Monday, July 15, 2013

Grilled Leg of Lamb Gyro

I'm not accustomed to cooking lamb, but I have had some delicious lamb sliders one or more times in my life. I grew to appreciate the meat while traveling in the UK. I tasted what was the best Indian dish I have ever had in my life. It was similar to this slow-cooked lamb korma. I figured I would start simple and grill up a leg of lamb and save the korma recipe for the cooler weather.

Cool bevys, fresh vegetables, Tzatziki sauce (one of my favorite condiments of all time!), and grilled meat seems like a nice option when the temps creep up into the 90's! A chorus of cicadas, delicious BBQ and good company makes for the perfect summer evening!

Another inspiration for cooking up some lamb was that I was recently contacted about a LAMBorghini promotion happening with Mountain States Rosen (A supplier of quality meat) where you can enter to win the chance to drive a real Lamborghini. Click to enter. Not too bad.. I figured that if the lamb did not come out right, at least by spreading the word about the promotion, maybe one lucky person reading this would live out their dream of driving a Lamborghini! So, I went to Roche Bros. and picked up a nice leg of lamb. Mountain States Rosen slogan:

"Family ranchers across the U.S. have joined together under the banner of Mountain State Rosen (MSR), pledging to adhere to the highest animal care and quality meat standards. They produce some of the freshest, best lamb around. Exercise, low-stress, fine breeding and a healthy, nutrient-rich diet all contribute to an incomparably delicious eating experience. " 

The animals are not injected with hormones or antibiotics as well. In addition, I like to support the family concept. Most family ranchers in the US have dropped dramatically in the past years. Read more here.

I kept the meal simple by marinating the meat with some garlic, olive oil, salt, pepper and we added rosemary before grilling. I whipped up a nice tzatziki sauce, and grilled up some veggies to have on the side. While the meat was on the grill, my friend Anne and I caught up over some iced tea bourbon cocktails. All together the meal came out great! The lamb was perfectly cooked. We monitored the temperature until it reached 130F which was medium rare cooked in a 300-350F gas grill. 

 Cucumbers, olive oil, lemon juice, yogurt, salt and pepper

tzatziki sauce 
Ginger iced tea and Knob Creek bourbon 
Marinade with fresh rosemary from the garden

Wish there was a scratch and sniff option for this photo!

Cooked to perfection!

Grilled veggies

The tzatziki sauce really added a lot of flavor with the garlic. The rosemary seemed to go very nicely with the lamb. The lamb itself was tender and tasted delicious. Not a strong lamb flavor. It was really perfect. Now I am no longer intimated to cook lamb! Onward to lamb korma in the fall!

Be sure to check out the Mountain States Rosen  website for recipe ideas, and good luck if you enter to the LAMBorghini contest! 

Bon Appetit! 

Monday, July 1, 2013

Lunch with King's Hawaiian at Catalyst

I recently attended a special lunch featuring King's Hawaiian bread at Catalyst in Cambridge. Chef William Kovel cooked up some creative dishes enjoyed by all. With most of the population leaning more toward a low-carb diet, King's Hawaiian has been increasingly successful and growing despite this trend. What sets the company apart is not only a delicious product, delivering sweetness and quality, but for decades, the company has remained true to their core family values. Starting with a small bakery back in the 1950s, Robert Taira and family have expanded to five locations across the United States. Moving from Hilo, Hawaii in the 1970s, the company set up shop in Torrance, CA. You can enjoy some authentic Hawaiian cuisine in their restaurant which pays homage to the original bakery the family started back in the 50s. You can read the rave reviews by loyal customers and get a sample view of the dishes, specifically their Paradise cake, which consists of guava, lime and passion fruit. I know I will be stopping by the next I am in the area! For the luncheon, we sampled some dishes created by the talented chef William Kovel of Catalyst exemplifying the versatility of the bread. You can find recipes and more information about the company on the King's Hawaiian website. There you will learn how the company is dedicated to contributing to various charities such as Make a Wish Foundation, Go for Broke, and Meals on Wheels. Their products can be found in the deli section of most supermarkets.

Courtney Taira, granddaughter of Robert Taira, walked us through the history of King's Hawaiian and demonstrated how to make their legendary bread pudding with Chef Kovel. Courtney went to culinary school and clearly shares the same passion for the King's Hawaiian product. 
Chef Kovel served up a flavorful menu ranging from liver mousse on toast triangles, bread salad incorporated into a lamb tenderloin dish, a lobster roll, burger, and finally a sinfully delicious bread pudding. One recommendation was to make the bread pudding, and use the leftovers to make french toast. Time to increase my biking mileage after this 4th of July holiday! I know I will be trying this recipe! 


Seared ahi tuna with King's Hawaiian Crostini

Lamb Tenderloin with King's Hawaiian bread salad

Catalyst Burger with King's Hawaiian sweet hamburger bun

Lobster roll with King's Hawaiian sweet hotdog bun

cooking demo
King's Hawaiian White Chocolate Chip Bread Pudding


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