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Friday, November 18, 2005

Vermouth glazed birthday lamb


Roast leg of lamb glazed with vermouth sauce, chanterelles, mashed potatoes and carrots, persimmon salad, cajeta creme brulee

Today we celebrated Lane's birthday with a special dinner. We didn't go out because we leave tomorrow for Utah, which means a week full of free babysitting. Woo hoo!

I found leg of lamb at the coop off the bone and trussed and decided to glaze it using a recipe from the lowly Joy of Cooking. I actually have a lot of respect for that book -- it pretty much taught me how to cook. Anyway, I combined half a cup of vermouth with half a cup of olive oil and some lemon juice (could have done without it, actually), brushed it on the lamb, let the lamb marinate a couple of hours, and then continued to baste the lamb as I roasted it at 350 degrees for about an hour. I also added a bunch of fresh thyme.

When the lamb was done I removed it, added the remaining basting sauce with the accumulated pan juices and about two cups of chopped chanterelles, and reduced. This made a great sauce, though because of the lemon a bit tangy for lamb. For a side I mashed together two potatoes, some carrots, and roasted garlic, adding butter and milk.

For the salad I cut up three extremely ripe persimmons. They were so mushy I just combined them with some chopped green onion, a little sesame oil, and some meyer lemon juice and spooned the mixture into little cups made from tender Boston lettuce leaves.

For an appetizer I made tapenade, which we used to make all the time. I pureed half a pound of calamata olives with 1 T rinsed capers and two rinsed anchovies. I served the tapenade with that Amy's semolina golden raisin bread we have all the time, and it worked pretty well. I love this tapenade and was happy to see the old friend at my table.

For dessert I made cajeta creme brulee with Mexican chocolate sauce from a Day of the Dead website. So luscious, in that earthy, goats milk way. Lane and I agree that the dessert is best with just a little drizzle of the chocolate sauce. It was fun to get out my blow torch.

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