AUTHOR: Julia TITLE: Lambapalooza!! DATE: 10/23/2008 11:49:00 AM ----- BODY:
I had been talking about this for months – the half lamb I was getting as payment for work I had done for Brett. The lamb had been raised by his friends Donna and Cameron down the road. I had been to their farm last summer. It sits on the tip of the Potomac River, just before it meets up with the Chesapeake Bay. They raise about 20 lamb at a time and they are bottle fed twice a day. They lead an idyllic life. The evening I visited their farm, Cameron prepared a dish from his native Iran: lamb kebabs marinated with rose water, yogurt, saffron and a few other spices. The flavor and aroma were intoxicating.

Last week I picked up the lamb
– which Brett had kindly slaughtered, aged and butchered for me. Normally, I would have helped with that chore, but my work schedule prevented me from making a timely visit. Nonetheless, I picked up my share and returned home with a trunk-full of meat and other assorted fresh produce from Brett’s farm.

In honor of this momentous occasion, I invited a dozen friends for Lambapalooza. Even with such a large crowd, we only consumed about ¼ of my share.

Barbecued Lamb with Sweet Potato Biscuits

I braised the lamb shanks with red wine, mirepoix and chicken stock. When the meat was falling off the bone tender, I shredded it and tossed it with my smoked tomato ketchup (which doubles as barbecue sauce). I made sweet potato biscuits and sandwich the lamb and arugula in the middle.

Sweet Potato Soup with Roasted Corn and Chipotle – Lamb Sausage

Sauté sweet potatoes with garlic, onions, carrots and celery in butter. When the onions start to soften, deglaze with white wine and water (or chicken stock). Simmer until the vegetables are soft. Puree and season with salt, pepper, lemon juice, and cream. Serve hot, topped with roasted corn (cut off the cob) and diced pieces of chipotle lamb sausage.

Minted Lamb with Minted French Lentils and Peachy Mama Jam

Sweat shallots and garlic in olive oil. When they are soft add cumin and coriander. Let cool. Season meat generously with salt and pepper. Rub lamb with onion/garlic/oil mix, lots of mint and a little balsamic vinegar. Serve on a bed of lentils that have been cooked with mirepoix, ginger and curry and seasoned with mint just before serving. Garnish with Peachy Mama Jam just before serving.

Tandoori Lamb with Grilled Naan

My tandoori marinade recipe comes from a cookbook I purchased in Singapore. The first time I prepared this recipe, I was amazed at how the flavor so closely resembled that which I had eaten in restaurants. I have recreated many Asian-style restaurant dishes at home…but this is the first recipe that actually tasted like what I had eaten in restaurants.

Platters of Roasted, Grilled and Sautéed Vegetables

Roasted Brussel Sprouts, Grilled Zucchini, Roasted Beets with Pistachios, Broccoli Raab sautéed with Garlic and chiles, and green beans sautéed with ginger and lime leaves.

...and for dessert - two more masterpieces from Dina

Chocolate Mocha Opera Torte



Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Butter Cream

A special thanks to David for taking photos!

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----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Blogger Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) DATE:10/24/2008 12:10:00 AM You finally got your lamb! Every one of those dishes looks divine. ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Blogger Julia DATE:10/24/2008 04:27:00 PM Thanks, Lydia! It was indeed a divine evening! ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Blogger Heather DATE:10/25/2008 11:20:00 AM wow! that looks great! my husband loves lamb - i'll have to try some of these :) ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Anonymous bostontparties DATE:10/28/2008 01:10:00 PM good lord those all look fantastic. every year my family roasts a lamb for easter, propelling an otherwise meh holiday into a thanksgiving-worthy opponent. ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Blogger Julia DATE:10/28/2008 08:45:00 PM Heather, Let me know if you'd like more specific recipes.

bostontparties, your Easter dinner sounds great! If I weren't Jewish, I'd invite myself over ;) ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Blogger Psychgrad DATE:10/29/2008 09:32:00 AM Lambapalooza is right! It looks like an Iron Chef meal...except (thankfully) there isn't any lamb in the torte or cake.

I particularly like the sounds of the tandoori lamb with naan. ----- --------