This Sunday, May 2nd is Greek Easter. Our family will celebrate Greek Easter which is the biggest holiday for them. Easter is the most sacred observance. My husband Tony is Greek, my 3 stepchildren are, our two daughters are half, and grandaughter Greek and French and celebrates her Greek Heritage! It is an honor to commemorate the fact that Jesus died on the cross for our sins. Preparations go on ALL week and customs including all the wonderful traditional foods and a large and I mean large feast. Last year we couldn’t do it because of Covid and it was so sad not to be able to get together. This year we are all vaccinated and still being careful and so happy to be able to be together! I can’t wait to fill the house with family, music, too much love, and a few broken plates! Opa! What does OPA! mean anyway? I know every other word that comes out after a sentence is OPA! My kids when they were little would always shout “Oprah” They still do! It means joy, hooray, or cheers. OPA!
RACK OF LAMB
I use to be intimidated by the photographs in cookbooks and magazines of recipes that looked too difficult to prepare I didn’t even want to try it. It looked so delicious but hard to do! This beautiful presentation of a rack of lamb over a bean puree looks so professional but is super simple to do. It takes around 30 to 40 minutes in the oven to make this most impressive Rack of Lamb” It’s perfectly seasoned, and the cooking time is quick. The lamb slices beautifully are tender and moist and have a wonderful savory flavor. This Lamb is perfect for your Easter Celebration or any dinner for that matter. It’s an elegant presentation without requiring any fuss or special skills! It turns out juicy, tender, and cooked to medium-rare perfections with a delicious crusty exterior. You can serve the lamb with a variety of your favorite sides, garden greens, mashed or smashed potatoes, creamy or grilled polenta, grilled vegetables, or my favorite creamy bean puree! Go to RECIPES AND PRESS “EASTER SUNDAY”
2 racks of lamb, 1-1/2 to 1-3/4 pounds, (7 to 8 chops) each rack.
FOR EACH RACK
The recipe below is for one rack of lamb
You can double the recipe and divide the marinade among the racks evenly
1/2 cup Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
2 teaspoons fresh thyme chopped
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Zest from one lemon
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
Lots of cracked pepper
1-1/2 cups panko crumbs
6 small mint sprigs, for garnish
Preheat the oven to 375°F.
Remove lamb from refrigerator and let sit at room temperature for 1 hour
Take out of the packaging, rinse dry well with paper towels
Place the racks on a cutting board and remove the thin skin underneath using a sharp knife, place on a baking sheet, discard the skin
In a food processor combine Dijon mustard, soy sauce, thyme, rosemary, garlic, olive oil, lemon zest, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Process for 10 seconds. Pour into a bowl, add panko crumbs and mix gently until just combined. Do not over-mix.
Spread over the top of the rack
Use a meat thermometer and place it in the thickest part of the meat. Don’t let the tip of the thermometer touch the bone. You will get a false reading. If it touches the bone your will get a higher temperature reading. It may read 10 degrees lower than the rest of the cut.
REMEMBER TO TAKE OUT THE RACK BEFORE YOU REACH THE DESIRED TEMPERATURE BECAUSE YOU WILL HAVE TO PLACE IT UNDER A BROILER FOR 3 TO 4 MINUTES AND IT WILL COOK MORE.
EXAMPLE I LIKE RARE SO I TAKE MINE OUT AT 120 AND PLACE IT UNDER THE BROILER FOR 3 TO 4 MINUTES TO BROWN THE CRUST.
Turn the broiler to high and place lamb 4″ inches from the heat source and brown the panko until crusty. Don’t leave the oven as the panko toasts up quickly and could burn.
Remove from oven and transfer the lamb to a cutting board and cover loosely with foil. Let stand for 10 minutes. (Internal temperature will rise to the desired temperature.
Slice the racks into chops by cutting between the bones.
WHITE BEAN PUREE
2-15 ounce cans of white beans, navy or cannellini beans
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
2 scallions, chopped small
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon of fresh thyme leaves pulled off the stem
5 basil leaves chopped small
Place the beans in a calendar and rinse gently with cool water until it runs clear. Drain all the water out and pour it into a food processor. Add salt, pepper to taste, scallion, and lemon juice, and olive oil into a food processor, process until smooth. Adjust the seasoning adding more salt if necessary.
To serve the lamb, slice in between the ribs to separate the chops. Place 1/4 cup of the bean puree on the middle of a dinner plate and spread it into a circle. Place three lamb chops thick side down in the puree to help them stand together. Garnish with fresh mint and serve lemon wedges sliced into quarters on the side!