never got around to showing you how our christmas dinner evolved. it turned out to be one of our best ever. even though we had some last minute menu changes to deal with. mache salad with roasted beet, blood orange, leeks, pommegranate seeds, mixed roasted potatoes tossed with olive oil lemon and parsley, sauteed brussels sprouts, roast racks of organic lamb with self same olive oil lemon and parsley sauce. it was a hit. chocolate pot de creme for dessert. a really great williams selyem 2006 pinot noir to go with. wonderful all the way around. sorry i cannot show you the pot de creme, it disappeared before i had a chance to photograph it. next time. we'll be making it again soon.
anyway, what's nice about this menu is that it is festive, sophisticated, yet it doesn't scream "christmas meal" and you could really eat it any week for sunday night dinner. or even a celebratory tuesday. so today is martin luther king day and my daughters birthday and we are having a beautiful gentle snowstorm. kids still have school but it is extra beautiful with about 4 inches on the ground and still coming down. so it seems really festive everywhere. have a joyous mid january, and a happy february as well.
roasted mixed potatoes
yukon gold, red, purple smallish potatoess cut in half
preheat oven to 400 degrees F
boil for 4 minutes in salted water. drain. allow to sit and collect starch for 5 minutes. drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with sea salt. roast for 35 minutes or so. my oven has a setting called "convection roast" which roasts them a bit faster in 25 or 30 minutes. you may need to turn them or shake them around a bit during cooking.
sauteed brussels sprouts
1 1lb smallish brussel sprouts, ends trimmed, outer leaves removed, cut in half.
boil for 2 minutes in salted water. drain. reserve until 10 minutes before serving time. heat large skillet. add 1 to 2 TBSP olive oil. saute on high heat until nicely browned, toss and shake in pan to promote even browning.
8 oz mache lettuce leaves, washed and dried
2 roasted beets, thinly sliced and cut in half (half moon)
1/2 pomegranate, seed and place jewel like seeds into small dish, reserve
2 blood oranges, cut off ends and peel following curve of fruit. slice into membrane to remove sections of fruit, (discard core, and membranes, but maybe first squeeze a bit of the juice into a glass, a tonic for the chef)
1 leek, thinly sliced
assemble. add dressing slowly, toss lightly. serve.
2 TBSP pomegranate juice
4 TBSP seasoned rice vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
whisk or mix ingredients together. mix dressing again thoroughly just before serving. pour small amounts slowly onto salad and toss until lightly coated, you will have some left over for next time, and try not to over do it like we often do. then you will have your salad swimming in the dressing, (not so good as soup).
roast rack of lamb serves 4 to 5
preheat oven to 500 degrees F
so easy. much easier than a silly old goose.
2 racks of lamb, french cut, nicely trimmed
lightly salt the meat
place in roasting rack, fat side down. roast at 500 for 10 minutes. switch heat setting down to 400. roast another 20 minutes. perfectly done everytime to medium/medium rare in my oven. yours may be different.
self-same parsley lemon sauce
1/4 cup olive oil
juice of 1 large or 2 small lemmons
1/4 cup chopped parsley
heat olive oil in pan over medium high heat, when just warmed through add lemon, swirl around, throw in parsley. remove from heat, pour over potatoes and racks of lamb. festive extra.