Mar 17 2010

Meat and Potatoes

Published by at 4:45 pm under Dinner

My assistant and I made another trip to the farmer’s market this weekend, but instead of the Ferry Building, we decided to try a smaller market on 24th St. in Noe Valley (my favorite San Francisco neighborhood). Although it didn’t have all the delicacies the Ferry Building offers, I’m sold on the Noe Valley version — It has all the produce I could ever want, gourmet honeys, dried fruit, and even a made-to-order Indian food stand that smelled amazing. Too bad I’d already eaten breakfast. 

Another great feature of the Noe market was the Prather Ranch booth, which I was intrigued by since my little neighborhood grocery store is the only place I’ve bought meat in a while. This one promised organic, farm-raised, insert-other-buzz-words-here meat products, so I picked up some lamb chops to make for dinner. 

Noting that I’d never cooked lamb before in any capacity, I asked the vendor for some advice on marinades, preparation, etc. Surprisingly, he told me just to rub the lamb with a little olive oil, salt and pepper and to sear it for a few minutes on each side and it would be delicious. 

I didn’t go that route because I wanted to flavor the meat a little more, but I did do something similar. I used my grill pan instead of a skillet to sear the lamb, which I rubbed with a dijon mustard and rosemary mixture that took no time to whip up. The result was a perfectly juicy chop that tasted very lightly seasoned, so I learned that you need not be shy with the mustard mixture when rubbing the meat down. 

Rosemary Dijon Lamb Chops

Ingredients (serves 2):

2 tbsp. dijon mustard

1 tbsp. olive oil

2 sprigs rosemary, roughly chopped

2 small lamb chops

Salt

Pepper

Heat grill or grill pan. Stir first 3 ingredients together in a small bowl. Rub mustard mixture onto lamb, covering both sides and the edges completely. If you’re using a grill pan, be sure to spray it with a generous amount of cooking spray so the lamb doesn’t stick. Place the lamb chops on the grill or grill pan and sprinkle the top of each piece with a pinch of salt and pepper. Cook for about 7 minutes and flip to other side. Sprinkle the new side with a pinch of salt and pepper and cook for another 7 minutes. Serve immediately. 

I had also been wanting to make a vegetable gratin, which I knew would make a great side dish for this lamb. I had a leftover sweet potato, so I picked up some leeks, a shallot and some heavy cream to bring the rest of the recipe together. I must say, this recipe turned out amazing, thanks in no small part to the goat cheese I added for more flavor. My assistant went back for seconds almost immediately. 

Sweet Potato and Leek Gratin

Ingredients (serves 2):

1 tbsp. butter

2 leeks, chopped (white part only)

1 shallot, diced

1 tbsp. white wine

1 cup heavy cream

6 oz. goat cheese

1 sweet potato, peeled sliced into rounds

Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Soak leeks in cold water to remove residue, then take them out and set aside. Heat butter in large skillet and add leeks and shallot, cooking them for a couple of minutes or until they start to become tender. In a small bowl, whisk together cream and goat cheese. Don’t worry if the clumps won’t completely mix in, because it will melt once it’s in the skillet. Add wine, cream mixture, salt and pepper to skillet, and simmer for about 10 minutes or until the flavors are combined. 

I used a standard 9-inch pie pan to make my gratin since it was just for 2 people. Butter the edges and bottom and place a layer of the sweet potato rounds on the bottom of the pan. Spoon about half of the leek mixture over the top, distributing evenly. Place another layer of potatoes on top of the other ones, and spoon the rest of the leek mixture on top of that, again distributing as evenly as possible. Place in oven and bake for 20 to 30 minutes, or until the top starts to bubble and brown. 

One response so far

One Response to “Meat and Potatoes”

  1. Christion 18 Mar 2010 at 12:36 pm

    I am so intrigued with the vegetables you combine. The Sweet Potato and Leek gratin is another recipe I want to try. I know with the goat cheese, white wine, and cream this recipe must be yummy!