Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Andrew's 8! (and a couple recipes)

On 8-9-10 (very cool date indeed) my little guy (who isn't so little anymore) turned 8!
Rather than his typical big birthday bash he got to spend a week visiting Legoland.
So this year we just had grandparents and his best friend, who is like family,
over for a little birthday dinner and celebration.
The birthday boy requested his favorite, rack of lamb, for dinner.
His almost 2 year old brother thought it was quite delectable as well.
Dinner was made even more enjoyable since my Mum marinated the lamb at her house,
my mother in law made her yummy potato casserole,
and all I had to do was make a salad.
I made Jo's Panzanella Salad (with a few tweaks based on what I had on hand).
(see how happy I look eating my extraordinary large helping of salad!)
Rosemary & Garlic Lamb Chops
(I've made the recipe for years, I don't remember the source, maybe Bon Appetite)
5 cloves garlic
3T olive oil
2.5 tsp chopped fresh rosemary
2 t salt (I use kosher salt)
1 tsp fresh ground black pepper

1 rack of lamb, trimmed and cut into individual chops

Combine garlic through pepper in food processor, until garlic is finely chopped.
Brush each side of lamb with garlic and rosemary mixture and place on a sheet tray. 
Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
Prepare broiler. 
Broil chops 4-5 inches from the heat for about 3-4 minutes per side.  Cook longer is you want to meat more done.  I will say cooking time varies a bit depending on how meaty the chops are.
Yesterday we made them on a charcoal grill.  Cooked about 4 minutes per side.

(1 rack feeds about 2-3 people.  But Andrew has been known to eat an entire one on his own.  The marinade can easily be double or tripled)

Panzanella Salad
Entire loaf (crust and all) of french bread with roasted garlic (I used Fresh Market brand)
Sliced into 1 inch cubes and toasted in a large pan, over medium heat, with about 3-4 tbs olive oil and a good sprinkling of kosher salt.
I have never used bread with garlic in before to make croutons.  This was a tip from Jo.  Whoa were they good.  I had to keep swatting my husband away while he nibbled on them before the salad was ready.
Baby romaine lettuce (as much or little as you like)
5-6 sliced radishes
1 red pepper diced
1 yellow pepper, both peppers cut up into about 1/4 inch pieces
2 big bunches of basil diced
4 large tomatoes, cut in 1/4 inch pieces

My vinaigrette
(really my Mum's recipe, but I make it so many times a week, I now call it my own :))
The juice of one whole lemon
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp mustard (I use Maille Dijon Originale)
Kosher salt and black pepper to taste
Olive oil

Add everything together but the olive oil.  The slowly whisk in the olive oil until you get the right taste.  I probably use equal parts lemon juice and olive oil.  I sample it with a piece of lettuce to know it is right. I like it on the lemony side.  You will not taste the mustard.  I've given this recipe to friends so many times, and they are always surprised about the mustard as an ingredient. (I usually add a couple diced green onions, and a big bunch of parsley and sometimes one finely chopped clove of garlic.  I didn't yesterday).

Toss everything together in a large bowl.  Yum!

And this picture kinda sums up our casual party (Daddy hadn't showered after a work-from-home office day, Charlie just woke up from a nap and the birthday boy was all smiles - he had a great day!)


  1. Looks like a great birthday! And, wow, 8-9-10! That may be worth buying a lottery ticket when those numbers show up - could be a sign!

  2. What a fun birthday celebration ~ and that date is rather impressive! Hope the birthday boy had the best day ever with many more to come!

    So happy to know that my salad was celebration worthy ;) Glad you all enjoy it so.