Happy Christmas!December 26, 2007
Hey everyone! Happy Christmas! Even though it’s still 2007, and I said I wasn’t going to post anything until the new year, I just had to write down the Christmas dinner that we finished tonight.
- Indian Spiced Roasted Rack of Lamb
- Cauliflower and Potato Gratin
- Braised Carrots with Fennel, Onion, and Cumin Seed
- Buttermilk Drop Biscuits with Cumin Seed, Black Pepper, and Cayenne
- Orange Cardamom Ice Cream (recipe not included…call me lazy)
- Rub all sides of lamb with spice rub. Refrigerate for 1-2 hours.
- Pre-heat oven to 450° and set the oven rack to the center of the oven
- Brush fatty side of lamb with olive oil, then place in roasting pan, on a rack, oiled side up.
- Bake for exactly 20 minutes for rare, 25 minutes for medium-rare.
- Let lamb set for 5 – 10 minutes before carving and serving.
- Preheat oven to 350°
- Using a sharp knife (or if you’re smart, a mandoline) slice the potatoes 1/8″ thick.
- Trim cauliflower to medium-sized florets
- Par boil in salty water (it should taste like sea water) for 90 seconds. Rinse under cold water, or shock in an ice water bath to stop the cooking. Set aside.
- In a large skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Add garlic. Saute garlic to infuse flavor into the butter, but don’t brown it!
- Add flour and cook for about 3 minutes. You might want to use a whisk here, so that your roux is smooth and there are no floury lumps. Those lumps make for bad gratin!
- Add milk and buttermilk, whisk until smooth, and turn heat down to medium low.
- Continue to stir the white sauce until it is smooth and thickens up. It should take about 5 minutes, maybe a little more, maybe a little less.
- Now is a good time to add the cheese. Stir quickly so that it melts evenly into the sauce.
- Salt and pepper to taste.
- In a buttered baking dish, add a thin layer of sauce and spread with a spatula to coat.
- Add a layer of potatoes (about half of them here) and then cover with another layer of sauce.
- Add a layer of cauliflower, and again add sauce on top.
- Finally, top with the rest of the potatoes, more sauce, and into the oven it goes.
- Bake for 30 minutes, until the potatoes just start to turn brown.
- Mix the melted butter and bread crumbs together and sprinkle evenly on top of the gratin. Bake for 10 minutes more.
- If at this point, the topping isn’t brown and crispy, throw it under the broiler for a few minutes. That will definitely do the trick.
- Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add fennel, onion, cumin seed, and kosher salt. Saute for 10 – 15 minutes or until both the fennel and onion are soft and translucent. You’re not trying to brown the onions — the salt helps you in this regard. Instead, you’re just trying to bring out their natural sugars. Be patient.
- Add carrots, stir two or three times until the carrots are coated evenly with oil.
- Add chicken broth and cover.
- Simmer on medium-low heat for 15-20 minutes, or until carrots are tender.
- Salt and pepper to taste.
|2||cups unbleached all-purpose flour (10 ounces)|
|2||teaspoons baking powder|
|1/2||teaspoon baking soda|
|3/4||teaspoon table salt|
|1||cup buttermilk (cold)|
|8||tablespoons unsalted butter , melted and cooled slightly (about 5 minutes), plus 2 tablespoons melted butter for brushing biscuits|