Showing posts from October, 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! 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…

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! 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 appl…

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. 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 frie…