Roasted Leg of Lamb with Chorizo Stuffing & Romesco Potatoes; Vanilla Semifreddo with Rhubarb Compote
Oh my god it's summer! Yesterday, June 21, was the summer solstice and also my deadline to cook as many of the spring Lucques menus as I possibly can. Unrealistically, I wanted to make an entire menu every week. Well I lagged, panicked when I was running out of time, then completely ignored my other cookbooks and started cooking finally about a month ago.
Let's see... so far I've made the watercress soup with gentlemen's relish toast (delicious!), endive salad with cured olives & meyer lemon cream (delicious!), an adapted saffron risotto with peas & pea shoots (delicious!), grilled skirt steak with black olive aioli and artichoke-potato hash (delicious!), fava bean puree with oil-cured olives & feta (delicious!), hawaiian snapper with green rice & cucumbers in creme fraiche (delicious!). And for my last official spring menu of spring, Roasted Leg of Lamb with Chorizo Stuffing & Romesco Potatoes (delicious!). Okay, so that doesn't add up to twelve fabulous menus but they were all delicious! I think I'll tack on another spring menu this week just to go out with a bang. And so I don't feel bad but being a bad goal executor.
But let's discuss the meal at hand. I marinated a butterflied leg of lamb with rosemary, garlic and parsley for about 4 hours, instead of overnight 'cause I midread the instructions and also because I was lazy. Meanwhile I got making the chorizo stuffing and romesco potatoes.
The chorizo stuffing uses mexican chorizo, the crumbly soft kind rather than the harder cured Spanish variety. I don't know why but Whole Foods does not carry mexican chorizo. What's up with that. So I went over the Hungtington Meats in the Farmer's Market (yay!) they had some really great looking ones. I processed some ciabatta to make the required fresh breadcrumbs and toasted it before tossing with some sauteed onion mix and cooked chorizo. The stuffing had such a great punch of spice to it from the well seasoned chorizo, I loved it!
For the romesco potatoes, 1.5lbs of yukon golds were covered and roasted in the oven with some garlic and thyme. And then crumbled by hand when cooled, crisped up in a saute pan with more thyme, the roasted garlic cloves, then tossed gently with generous amounts of the delicious Catalan sauce of tomato, pepper, bread and nuts. Just thinking about this meal is making my mouth water at 9:30 in the morning.
The leg of lamb roasted in the oven for about 1.25 hours and delicious aroma filled the kitchen. The instructions stated the internal temperature to be about 120 degrees when the meat was done. I poked my brand new thermometer into the middle of the meat but its arrow was pointing to way over 120 degrees! Maybe it was all the residual heat, I don't know, but it retardedly made me all paranoid that I overcooked the lamb even though I followed the instructions like a good little girl.
But the lamb was perfect! Moist and pink on the inside and filled in the middle with the spicy chorizo stuffing. Then whie the meat was resting I heated up the remaining chorizo stuffing in the oven. As time consuming as these Lucques recipes are the results have been phenomenal. The chorizo stuffing is definitely one of my favorites bits in the book.
An herb salad parsley, mint and cured olives dressed with a drizzle of olive oil and a sqeeze of lemon accompanied the above hearty dishes for a nice salty and herby bite.
I also made vanilla semifreddo with rhubarb compote, also from the same menu. Semifreddo is an Italian dessert which means semi-frozen. It was pretty simple, which was a yay for my tired feet. I beat some cream to stiff peaks. Then beat egg yolks with sugar and vanilla. Then beat egg whites to stiff peaks. (In thoroughly cleaned bowl of course). Then folded those things together and froze it in a plastic wrap lined pan. The rhubarb compote was as simple too. Just make syrup, add half of rhubard and cook until "jammy", then add the other half and cook until tender. Strain and reduce the liquid until glossy. Then chill.
If I had just made the endive salad again I would have finished an entire menu!! :D But my tired feet and dry hands may have objected. It was a lot of work but when I took that first bite, I knew it was all worth it. Yes, it was that good.