October 9, 2010

An October Saturday Night with Hitchcock

For the next month they have opened a farmers market right down from our house.  I couldn't be happier.  Before hitting the gym this morning I ran by and picked up beautiful pumpkins, sunflowers, Seneca Indian ornamental corn, & papaya squash.  I wish I had picked up some greens and a green pumpkin!  Oh well - next week.  My hubby is with the rest of my family participating in The Run for the Cure & I had to stay home and work all day on tax returns - pity party underway. However tonight I am attempting to perfect a classic rack of lamb by Cleo Coyle and prepping my take on Tzatziki.  The link for the the lamb provides perfect instruction & the site is very entertaining! This site also ties the lamb into one of my favorite episodes of Alfred Hitchcock - perfect for a Saturday night in October!!!  To accompany the lamb I am roasting asparagus & fixing an Autumn Endive Salad with a homemade lemon vinaigrette.

Autumn Endive Salad, serves 4
4 heads of Belgium endive, chopped
1 large Honey Crisp Apple, cored, chopped
1/3 cup of spiced pecans, crumbled
2 ozs crumbled Blue Cheese
1/4 cup Lemon Vinaigrette (recipe below)
Combine endive, apple & vinaigrette, toss.  Plate on 4 salad plates and top with blue cheese crumbles & spiced pecans.  Drizzle the tiniest bit of dressing over top & serve immediately.

Lemon Vinaigrette, at least 8 servings
1/4 teaspoon fresh thyme
1/4 cup champagne vinegar
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 heaping teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon local honey
3 cranks fresh black pepper
2 cranks Mediterranean Sea Salt

Combine all ingredients in a small mason jar, tightly close, shake vigorously and refrigerate for at least two hours before prepping salad.  Refrigerate the remaining - good for about 2 weeks.  This dressing is very tart and is perfect against sweet  fruits and cheeses.  Had the most amazing Brie and fig salad with this vinaigrette - wonderful!

Dill Tzatziki, at least 6 servings*
1 cup sour cream
1/2 English cucumber
1/4 teaspoon garlic paste
1 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon minced dill
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
2 cranks black pepper

Grate the cucumber with a box grater.  Spread thinly on a plate, salt well with Mediterranean Sea Salt & let it sit about 5 minutes.  Squeeze the water out of the cucumber and add to mixing bowl.  Add other ingredients, mix well & refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving with the lamb. I know most people swear by a mint sauce or chutney with their lamb, but I am more of a tart verses sweet kind of girl.  Also, lamb is sweet itself (why many don't enjoy this meat) so I prefer a mustard, red wine reduction or this dill tzatziki. If I were hosting a dinner party I would serve several (probably small amounts of all) of these options.  This sauce is also wonderful with salmon & in a tuna salad instead of mayonnaise. Can keep for at least a week in the fridge.
*Easily double or triple if needed

OK last thing for today while I am waiting for the lamb to come to room temperature & the lemon dressing and tzatziki to refrigerate - here is the recipe for the spiced pecans I love, courtesy of the chef at the Ritz Carlton at Reynolds Plantation
Absolutely delicious!!! They gave it to me so I hope it is OK that I shared. Now I am off to enjoy one of the many Hitchcock classics the hubby prepped on the Roku box for me - Happy Saturday Night All!


My Carolina Kitchen said...

Laura, that is a splendid meal you've prepared. I love the endive salad with the mustardy vinaigrette. Yum. Lamb is one of our family favorites, so if you have a extra chair at your table, I'll be right over.

I see you like the Mystery Lovers Kitchen. I do too!

Thanks so much for stopping by my blog. It's lovely to meet you. I really like your theme - "a little seasonal cooking with a French twist." Ooh, la, la. Tres chic.

Lara B Knight said...

Sam -thank you for the compliments and the big smile you have given me! You are welcome at my table anytime! Have a great day - Lara