Monday, December 21, 2009

Holiday Dinner: Wow your Friends with This Beautiful Lamb Dish

Last week was the last week of my culinary program at the Cooking and Hospitality Institute of Chicago (Cordon Bleu Chicago). I am proud to say, like Julia Child, who also attended Cordon Bleu, I was top of my class. Funny how it took me 40 years to be a straight A student, I assure you my grades weren’t this high my first time around in college. My success at CHIC was a combination of being an older and more mature student, but mostly because I found a true love for cooking and helping people eat with food allergies. Nothing beats figuring out a recipe so that people can continue their family traditions - allergen free.

I wanted to thank CHIC for their unending support and patience as they figured out how to work around my unique needs as a student. I would also like to thank all the chefs at the school. Each and every one of them went out of their way to make recommendations for making dishes safe and options for ethnic cuisines that are naturally allergen free. In particular, I want to thank Chef Brian Karam. Chef Karam was my supervisor for my 12 week externship and also suffers from Celiac disease. Chef Karam always had recommendations to intensify or build the flavor profile on my recipes and was extra sweet, but blunt when recipes just didn’t work. I am so thankful for the opportunity to work with Chef Karam and believe my skills have multiplied under his wing.

In honor of Cordon Bleu, I thought I would modify their dish Cotelettes d’ Agneau Persillees with Haricots Blanc a la Bretonne. In English - Lamb Chops served with a White Bean Puree. In the traditional dish, you would use bread crumbs instead of potato chips, you can use an allergen free bread crumb if you prefer, but I liked the little bit of salt the chip added to the dish. Some terms you will need to know to make this dish:

Creamed Garlic – This is very similar to mincing garlic, but keeps your hands clean. Click here for a instructions on how to cream garlic.

Mirepoix – A mixture of 2 parts onion, 1 part celery and 1 part carrot, you can use a rough combination for this recipe.

Concasse – This is a tomato that has been blanched, shocked and chopped. All seeds have been removed from the tomato. You can use canned diced tomatoes as well.

Sachet – Normally wrapped in cheese cloth, you can use a coffee filter in a pinch to contain these ingredients to add extra flavor to your dish. Sachets include – 6 parsley stems, 8 whole black peppercorns, sprig fresh thyme, a couple bay leaves and 1 whole clove. Make sure you fold the coffee filter several times so the ingredients don’t get out.

Lamb Chops served with a White Bean Puree
Serves 4

3/8 cup parsley, minced
6 cloves garlic, creamed
3/8 cup potato chips, crushed
8 double lamb chops
Kosher salt to taste
black pepper to taste
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1½ cups mirepoix, roughly chopped

Preheat oven to 400°F.
Mix together the persillade (crust for meat) by combining parsley, garlic and potato chips, set aside.
Dry the lamb chops and season with Kosher salt and pepper.
In a small saute pan, heat olive oil and sear chops on all sides.
Remove chops from pan and spread mustard on the fat side of the chops.

Press persillade mixture into mustard to stick on the side of chops, set aside.
Add mirepoix to saute pan and place chops on top.
Finish in oven until desired doneness.
Rare 130°F
Medium Rare 135°F
Medium 145°F
Medium Well 150°F
Well Done 160°F

If you have time, you can add beef stock to the saute pan and reduce until you can run finger through the sauce on the back of a wooden spoon and it does not run thru line you just made (the French culinary term for this consistency is nappe).

Bean Puree
2 tablespoons olive oil
½ cup onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, creamed
2 cups white beans, soaked over night and drained
1 cup tomato concasse, finely chopped
2 cups chicken stock
additional water as needed
1 sachet
Kosher salt to taste
Black pepper to taste

In a small saucepan, heat oil and sweat onions until translucent.
Add garlic, and cook another minute, careful not to burn garlic.
Add beans, tomato concasse and stock. Add additional water if needed to cover beans.
Bring to a simmer and add sachet.
Maintain a simmer until beans are tender, about 30 minutes, adding more water if needed.
Remove beans from liquid and take out sachet, reserve liquid.
Place beans in a blender and add 2 tablespoons of reserved liquid.
Adjust consistency by adding additional liquid and seasoning with Kosher salt and black pepper.

Smear beans across plate and top with chops. Enjoy!


Betsy said...

Congratulations, Chef Lisa! How proud you must be - what an accomplishment!

The Lamb Chops look delicious! If they taste as good as they look, you'd never guess they were allergen free. :)

Anonymous said...

Congratulations on your outstanding achievement! And thank you for all the ways you help us to co-exist with our food allergies :-)

Lisa Cooks Allergen Free said...

Thank you so much, please let me know if there are any questions you have or things you would like to see on the site.