Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Passing Over Passover.

That whole thing last post about my wife "having arrived" if she had a washer and dryer only counts for the 11 months in which Passover doesn't occur. For that one month, all she wants is a large formal dining room table, and enough chairs/service to serve, say, 12 people. It was my hope this year to help my wife put together her first Seder.

Minus the whole formal dining room table, seeing as how we'd need to buy a dining room first.

About the only thing we did for Passover this year was leave a place for Elijah.

At the Toddler Table, but I don't think that really counts because the seat was left vacant due to a timeout.

So truly I think the only think that was done similar to Passover was the drinking of the four cups of wine. Except it was in a glass and wasn't exactly kosher...

Oy vey!

Then again, my older son did ask four questions, my Godson kept hiding his food under his napkin only to reveal it later, there was a lot of dipping objects into their water, and there were four children present, though none of them wicked.

I guess every dinner with multiple toddlers is a Seder dinner?

Well, it's not.

She wasn't fooled. By any of it. So it is now my new and improved hope this year to make my boneless leg of lamb for Easter to make up for it. I'll make some salt baked garlic and herb fingerling potatoes, mashed potatoes, grilled asparagus, creamed spinach or Brussels sprout au gratin, maybe even a roasted yam and sweet corn soup? Too much for 5 adults?

That's my middle name.

This wet fresh herb rub works wonders on rack of lamb or even a bone-in ribeye roast, but who wants to eat beef on Easter?

A Cuisinart comes in handy here, but you don't really need one if you like your hands smelling like garlic, and herbs. I like to refer to this as my Scarborough Fair Rub, I'll even hum the tune while I smack it down and rub it into the meat. I prefer to do this the afternoon before I grill the lamb.

Scarborough Fair "Wet Rub"
1/4 cup Dijon Mustard
1/4 cup minced garlic
handful of Fresh Parsley (flat leaf)
handful of Fresh Sage
handful of Fresh Rosemary
handful of Fresh Thyme
Zest of 2 Lemons
fresh cracked Black Pepper
Extra Virgin Olive Oil (2 to 3 glugs)

Omit the salt if you are going to rub down your lamb and leave it in the ice box over night.

Start with the cloves of peeled garlic, about 8 or 10, throw 'em in the Cuisinart and add the dijon mustard. Pulse garlic until roughly chopped, scraping down the sides of the bowl if needed. Add all of the herbs, the lemon zes, a tsp of salt and four or five turns of the pepper mill. If your pepper mill is battery operated and has a light that comes on count to five or so while you grind your pepper. I love mine, and living in California, you can never have too many flashlights.

Don't judge me.

Continue to pulse the herbs, and add a glug of Olive Oil. You may need two more to bring this to an almost pesto like consistency, but not too fine. If you omitted the salt, rub down your leg of lamb, like you went to lamb massage school, roll it back up, cover it with plastic wrap, and put it in a big ol' Ziploc bag so every thing stays clean. I have been known to leave a salt shaker right next to the bag in the refrigerator, then again I have also been known to cry out, "Who put the friggin salt in the fridge?" about five minutes later. Whatever you do, don't forget the salt.

If you only have a few hours go ahead and add the salt. The salt aids in the transfer of flavor but it can also leach out all of those lovely juices if left on for too long.

You can take those left over herbs, grab two cups of kosher salt and the whites of two eggs. Roughly chop the herbs, and mix them with the salt and add in the whites. It should look and feel like moist sand. Rub Olive oil over your fingerling potatoes, place the salt mix into a baker (brownie pan) and press the fingerlings into the salt mix. You can also use baby Yukon Golds, or White Rose Potatoes, just be sure that they are whole and have the skin on. Bake 'em a at 375 for 30 minutes or so until fork tender.

I fire up the left and right side of my grill to high and leave the middle burner off. Salt that lamb if you haven't already, and mark it off on each side of the leg of lamb starting with the inner side first. About 4 minutes each side. Insert your probe thermometer (you did go out and buy one at Target right?) and transfer over to the middle grill. Reduce the other burners to medium heat and cook for about 7 minutes. Flip the leg of lamb and cook until you reach 125 for rare, 130 for medium. You'll want to let that lamb rest for five to ten minutes, and it should increase in temperature roughly a degree a minute at that point.

(You can also broil the lamb, but I would do that under a medium broil so the garlic doesn't get that bitter burnt taste.)

Carve up the lamb table side with an electric knife, be sure to smack your lips as you plate it, and when your wife asks for you to pass the salt-run for the fridge.

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