Saturday, October 18, 2008

A Perfect Dinner!

Hi, Rando fans--

(as my dear god daughter Blue says on her mic breaks during the shows she's recorded so far).

Just blowing a little dust off the blog and bragging about a perfect dinner we ate tonight. It was loosely Southern European, but basically 'Murican Liberal cuisine. But it was easy to make and since we like to share the doings of the kitchen staff from High Atop The Potter Building, I thought I'd offer a bit of detail.

I made Osama's Lamb (explanation follows), a Greek salad from Ken's description of such things in Greece, and a little pot of pasta pesto using some leftover pesto I'd frozen in August before we went away. We drank some Pinot Noir from Patagonia which was pretty OK, too.

First: Osama's Lamb

Yeah. That Osama. Here's the backstory. The Potter Building is not far from New York City, and we were pretty seriously freaked by 9/11--not that everyone else wasn't too, but I still maintain that NYC metro folks have a slightly different relationship to it than do other Americans. Ken and I fought back by cooking food and making cocktails, not too surprisingly. And one night, I made a marinade (almost more of a spice rub) for broiled or grilled lamb chops that we've always referred to since as Osama's Lamb. Why? Because Osama couldn't have any. Because we hoped the man behind killing a sweet girl who'd sung in a youth choir my husband had directed was in a cold, damp cave, eating dirt. Because good lefties that we are--I mean, Jeez, there are limits, and we were tired of trying to understand. The rule was that you couldn't leave any lamb on the platter because somehow, Osama would get it. I know. That's psycho, a bit. But it was strange times. Behold a recipe conceived in grief that I make all the time now that the sorrow has lifted.

Osama's Lamb

Lamb chops--whatever kind you like (we go for the teeny ones). This is designed for six or eight of those.
A ziplock bag
A huge shake or two of cumin
A smaller shake of coriander
Juice of one lemon
A good splash of balsamic vinegar
Enough olive oil to do a sort-of salad dressing looking thing
A couple of tablespoons of kosher salt
Many grinds of black pepper
Three or four cloves of garlic, pressed

Put everything except the lamb in the ziplock bag, close it, and squish it around with your hands. Add the lamb. Marinate for as much time as you have. An hour is good. Two or three is better. No longer than that. Broil or grill to medium rare.

The Greek Salad that Ken describes is easy, too: just chunk up some decent tomatoes. We've still got them locally in NY, but we're counting the days. Chunk up likewise some green peppers, and some kirby cukes. Crumble over the top the best feta you can find. Toss with good olive oil and vinegar (I'm a balsamic girl, although I think it not trad), and a few grinds of pepper. You may need a pinch of salt, depending on how much cheese you use and how salty it is. Sprinkle with some chopped thyme and oregano (or a little dried that you've rubbed between your hands). Throw in a few black olives if you have them, but this works without. Toss. Ken claims salad in Greece does not contain lettuce. Eat mass quantities.

As for the pesto? Heck--you know how to make that.


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