Celebrate Spring With Lamb
March 27th, 2013

A traditional meal perfect for family and guests

spring-food-01Spring is full of celebrations and rich traditions that bring the family around the table for special meals. Enjoy lamb’s mild, meaty flavor no matter the occasion. Garlic mint sauce drizzled on a savory leg of lamb makes an irresistible meal. Roasted fingerling potatoes and a fig and blue cheese salad are perfect side dishes. Top off this celebratory meal with a taste-of-the tropics cheesecake.

Tips for Roasting Lamb
A bone-in leg of lamb cooks faster than a boneless leg of lamb. Use a good meat thermometer to determine doneness:

  • Rare—135 F
  • Medium Rare—145 F
  • Medium—160 F

You can sear the lamb roast first in a hot 450 F oven for 15 minutes to seal in the juices. Then reduce oven temp to 325 F and continue roasting until the internal temperature reaches 5 to 10 degrees less than your desired temperature. Remove the roast from the oven and let rest for 20 minutes before serving.

The juices will settle and make carving easier. As the meat rests, the temperature will rise 5 to 10 degrees.


Roasted Leg of Lamb

lamb1-01Ingredients:

  • 1 boneless leg of lamb, approximately 6 pounds
  • 4 garlic cloves, smashed
  • 2 lemons, zested
  • 1/2 tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, chopped
  • 1 bunch parsley, chopped
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup kosher salt

Directions:  In a small bowl, combine all of the ingredients except the lamb. Rub the mixture on the leg of lamb.  Cover with plastic wrap and marinate overnight. Bring the lamb to room temperature and sprinkle with salt. Preheat oven to 375 F. Roast for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until a thermometer inserted into the center of the leg reads 125 F to 130 F. Drizzle with the mint and garlic marinade. Cover loosely with aluminum foil and allow the roast to rest for 20 minutes.

Fresh Mint and Garlic Marinade

Ingredients:

  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 1/2 bunch parsley leaves, chopped
  • 1/2 bunch mint leaves, chopped
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper

Directions: Put all ingredients in a small bowl and whisk to combine.

Serves 8
Courtesy of American Lamb Board


Roasted Fingerling Potatoes

  • 1/2 cup olive oil, divided
  • 3 pounds fingerling potatoes, cut in half lengthwise
  • 8 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme, chopped
  • tablespoons kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper

Place a sheet pan in the oven and preheat to 425 F. In a bowl, combine ¼ cup of olive oil and remaining ingredients. Toss to coat potatoes. Pour 1/4 cup olive oil onto hot sheet pan and allow to heat for 1 minute. Place potatoes onto hot sheet pan and roast for 20 minutes or until golden brown. Serve immediately.
Serves 8
Courtesy of American Lamb Board


Roasted Fig and Blue Cheese Salad

Figs:

  • 4 cups fresh black mission figs, sliced in half
  • 4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt

Salad:

  • 6 tablespoons honey
  • 4 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • ½ cup balsamic vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt

Dressing

  • 1 cup blue cheese, cut into elegant
  • wedges or thin slices
  • 12 cups mixed salad greens with arugula
  • 1 cup candied walnuts

Directions: To roast figs, preheat the oven to 350 F. Remove stems off the end of each fig then slice fig in half.
Roast for approximately 30 minutes or until a bit golden brown. Remove and cool slightly. In a small mixing bowl, mix the next four ingredients. Add figs and toss to coat evenly. Marinate for 5 to 10 minutes. Whisk honey, mustard, ½ cup balsamic vinegar and sea salt together to create a dressing. Place greens in large salad bowl; toss with the dressing and add candied walnuts. Place on individual salad plates with two fig halves and a blue cheese wedge on top of each salad.
Serves 8
Courtesy of Chef Candice Kumai and Glad Products


Tropical Breeze Mango-Coconut Cheesecake

cheesecake-01Crust:

  • 2 cups sweetened flake coconut
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • Grated zest of half a lime
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

Filling:

  • 3 8-ounce packages reduced fat
  • cream cheese, softened
  • 1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 cup mango jam, divided

Garnish (optional):

  • 1 ripe mango, peeled, seeded and thinly sliced
  • 1 lime, thinly sliced
  • 1 can sweetened whipped cream

For Pie Crust: Heat oven to 350 F. Toss together coconut, sugar and lime zest in a medium mixing bowl. Add butter and stir until crumbly. Press mixture into bottom and up sides of a 9-inch nonstick spring form pan. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, until light brown. Allow to cool completely. For Filling: Reduce oven temperature to 300 F. Beat cream cheese until smooth with an electric mixer on medium speed in a large mixing bowl. Gradually beat in sweetened condensed milk, beating until smooth. Add eggs, lime juice, vanilla extract and cornstarch, mixing until well combined. Stir in 2/3 cup of jam until smooth. Pour cream-cheese mixture into prepared crust. With the remaining 1/3 cup of jam, drop dollops on top of filling. Gently swirl jam with a knife until the top of the filling appears marbleized. Bake for 55 to 60 minutes, or until center is set when jiggled. Place pan on wire rack to cool completely. Cover and refrigerate for 8 hours or overnight.

Serves 12
Courtesy of Eagle Brand