For the Love of Lamb: Rosemary and Anchovy Leg of Lamb with Flageolet Gratin

Photo Credit Heather Platt

Anchovy and Rosemary Roasted Lamb with Flageolet Gratin. Photo Credit: Heather Platt

There is a special place in my culinary heart for lamb. It’s a reminder that spring is almost here and we can all gather around a beautiful giant roasted leg of it, drink red wine and share in it’s gamey deliciousness. It’s allure  could be related to the fact that I did not grow up eating it, or because over the past few years at Lucques we’ve roasted an entire one on a spit in our patio in front of guests, letting that smokey lamby smell waft over most of West Hollywood. Or maybe because it’s often prepared with some of my very favorite ingredients; anchovies, garlic and rosemary. Whatever the reason, I love it.  So when faced with the task of having some women friends over for dinner recently, I had to make it.

It has been some time since I’ve have a group of ladies over for a big piece of roasted meat. In case you hadn’t noticed, it’s been awhile since 3MBB has been active. During this time of absence, I have learned two things. A) how to manage a restaurant full-time and B) planning a wedding is insanely expensive, stressful (but fun!) and also like a full time job. So that puts me at two full-time jobs…and no time for blogging. However, last week, I licked the last envelope, stuck on the last stamp and shoved a giant box of chubby, (but oh, so beautiful) cream-colored envelopes onto the counter at the US Post Office and thought, “you little guys are about to not be my problem anymore.”

A deep breath and huge sigh of relief later, it occurred to me, I’d have time to cook again. So naturally,  I invited eight girls over for lamb. Three showed up, because it’s LA and that “how we do” here, apparently. But it was lovely. And since I can no longer seem to cook anything without incorporating the genius of my favorite chef-boss,  I served the rosemary, anchovy and garlic marinated lamb over a bed of Suzanne Goin’s flageolet gratin from Sunday Supper at Lucques.

Enjoy!

Heather

Rosemary and Anchovy Leg of Lamb

serves 6

  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 7  anchovies, drained
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 (3.5lb)  leg of lamb
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • freshly cracked black pepper

Begin my marinating the lamb. Mince the  garlic cloves and anchovies  then place in a mortar and pestle and mash to a paste. Place the paste in a small bowl and stir together with oil and rosemary. Pat lamb dry and using a sharp knife remove all but a thin layer of fat. Transfer, fat side up, to a rack in a roasting pan. Make several small 1-inch-deep slits in lamb with a  knife, then rub marinade over entire surface of lamb, pushing some marinade into slits and inside the cavity. Tie the lamb leg with kitchen twine snugly and let marinate, loosely covered with aluminum foil, at room temperature 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 400°F.

Sprinkle lamb all over with Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper. Roast  in the middle of the oven for 60 minutes  to 1  1/4 hours for medium-rare. The meat thermometer inserted into thickest part of lamb registers 125°F . Let stand 30 minutes before slicing.

Serve with Suzanne Goin’s Flageolet Gratin from Sunday Suppers at Lucques

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Episode 1 of The Three More Big Bites Show: Pork Tenderloin with Cherry Port Sauce and Potato Goat Cheese Gratin

I absolutely love cherry season! It sounds dorky, but it’s true. I look forward to it all year and it doesn’t last very long, so it’s important to make the most of it while it’s here.  Cherries are such a special, sweet, succulent fruit. And they always remind me of the happiest time of year, the beginning of summer. We usually think of cherries as a dessert item, (mmm..I do love a good cherry pie), but I love to come up with savory ways to use these sweet/tart treats. And one of my favorite ways to do that is to make a super easy Cherry Port Sauce served over Pork Tenderloin.

Pork Tenderloin

This time, I’m serving it with goat cheese gratin. And though gratin is typically served in the winter, with heavier fare, it also makes for a wonderful summer dish because it can be made ahead of time and serves as the perfect summertime side for all kinds of grilled meats.

Enjoy!

Heather

cherries

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by | June 18, 2013 · 10:01 am

Father’s Day Feasts: Grilled Filet Mignon with Anchovy Butter and Watercress

Originally posted on Three More Big Bites:

My dad can’t cook. No offense Dad. But honestly, it’s no secret.  In fact, even being in the kitchen could make him prone to some sort of panic attack. Once in a while he would flare his nostrils and inhale loudly.

“Bobbie!!!” (My mom’s name is Bobbie, short for Barbara.  Adorable, I know.) “Something’s burning Bobbie!” He would scream, with a look of terror in his eyes that reflected the image of all of his assets and our post-and-beam house bursting into flames. In his defense, it was a scary thought. I think that after decades of marriage you become skilled at ignoring your spouse when they’re being ridiculous. So my mother just continued cooking. She might smile at me and roll her eyes. I however, had no tolerance for it.

“Dad. First of all, you’re standing two feet away from me so there’s really no need to scream. And…

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Suzanne Goin’s AOC Cookbook Preview: Grilled Snapper with Cous Cous, Apricots, Yogurt, and Pistachio Aillade

grilled snapper with cous cous, apricots, yogurt, and pistachio aillade. Photo credit: Heather Platt

grilled snapper with cous cous, apricots,
yogurt, and pistachio aillade. Photo credit: Heather Platt

Los Angeles Farmer's Market. Photo Credit: Heather Platt

Los Angeles Farmer’s Market. Photo Credit: Heather Platt

In Suzanne Goin’s upcoming AOC cookbook, she explains the importance of combining flavors and ingredients in perfect harmony. “I am constantly working to integrate and unite ingredients so that the sum of a dish is greater than its parts.” This concept is something that has impressed me year after year at Lucques. When tasting new dishes I often notice our waitstaff’s eyes light up with amazement and delight. This dish of grilled snapper with saffron cous cous, apricots, yogurt and pistachio aillade is the perfect example of this notion. Delicious grilled fish, apricots roasted in honey, clove and star anise syrup and Suzanne’s famous pistachio aillade are all delicious on their own. But put them together atop a bed of saffron cous cous with spring onions and a dollop of yogurt and you’ve created something completely different, new and deliciously jaw-dropping.  Not to mention completely gorgeous on the plate! And I always recommend making extra pistachio aillade because you’ll want to eat it on everything, drizzled over salad or on a fresh baguette. Suzanne loves this sauce so much she even invented a sweet version of it for her desserts!

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Filed under Dinner, Fish, Gluten-free, Heather Platt, In Season, Lunch, Main Course, Spring, Summer

Suzanne Goin’s AOC Cookbook Preview: Grilled Arctic Char with Arugula and Cherry Tomato-Anchovy Brown Butter

Suzanne Goin's Grilled Arctic Char with Arugula and Cherry Tomato-Anchovy Brown Butter. Photo Credit: Heather Platt

Suzanne Goin’s Grilled Arctic Char with Arugula and Cherry Tomato-Anchovy Brown Butter. Photo Credit: Heather Platt

Tomato season at Lucques  is up there with Cassoulet night and Rib Fest in terms of annual buzzed-about events. And though it’s not actually an event but a period of time from mid-summer to early fall, tomato-craving diners begin calling in late spring to ask, “Are the heirlooms in yet?” They sound so desperate and excited as if they just can’t wait another day to eat a tomato.  So even though I know the answer myself, I walk back to the kitchen to check with the chef. “A few more weeks!” he promises me. I know how they feel though.  There’s nothing quite like a beautiful heirloom or cherry tomato at the peak of it’s season. Growing up in Vermont, cherry tomatoes always flourished in our summer garden. I would stand next to the plants, which matched my height at the time, and eat those sweet tomatoes right off of the vine as if I had just discovered my very own candy tree in our yard. I know that it isn’t summer yet and so those fat and luscious heirlooms and perfectly sweet cherry tomatoes are not here yet, but I couldn’t wait to test this recipe. After a winter of hearty braised meats, rich and delicious purées of squash, carrots and potatoes, this recipe of grilled-arctic char, arugula, and Suzanne’s “go-to quick and easy sauce for summer” cherry tomato anchovy brown butter is a wonderful alternative. I would suggest, of course, to make it when Suzanne would, in late summer.  In testing and eating Suzanne’s recipes from her upcoming AOC cookbook, as well as from my years at Lucques, I am always impressed with the well-balanced variety of dishes on her menu and in her books.  As you will find in the AOC cookbook, due out in October 2013, there are recipes for every mood and season.

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Filed under Gluten-free, Heather Platt, In Season, Lunch, Main Course, Summer

Vermont Maple Memories: Pepper-seared Filet Mignon with Gorgonzola, Spinach, Turnip Purée and Maple Balsamic Sauce

Pepper-seared Filet Mignon with Maple Balsamic Sauce, Spinach and Turnip Purée. Photo Credit: Heather Platt

Pepper-seared Filet Mignon with Maple Balsamic Sauce, Gorgonzola, Spinach and Turnip Purée. Photo Credit: Heather Platt

When it comes to “comfort food” we tend to refer back to the simple things we ate during our childhood, mac and cheese, spaghetti and meatballs, ice cream, apple pie and mom’s chicken soup (to name a few). But having grown up in northern Vermont in the middle of acres and acres of farm land, nothing is more comforting to me than pure Vermont maple syrup. When I was kid, my parents refused to accept payment from our neighbor farmer for the hay he needed to take from our fields every fall to feed his cattle through the winter. I have fond memories of climbing up on to those giant prickly marshmallow-shaped hay bales and attempting to jump from one to the next. Instead, in exchange for the free-hay, farmer Tucker would give us a handsome two-gallon jug of pure grade A Vermont maple syrup, which he had tapped from his own maple trees and boiled down in his Sugar-house into the luscious syrup. In all of my almost 18-years growing up in Vermont, I can’t remember a time when there wasn’t at least one of those huge jugs on the floor of our kitchen pantry. It was a constant staple, like flour, sugar and salt. We never ran out. And what most non-Vermonters don’t realize is that maple syrup isn’t an ingredient meant only for drizzling over pancakes. It’s a secret-weapon ingredient for all kinds of other desserts, savory dishes, salad dressings and in this case, balsamic steak sauce! My brother’s girlfriend Bliss, who also grew up in Vermont but lives in Brooklyn now, admitted to me once, “All of my friends make fun of me for my cooking. They say that I put maple syrup in everything I make.” I looked at her, confused. “Why? That’s a good thing.”

Enjoy!

Heather

Vermont Farm Offerings. Photo Credit: Heather Platt

Vermont Farm Offerings. Photo Credit: Heather Platt

Pepper-seared Filet Mignon with Gorgonzola, Spinach, Turnip Purée and Maple Balsamic Sauce

Serves 4

For Steak and Sauce:

  • 4( 6-ounce) filet mignons, trimmed
  • Freshly cracked black pepper, (about 2 tablespoons)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large shallot, minced
  • 1/4 cup pure Vermont maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons apple-cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup beef broth
  • 2 tablespoon French brandy
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 cup crumbled Gorgonzola, for topping

For Turnips:

  • 1 lb turnips, peeled and cut into 1″ pieces
  • kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 bunch baby spinach leaves

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Coat one side of each filet with cracked pepper.

Bring a medium saucepan of water to a boil. Add the turnips and cook until tender, about 10-15 minutes. Drain. Return the turnips to the pan and add the cream. Return to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until cream coats the turnips, about 4 minutes. Purée turnip mixture in a food processor until smooth. Cover and keep warm.

Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large cast-iron (or other oven-proof) skillet over medium-high heat until oil just begins to smoke. Add the filets, pepper side down and sear well on one side for about 3 minutes. Turn the filets over and sear for 2 more minutes before transferring the skillet to the oven for 5 more minutes.

Remove the steaks from the skillet and set aside, covered to keep warm while you make the sauce.

Using the same skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the shallot and sauté until soft and translucent, stirring frequently. Stir in the maple syrup, balsamic vinegar and apple-cider vinegar and cook until sauce is reduced by have. Continue to stir. This should take about 5 minutes

Stir in the beef stock. Remove the skillet from heat and add the brandy. Return the skillet to the heat. When the sauce begins to boil, whisk in the butter. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Place a large dollop of the turnips on the center of four plates. Place a delicate handful of the baby spinach on top of each dollop. place the cooked steaks on top of the spinach. Using a large spoon, drizzle the sauce generously over the steaks. Top each steak with desired amount of crumbled Gorgonzola.

Vermont Farmland. Photo Credit: Heather Platt

Vermont Farmland. Photo Credit: Heather Platt

Vermont Cow. Photo Credit: Heather Platt

Vermont Cow. Photo Credit: Heather Platt

Pepper-Seared Filet Mignon with Gorgonzola, Spinach, Turnip Purée  and Maple Balsamic Sauce. Photo Credit: Heather Platt

Pepper-Seared Filet Mignon with Gorgonzola, Spinach, Turnip Purée and Maple Balsamic Sauce. Photo Credit: Heather Platt

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Filed under Dinner, Gluten-free, Heather Platt, In Season, Lunch, Main Course, Meat, Winter

Suzanne Goin’s AOC Cookbook Preview: Mustard-Grilled Chicken with Spinach, Pine Nuts, Pecorino, and Soft Egg

Mustard-Grilled Chicken, with Spinach, Pine Nuts, Pecorino and Soft Egg. Photo Credit: Heather Platt

Mustard-Grilled Chicken, with Spinach, Pine Nuts, Pecorino and Soft Egg. Photo Credit: Heather Platt

As the hostess at Lucques, I am often the one who gets to hear our guests praise and applaud their dining experiences at the end of the night.  As they walk out the door  looking happy and satisfied they will announce, “That was delicious!” with a look of shock on their faces that reads, “I didn’t know that food could taste that good.” I love to see how some guests’ demeanor changes from on their way in to on their way out. It’s amazing what a great meal and a delicious glass of wine can do!

A few years ago, this mustard-grilled chicken dish was on the menu. Let me remind you that the only dish on the Lucques menu that remains year round is Suzanne’s famous braised-beef short ribs. Everything else changes with the seasons and that’s part of what makes it so special for everyone making the food and eating it. But this chicken dish created quite a stir. Guests were literally begging me to keep it on the menu. One gentleman even called in advance to make sure that it would still be available by the time he came in for his reservation. He pleaded with me to tell the chef to keep it there at least a little bit longer. I even came in, myself, to the restaurant where I work  to eat this amazing chicken.  I had to let Suzanne know about the public demand and she did let it linger on the menu for a few more weeks.

So when I saw that the recipe for it had made it’s way into Suzanne’s AOC cookbook, my stomach grumbled and I felt intimidated. How could I possibly recreate something that delicious in my very own home? And having interned in the kitchen at Lucques, myself, I knew that this was a dish with many components. But my taste-testing dinner guests for this particular night were my  blogger/rocker always-honest best friend Anna Bulbrook and my sweet friend Morgan Kibby, who I hadn’t seen in a while because she has been gone touring the world and receiving Grammy nominations with her band M83 and, quite frankly I wanted to impress them.  I couldn’t think of a better way to show off a few tricks I’d learned from cooking in Suzanne’s kitchen and from her books than to make a recipe that had caused a craze.  “I hope you like chicken.” I said to Morgan as she stood in my kitchen two nights after she had walked the red carpet looking completely stunning at The Grammy Awards.  “Are you serious?! I’m so excited to eat this !” She said, “I’m starving. I haven’t eaten in two weeks.” We all laughed. And I smiled to myself, feeling quite self-satisfied to be personally ending a Grammy-red-carpet-starvation diet with something this good!

Morgan at the Grammy Awards.

Morgan at the Grammy Awards

Pretty/Hungry Rocker Girls Anna Bulbrook and Morgan Kibby. Phoot Credit: Heather Platt

Pretty/Hungry Rocker Girls Anna Bulbrook and Morgan Kibby. Photo Credit: Heather Platt

Farmer's market shallots for the mustard marinade.. Photo Credit: Heather Platt

Farmer’s market shallots for the mustard marinade. Photo Credit: Heather Platt

Farmer's Market Baby Spinach. Photo Credit: Heather Platt

Farmer’s Market Baby Spinach. Photo Credit: Heather Platt

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Filed under Dinner, Eggs, Heather Platt, In Season, Main Course, Poultry