While I’m planning my next successful dish to follow up my chocolate covered matzo (which got #1 on foodbuzz and I was overjoyed with excitement, thank you everyone who buzzed me to the top!), I wanted to introduce you to my friend Holly who hopefully will be a regular guest blogger. I previously mentioned Holly in my Food in Paris post. She spent 3 months in Paris last summer and I was lucky enough to be able to visit her while she was there. Check out her blog on her Paris Adventures. It will make anyone jealous!
After spending the past summer in France, I didn’t come back with a keen sense of the language or a new desire to become an artist. What I did pick up in the land of haute cuisine was a renewed appetite for good food and a desire to brush up on my culinary skills. It was this new found interest that propelled me to scour New York City in search of outlets for my passion.
Luckily enough for me, New York is also in the midst of its own foodie love affair and it was easier than ever for me to find inexpensive and creative cooking classes, join other like minded faux chefs in renegade cooking clubs and indulge in my new hobby by baking and cooking for friends and the Greenpoint Soup Kitchen.
One of the first cooking classes I signed up for this year was at a place called Ger-Nis Culinary & Herb Center in Brooklyn. The center hosts hands-on cooking classes, lectures and events for both adults and children on various topics and cuisines. They also promote healthy and sustainable living (they compost scraps from classes!) and a sense of community. Ger-Nis is located in south Brooklyn, near the Gowanus Canal, and is also available for rental and usage for events, video taping and recipe testings. Check them out if you are in the New York area.
I recruited a friend and we decided to try a dinner class so that we could learn to prepare a full meal we could then replicate for friends while away for a weekend in the Poconos. The lamb roast dinner that we made during our class was delicious! I recommend the recipe to anyone who enjoys a good roast, as it was fairly easy to prepare and can fool your guests into thinking you are a much better cook than you may or may not already be!
While away with friends in the Poconos we prepared the roast and it was a HUGE success! Eight people devoured an 8 lb lamb in less than an hour. There is nothing better than good friends, good food and some good wine. But don’t take my word, try it for yourself!
Grating and zesting in preparation for our big meal
Roast Lamb Dinner
Teacher: Orianne Cosentino
(courtesy of Ger-Nis Culinary & Herb Center)
3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
3 cloves garlic, chopped fine
¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped
¼ cup fresh cilantro, chopped
¼ cup fresh mint, chopped
2 teaspoons fresh thyme, chopped
2 teaspoons cumin
¼ teaspoons salt
3 tablespoons canola oil
1 (4 pounds) boneless lamb leg roast, tied
Preheat oven to 425°F.
In a small bowl, combine mustard, garlic, herbs, cumin and salt. Set aside.
In a large sauté pan, over high heat, add canola oil. Add lamb and brown on all sides. Remove from pan and smear the top of roast with mustard and herb mixture.
Put lamb on a rack in a roasting pan and cook for (20 minutes per pound) 1 hour and 20 minutes, or until a meat thermometer registers 130°F for medium-rare or 140°F for medium. Transfer lamb to a cutting board and let stand 10 minutes.