This past Thursday we finally served our first actual reservation. It had been set about a month ago and we were both very proud to have received it. So of course we planned out the dinner very carefully. And in case you were curious who these mysterious guest were, well, yes they are my parents, but the point is still valid! Tamy’s parents experienced the Worth St Kitchen a month ago and now my parents were the ones that made the trip to New York. Along with my parents we had a great family friend that flew in from Miami and my uncle and his girlfriend that came in all the way from Brooklyn (Park Slope!).
If any of you readers were in New York or even in the Northeast you would have noticed that it was HOT last week. But not like “oh my god, it’s the middle of summer, boy its hot.” NO it was “HOLY CRAP I CAN’T WALK ANOTHER BLOCK WITHOUT LOSING ANOTHER LITER OF SWEAT!” Might not be the nicest picture you would like to have before reading some succulent recipes, but I needed to set the mood. Considering the heat, we needed to serve something fresh as an appetizer. And thanks to our Greek friend that introduced us to watermelon and feta cheese we had the perfect appetizer.
As for the main course, the choice was to try out a meat we have not used as of yet, we went with lamb. But not the traditional lamb chops, instead lamb loins were the cut of choice. We served these with a mint cream sauce accompanied with edamame mashed potatoes and beet chips. The chips made the difference in the decoration of the plate.
The dinner was fantastic. The wine was by far the best we have had as of yet on a Thursday (may this be officially a competition to all guest, who can bring the best wine) two Italian Super Tuscan and two Argentine Pinto Noirs (not known for their Pinots but definitely worth a try).
Enjoy the recipes:
Watermelon & Feta Cheese Salad
1 mini watermelon
1 cup of feta cheese (block not crumbled)
1 cup of chopped mint leaves
The process is very easy, all you have to do is mix the above ingredients together. For presentation sake, what I did was dice the watermelon into 1/2 inch thick slices and the feta cheese sliced thinly. Then began to stack them, watermelon, feta, mint and repeat. Sprinkle some mint on top.
Edamame Mashed Potatoes
4 Idaho Potatoes
2 cups of steamed edamame beans
6 tb spoons of butter
2 cups of soy milk
Peel the potatoes cut into big slices and place into boiling water (salted). Boil for about 10 minutes, or until potatoes are soft. Drain and return into pot and set heat medium. Stir in the butter until melted. with a masher begin to press the potatoes. Slowly stir in the soy milk, one great tip to creamy potatoes is to stir in the milk hot, so heat the milk for about 1 minute in the microwave. Then add the edamame and begin to mash together. For best results process the potatoes/edamame in a food processor for about 5 minutes or until smooth. Add more milk and butter if you want more creamy. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Seared Lamb Loins w/ Mint Cream
6 1.5 inch thick lamb loins
1 cup of chopped mint
2 cups of white wine
1/2 of heavy whipping cream
2 tb spoons of butter
The cream is very straight forward. Chop the shallots and place into hot sauce pan with melted butter. Cook for 2 minutes add the wine and let reduce for a 10 minutes. Transfer mixture to a food processor and add the mint and the cream. Mix until very finely shopped. Add salt and pepper to taste.
For lamb, pre heat over to 400. Salt and pepper the loins and quickly sear them, one minute on each side. Place in oven for about 10 minutes until medium.
To serve sprinkle the cream lightly over the meat. Lamb is very intense in flavor, so you do not want to drown it with too much sauce.
Ginger and Mint Crème Brûlée
2 cups of whipping cream
1/2 cup of sugar
4 tb spoons of freshly chopped ginger
1 vanilla bean
1/2 cup of chopped mint
5 large egg yolks
In a double boiler, begin to mix the first 6 ingredients. Split the vanilla bean lengthwise and try to scoop out the beans and place both into the mix. Stir occasionally for about 10 minutes until mix begins to simmer. Strain into large mixing bowl. In a separate bowl mix the 5 egg yolks and begin to fold in eggs into mixture. Once you have the final mixture separate into 6 small serving dishes (small bowls) and place cooking pan. Fill pan with water until half way up dishes and bake at 350° for about 35 minutes. Remove from oven and chill in fridge until just before serving. When serving, remove from fridge and sprinkle sugar over the top. If you have a kitchen torch, begin to burn the sugar on the top to make the hard layer. If you do not have a torch, do not worry, broil all in the oven for about 3 to 4 minutes until the top gets toasty. Cool with water in the pan again and serve.