrange on platter lined with paper towels.

Serve hot or keep warm in a 200F oven or refrigerate and serve cold.

NUTRITION ESTIMATE (How many calories in fried chicken? How many Weight Watchers points in fried chicken?) Per Drumstick/Thigh: 124/174 Calories; 9/14g Tot Fat; 2/3g Sat Fat; 35/47mg Cholesterol; 342/348mg Sodium; 1g Carb; 0g Fiber; 0g Sugar; 9/10g Protein; Weight Watchers 2/4 points This nutrition estimate for fried chicken assumes that 25% of the cooking oil is absorbed by the chicken, even though when it's cooked at the proper heat, before-and-after measurements yield the same amount of oil.


More Chicken Recipes

(hover for a description, click a photo for a recipe)
Mom's Roast Chicken Grilled Balsamic Chicken Quick Supper: Kung Pao Chicken

As American As Fried Chicken

(hover for a description, click a photo for a recipe)
Ten Tips for Better Burgers Buffalo Ragout American Apple Pie





© Copyright 2009 Kitchen Parade