Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Spring Time Spread

Happy Spring everyone! After emerging from this long long winter we're all happy to see a little sunshine (except today when it actually snowed!!) 

With Easter around the corner here is a fun tasting menu that I've prepared, just a little fun spread that could inspire you for your next dinner. 

With spring lamb being a favourite choice around Easter I went with a rack of lamb which I would turn into lamb chops.

The recipe kind of evolved into another recipe as it did not turn out as I wished.  There were a few unexpected bumps along the way when I discovered a couple of minutes before opting to cook my original lamb that it had gone completely rotten.  Thank God for a quick replacement and being able to put out the spread and finish up the photo shoot.

So what's on the menu you ask?
Herb crusted lamb chops

Zucchini fritters - courtesy of Joanna from Stylushlife blog 

(fresh Salad)

Raspberry lemon Tiramisu

Challah with homemade butter

Raspberry Lemon Tiramisu (coffee free) 

Tiramisu is the perfect cake free dessert, it tastes like there is cake in there but you didn't have to slave over it.  I use soft wider lady finger cookies that have gone hard and stale on me but use anything that you have.

Just like the hazelnut chocolate one I made around the holidays we're doing a coffee free version and begin by making the custard with the basic recipe here 

1 basic custard recipe (varied by adding lemon zest to the pot towards the end before straining it into a bowl and adding the butter- prepare the custard the night in advance and kept chilling in the fridge)

Raspberry syrup (homemade version below)
1 carton raspberries
1/2 cup sugar
juice of half a lemon

1 tub mascarpone cheese
2 cartons raspberry 
1 lemon (for zesting) 

To make the syrup simply dump the raspberries into a pot with the sugar and add the lemon juice, then add a splash of water and cook on medium high until the raspberries break apart. You can use a spoon to smoosh them further. You want a night flavourful syrup/juice and once they've released enough flavour remove from the heat and allow them to infuse until almost cool.
Strain off any seed and extra fruits and set aside the juice.

Before making the tiramisu you will need to heat up the juice just so it's warm to the touch. 

For the Crema part, add the mascarpone cheese to a bowl or kitchen aid mixer bowl and whisk until it's smooth, add the cooled custard in and incorporate it. If it's mildly lumpy it's ok as you can strain it through a fine metal sieve using a spatula to push it all through.

Warm up your raspberry syrup and begin dipping the cookies in. Add a layer of cream into your bowl and then stack the soaked and drained cookies over top, then another layer of cream and so forth ending with the cream. Set in the fridge and decorate with more fresh raspberries on top before serving and a zesting of lemon peel.

Butter: We're covered homemade butter in my Thanksgiving inspired menu a couple of years ago, and it's all very simple to make way in advance.
All you do is add your heavy 35% cream into a mason jar (filled half way up) and cover with a tight and secure lid then shake it away nice and gently, nice to do while watching tv.
It goes through all stages of getting frothy, then whipped cream and finally when you begin to hear a lot of splashing water and a lump formed inside you know your fat solids have come together.
Rinse off the creamy liquid (reserve it for baking or drinking!)  and add your lump of butter into a bath of icy water washing several times to only collect the buttery fatty parts and remove as much creamy liquid as possible.  You may need to set it on a board and squish it using the back of a wooden spoon. Finally add a sprinkling of salt and fold it in then store it away in the fridge (or freezer for a later date)

For the Challah (about 5 hours in advance) 

Mix together 2 tsp instant yeast
1 cup warm water
5 eggy olks
2 tbsp oil (I used olive)
4 tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt

3 2/3 cups AP or Bread flour

Knead well until it all comes together and for about 10 minutes. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit until it doubles in size.

Now divide the dough in two and knead each piece about 3-5 minutes.  Divide each ball into six.  Starting with one of the lumps of dough first and rolling into a log and dividing into 3 and then each piece in 2.

Now you can learn to master your 6 strand challah braid (which I hope you practiced in advance! Youtube video Here ) and recipe courtesy of Bea's cookbook

Let rise one more time on the tray after shaping and brush with beaten egg before baking on 350 for about 30 minutes (checking it from time to time)

You should yield two loves but I stacked them on top and made a big round turban like design.

On the day of your party prepare the zucchini fritters and lamb close to your presentation time

Herb Crusted Lamb Chops

This lamb is meant to be a seared and baked lamb then sliced into as you see here 
There was an issue with my first rack having been completely rotten (from the store) and the second one was not cooked through so I sliced and seared them off in the pan. 

Follow Gordon Ramsay's Herb crusted lamb recipe here 


1 comment:

Unknown said...

Your lamb chops look perfect even though you had to improvise a bit. Your entire meal is really beautiful. : )