I like it when Jamie Oliver features chefs that influence and inspire him in his magazine. I’ve tried recipes from his guest chefs before, for instance, Miles New’s roasted pork sandwiches with bottom of the pan relish http://cookinginsens.wordpress.com/2012/01/25/roasted-pork-sandwich-with-bottom-of-the-pan-relish/with fantastic results.
Today I tried Gennaro Contaldo’s Carre D’Agnello con Carciofini using some local lamb from Phillipe the butcher. It was so good! I’m so very sorry that my plate picture wasn’t to my liking. I can only blame M. Parret :D He has the worse knives, and by the time I finished sawing through the lamb, I just threw it on the plate and voila! Next time I’ll bring my professional knives :) We drank a Chenas.
But we had a marvelous time! We had one of those protracted lunches that M. Parret loves with lively discussion, especially about De Gaulle and the Americans. M. Parret was on the American side, while one of the guests was a fierce Gaullist, who saw the saving of France’s lardons by the Americans as some kind of conspiracy to occupy France and claim the country’s resources. As if we coveted their cheese or they had oil! To end this debate, I wiped the tears of laughter from my face, poured us all another glass of Champagne and annonced the next course :D
In keeping with the Italian theme, I roasted some aubergine, courgette and some mushrooms on the edge of senility from the refrigerator. I feel great when I can rescue vegetables that are almost past it.
This lamb dish is definitely a “company coming” plate. It’s easy and, if presented in a civilized manner, elegant. The accompanying artichokes and sundried tomatoes were a brilliant addition.
After the salad, as always, a nice selection of cheese; Camembert, Chaource, Comte and a smoked raclette cheese. An aged Bordeaux with.
For dessert, raspberries from M. Parret’s garden.
And lovely little apricots.
Coffee and digestif at 4:00 p.m. It’s not as if we had to get back to work or anything :D
Gennaro Contaldo’s Italian Rack of Lamb
1 rack of lamb
Salt and pepper
8 ounces sliced proscuitto, cut into strips
4 large spring onions, cut in halves or quarters vertically
2 large whites of spring onions, thinly sliced
Leaves from 4 sprigs fresh thyme
2 small jars mini artichoke hearts, drained and halved
1 jar sundried tomatoes, drained and halved
Season the lamb with salt and pepper, then rub with olive oil. Layer the rack first with the proscuitto and then the halfs of spring onions. Roast at 450 F for 40 minutes.
Saute the sliced spring onions in 1 tbsp of olive oil until soft, then add the thyme, artichokes and tomatoes, then continue to saute for 2 minutes. Add the artichoke mixture to the roasting pan for the last 10 minutes.
Wine suggestion: Chenas