|Roasted Lamb Chops, Fontina Cheese Polenta with Asparagus and Mushrooms for a Spring Fling #SundaySupper|
This week, the team at #SundaySupper has decided to celebrate the change of seasons with a theme of Spring Fling. For some strange reason, I associate lamb with spring. Maybe because it's a popular entrée on Easter Sunday? Lamb isn't the only thing that comes to mind when I think of spring, however. Possibilities are almost endless with things like artichokes, ramps, carrots, strawberries and fennel at their peak. I only wish this theme was a little later in the season because many items don't come into season until April or May.
It's no secret that I rely on my copy of The Flavor Bible and this is no different. When I looked at lamb, it suggested it paired well with asparagus, polenta and morel mushrooms, which are all in season at this time of year. The only place I found locally that had morels was Whole Foods but they wanted $50 per pound, so I used a cheaper alternative.
Create a composed dish using seasonal ingredients.
I paired a rack of lamb recipe from Simply Recipes with an adaptation of a polenta and mushroom dish from Fine Cooking influenced by a side dish from Taste of Home.
2 racks of lamb, 1 to 2 pounds each, Frenched
1/4 cup chopped fresh rosemary, divided
2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme, divided
4 to 5 cloves minced garlic, divided
Freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
2 1/2 cups chicken stock
2 cups whole milk
1 cup corn meal
1 pound fresh asparagus, tough ends trimmed, then cut into 1 to 2 inch lengths
1 8-ounce package sliced cremini mushrooms
1 1/2 cups Fontina cheese
1. Marinate the lamb. Combine half of the rosemary, thyme, garlic, 2 tablespoons olive oil and the racks of lamb in a resealable plastic bag. Season with salt and pepper. Ensure the marinade covers all sides of the lamb and refrigerate overnight. Let the lamb come to room temperature before roasting.
2. Prepare the polenta: In a large saucepan, bring the milk and chicken stock to a boil, then season with salt. Whisk in the corn meal slowly so it doesn't clump. Once it has been added, reduce the heat to medium low and stir occasionally until all the liquid has been absorbed, approximately 30 minutes.
3. Roast the lamb. While the polenta cooks, preheat the oven to 450° Fahrenheit. Remove the lamb from the marinade and discard the marinade. Reseason the lamb with salt and pepper, then place on a foil-lined sheet pan with the fat side up. Roast the lamb, first by searing it at 450 for 10 minutes, then reduce the heat to 300° Fahrenheit for 10 to 20 minutes until the desired doneness has reached. Cook to 135° Fahrenheit for medium rare. Tent with foil and set aside for 15 minutes to allow for carryover cooking while you finish the dish.
4. Sauté the vegetables and finish the dish. While the lamb roasts, add the remaining olive oil to a large skillet over medium heat. Once the oil starts to smoke, add the asparagus and cook until it softens, approximately. Add the mushrooms, then the other half of the rosemary, thyme and garlic and season with salt and pepper and cook until the vegetables are cooked through. Stir the Fontina into the polenta and adjust the seasoning if necessary, then cut the lamb into individual chops. To plate, spoon some polenta on a plate, top with the asparagus and mushrooms and then three to four chops. Serve immediately.
There are a couple of execution items to discuss but first I want to thank Valerie of Lifestyle Food Artistry for co-hosting this week's event with me. It has been a pleasure to work with her.
For the polenta, I substituted chicken stock and milk for water that the original recipe uses because I felt there was an opportunity to layer flavor that wouldn't otherwise be there with water. In addition, I felt the sear on the lamb was insufficient and recommend to pan sear the rack of lamb first before finishing it in the oven similar to the dish I prepared 2 years ago. Despite these flaws, it still was a well balanced dish from a flavor profile standpoint.
Other #SundaySupper dishes this week:
- Easter Egg Smoothie by Sew You Think You Can Cook
- Home-made Limoncello by Manu's Menu
- Meyer Lemon Rosemary Martini by The Redhead Baker
- Asparagus and Roasted Garlic Hummus by Palatable Pastime
- Baked Lemon and Goat Cheese Dip by The Girl In The Little Red Kitchen
- Cauliflower Salad by Wallflour Girl
- Green Asparagus Soup with Seared Scallops by An Appealing Plan
- Panzanella Primavera by Culinary Adventures with Camilla
- Salmon Berry and Almond Salad with Lemon Honey Dressing by Family Foodie
- Skillet Spinach Artichoke Dip by Life Tastes Good
- Asparagus Gribiche by The Wimpy Vegetarian
- Early Peas with Pearl Onions in Cream by Lifestyle Food Artistry
- Roasted Asparagus with Balsamic Mustard Vinaigrette by Food Done Light
- Sauteed Artichokes & Potatoes by Carrie's Experimental Kitchen
- Spring Green Rice by Magnolia Days
- Artichoke Pesto Pasta by PancakeWarriors
- Crispy Honey Chicken Spring Salad by Rants From My Crazy Kitchen
- Early Spring Risotto by Cooking Chat
- Honey Lemon Shrimp by Cindy's Recipes and Writings
- Irish Lamb Stew by Food Lust People Love
- Perfect Scrambled Eggs with Asparagus, Goat Cheese and Chives by Bobbi's Kozy Kitchen
- Quiche Florentine by Curious Cuisiniere
- Roasted Lamb Chops, Fontina Cheese Polenta with Asparagus and Mushrooms by Crazy Foodie Stunts
- Root Vegetable Risotto by Momma's Meals
- Spring Lemon Pasta by MealDiva
- Spring Pea & Chèvre Souffle by FoodieTots
- Spring Vegetable Risotto by A Day in the Life on the Farm
- Salmon and Strawberry Spinach Salad with a Kentucky Maple Vinaigrette by Dandelion Greens
- Tilapia with Classic Pesto by Whole Food | Real Families
- Veal Stew with Spring Greens by The Texan New Yorker
- Berry Shortcakes by That Skinny Chick Can Bake
- Blueberry Coconut Macaroons by Pies and Plots
- Blueberry Rhubarb Muffins by Hezzi-D's Books and Cooks
- Carrot Cake Cookies by Noshing With The Nolands
- Carrot Cake with Lemon Cream Cheese Icing by Take A Bite Out of Boca
- Gluten Free Healthy Hummingbird Cake by Cupcakes & Kale Chips
- Lemon Cream Pie with Girl Scouts Lemonade Cookie Crust by Our Good Life
- Lemon Meringue Pie by Serena Bakes Simply From Scratch
- Low-Fat Strawberry Muffins by Small Wallet, Big Appetite
- Matcha Strawberry Cake by Brunch with Joy
- Palm Sunday Easter Bread by Love and Confections
- Pretzels, Peanut Butter, and Beer Cake Recipe by Recipe for Perfection
- Sticky Carrot Squares by What Smells So Good?
- Three Berry Coconut Crispies by Simply Healthy Family
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