Grilled Rack of Lamb roasted radishes Horseradish and Feta Sauce Ingredients Grilled Whole Rack of Lamb prep Grilled Whole Rack of Lamb Grilled Rack of Lamb dinner recipe Hey guys! We’re so deep into summer now, and it’s great…but hot…real hot. I know I’ve mentioned a couple times already that the boyfriend and I have been grilling up a storm this weekend. We love cooking outside, especially in the evening as the weather starts to cool and a small breeze gently grazes the back of our necks as we sip on ice cold beers out on the patio, chat about the weird antics Dexter (our pooch) got into that day and grill something glorious. Recently we grilled up a rack of lamb with a creamy feta horseradish sauce and ate it alongside some roasted radishes. It was so simple and delicious. We were loving this dish so much that we ended up cutting the rack into individual chops, set down our utensils and pretty much ate them like meat lollipops by hand. Don’t judge.

We know lamb is slightly out of the ordinary from the standard beef, pork or chicken, especially out on the grill, but it’s such a tasty and low maintenance and lean protein, we often find ourselves going for a cut of lamb to cook up. An important thing to remember when purchasing a rack of lamb is to French the ends of the bone. This just means to clean the ribs completely of any meat that may surround them. You can do this easily by taking the back of a pairing knife and scrapping the bone back and forth, which will pull the meat up, making it easy to remove. If you’re not particularly stoked about getting all handsy with your lamb, you can always ask your butcher to French your rack for you…wait, that sounds bad…but you guys know what I mean, right? ☺ It’s also good to note that although there is a fat cap (layer of fat) atop the rack, you really don’t want to go overboard with trimming. Not only will the fat help to keep the meat moist and full of flavor, but unlike a standing rib roast, the fat cap isn’t tremendous and if you trim too much off your rack will become loose and possibly fall apart on the grill.

We’re serving our rack with a creamy feta, horseradish sauce. We’ve steered away from the more familiar mint jelly sauce because we love the spicy kick we get from the horseradish and the extra bit of salty, creaminess from the feta. The sauce is great with the lamb as well as our roasted radishes. Roasted radishes have been one of my favorite things to eat since I was a little girl. Roasting them takes away their sharp spice and really mellows the flavors out. They become so soft and delicate in both flavor and texture, they practically melt in our mouth. SO GOOD. The radishes pair nicely with the lamb and sauce, without overshadowing either.

If you’re looking for a quick and delicious recipe for grilled rack of lamb, we got you covered! Enjoy! xx, Jenny

PS Don’t forget that the American Lamb Board is hosting a Grills Gone Wild contest and all you need to do is sign up and post a photo… that’s it! Go check it out!

Easy Grilled Rack of Lamb with a Creamy Feta-Horseradish Sauce
Serves 3 to 4

Creamy Feta-Horseradish Sauce:
1/2 cup crème fraiche
2 ounces feta, crumbled
2 tablespoon buttermilk (optional)
1 teaspoon prepared horseradish
1/2 teaspoon cracked black pepper
pinch of sea salt

1 1/2 teaspoons minced thyme
1 teaspoon minced marjoram (oregano is fine)
1/2 teaspoon minced rosemary
1 rack of American lamb

1. Preheat grill to 375˚F. (over high heat)
2. For the sauce: Place all ingredients into a food processor and whip until smooth. Adjust seasonings and set aside.
3. French the ribs of the rack (unless you’ve already had a butcher do so for you) and wrap the tips of each rib with about an inch of aluminum foil.
4. Place the thyme, oregano and rosemary into a small bowl and toss together. Set aside.
5. Once the grill is hot, brush both the rack and grill with extra virgin olive oil and generously season the rack with herb mix, salt and pepper, on both sides.
6. Place rack on the grill, fat side down and sear for about 4 minutes. Flip the rack and continue to sear for 2 to 3 minutes. Reduce the flames to medium and cover the grill. Allow the rack to grill with the cover closed, for about 6 to 8 minutes (keeping a close eye out for flame ups), uncover the grill allow the rack to continue to cook for another 1 to 2 minutes. This will give you medium to medium-rare results. For a medium to medium-well rack of lamb, keep grill cover closed for 8 to 10 minutes.
7. Remove from heat and transfer the lamb onto a cutting board and loosely cover with foil. Allow the lamb to rest for about 10 minutes before slicing and serving.
8. Serve rack with sauce and roasted radishes.


Grilled Rack of Lamb

July 25, 2014  /   /   //  3 Comments

fresh_Summer_apps watermelon_soaking watermelon_skewers grilled_watermelon cherries whipped-burrata crostinis Hi Guys! When it comes to hot summer days, it seems like all we want to do is lay by the pool while sipping cold, refreshing wine-tails and nibbling on quick and easy to prepare bites. Who wants to slave away in the kitchen over a hot stove all day? Not us! So, today we have a couple of easy and delicious appetizer recipes that are great to enjoy while lounging by the pool or anytime you have a snack attack.

The first dish we have is grilled watermelon and queso blanco skewers. We know that watermelon and feta cheese are usually paired together in this type of appetizer, but because we infused the watermelon cubes with the crisp flavor of Ecco Domani Pinot Grigio, we thought the more mild and creamy queso blanco (very similar to a more firm, part-skim mozzarella) was a better alternative. While you’re cooking, it’s important to only allow the skewers to “kiss” the grill on each side for about 15 to 20 seconds. This ensures that your cheese starts to get a little melty but doesn’t turn into stringy mess. You can always swap the queso blanco for a foolproof grilling cheese such as halumi.

Staying with the theme of wine soaked fruits, our second appetizer is a wine soaked cherry and whipped burrata crostini. If there were only one thing we could eat all summer, it would probably be this cherry and burrata dish. The wine infusion draws out some of the natural sweetness of the fruit and adds an unexpected but pleasant tang to the cherries. We also love the anise flavor that the tarragon adds and how it offsets a little bit of the creaminess from the whipped burrata. If you can’t get ahold of burrata, a whole milk ricotta cheese is a great alternative but you will lose some of the richness

One of our favorite things about preparing these appetizers is that the reserved fruit soaked wine is the PERFECT base for some simple and tasty wine-tails. All you need is a splash of tonic water or club soda and lots of ice, then you have yourself delicious wine-tails to sip on while you nosh on grilled watermelon and queso blanco skewers and cherry and whipped burrata crostini! Enjoy!

Grilled Watermelon and Queso Blanco Skewers
Makes 20 pieces

20 (1 inch) cubes watermelon (about 2 cups)
1/2 (750ml) bottle Ecco Domani Pinot Grigio
10 ounces queso blanco (or part skim mozzarella), cut into 1-inch cubes
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
20 small bamboo skewers

micro greens
warm honey, optional

1. Soak skewers in water for about 30 minutes.
2. Place watermelon cubes in a nonreactive bowl and top with Ecco Domani Pinot Grigio. Allow watermelon to soak for 10 minutes.
3. Drain watermelon (chill reserved liquid, add a splash of tonic water and enjoy as a simple watermelon infused spritzer) and line on paper towels to remove excess liquid.
4. Pierce a piece of watermelon and a piece of cheese onto each skewer until all the food has been used.
5. Heat a grill or grill pan over medium-high heat and brush with a small amount of oil. Once the surface is hot add watermelon and cheese skewers, in batches, only allowing the skewers to kiss the surface for about 15 to 30 seconds before flipping (to make sure the cheese doesn’t melt too much). Quickly remove from heat and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
6. Drizzle skewers with a small amount of honey, if using, and top with micro greens. Serve.

Fresh Cherry and Whipped Burrata Crostini
Serves 8 to 10

1/2 (750 ml) bottle Ecco Domani Pinot Grigio
1/2 pound bing cherries, pitted and quartered
2 sprigs tarragon
whipped burrata:
1 (6 ounce) ball burrata cheese
2 teaspoons honey
2 teaspoons minced thyme
1 teaspoon minced oregano
1 teaspoon minced mint
salt and pepper to taste

1 French or sourdough baguette, thinly sliced and lightly toasted

1. Place cherry quarters in a nonreactive bowl and top with Ecco Domani Pinot Grigio. Allow cherries to soak for 15 minutes.
2. Drain watermelon (chill reserved liquid, add a splash of tonic water and enjoy as a simple cherry infused spritzer) and line on paper towels to remove excess liquid.
3. Remove leaves from tarragon sprigs and place into a bowl. Add cherries, lightly season with salt and pepper and toss together.
4. For burrata: Place all ingredients into a food processor and process for about 1 minute until burrata is fluffy and smooth (if you don’t have a food processor, place all ingredients into a bowl and beat together with a wooden spoon until light and fluffy).
5. To assemble: Spread a small amount of whipped burrata onto each crostini and top with a scoop of the soaked cherries. Lightly season with salt and pepper and serve.

*This post was sponsored by Ecco Domani. Thank you for supporting our sponsors! It helps us keep going!*


Fresh Summer Apps

July 24, 2014  /   /   //  7 Comments

Beer Battered Fried Shrimp and Pickles Beer Battered Fried Shrimp and Pickles Spicy Cocktail Sauce Beer Battered Fried Shrimp and Pickles recipe garlic_pickles A recipe for Beer Battered Fried Shrimp and Pickles I feel like a lot of people don’t often think about frying during the hot summer months, but that should change.

In my mind there’s nothing better than enjoying a big plate of perfectly beer battered fried shrimp and pickle chips on a picnic table at a park surrounded by open fields, a sparkling river and fragrant pine trees, with a light breeze blowing through my hair and neck, and washing it all down with an iced cold drink….and THEN following the delicious meal with a quick and refreshing tube ride down the river bank. Doesn’t that sound totally magical?? Okay, so maybe all of what I described isn’t the most realistic situation for most of us, especially when the actuality of needing to prep and fry before being able to enjoy said scenario comes into play; but take away the park, picnic table and adventurous tube ride and throw in a backyard or even simple patio to enjoy all the fried things, and you’re pretty much set. It’s all about the al fresco ¬¬dining, people!

This recipe is super simple and although it involves a little frying, it’s actually a breeze to throw together! I love fried shrimp, fried pickles and fried lemon slices so I’ve basically thrown them all into a batter and fried them up together. I love the contrast of flavors between the sweet shrimp, sour lemons and tangy pickle chips. The combination creates a nice balance within the overall dish. We’re using the Zesty Garlic Chip variety from Farmer’s Garden by Vlasic in our recipe today. I like the tangy flavor in these pickle chips and really like how crisp they stay even after frying. Just don’t skip out on the drying and dredging of the ingredients in the tapioca starch or cornstarch because this will really help maintain a super light and crisp textured beer batter around your ingredients. (Potato starch is okay too, but not recommended as it produces a heavier final product then the other two options). Without the starch the batter will become incredibly soggy very quickly and will slip right off whatever you’re trying to fry.

If you’re looking for a quick, super tasty and satisfying snack to feed loved ones or even just for yourself I recommend these simple and delicious beer battered shrimp n’ pickles! Plus, right now you can get $1 off your Farmer’s Garden by Vlasic pickles by downloading this coupon.

Fry a batch up and head outside with some cold drinks and lots of napkins! Enjoy! xx, Jenny

Beer Battered Fried Shrimp n’ Pickles
Serves 4 to 6

spicy cocktail sauce:
1/2 cup chili sauce
3 tablespoons sour cream (optional)
1 tablespoon Sriracha (or hot sauce of your choice)
2 teaspoons prepared horseradish
zest and juice from 1 lime

20 large shrimp peeled and deveined with tails still intact
10 Farmer’s Garden by Vlasic Zest Garlic Pickle Chips
1 lemon, thinly sliced

beer batter:
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon minced tarragon
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
pinch cayenne pepper
1 (12 ounce) bottle stout (such as Guinness)
1/2 cup tapioca or cornstarch
oil for frying

1. Preheat oil to 350˚F.
2. For spicy cocktail sauce: Place all ingredients into a mixing bowl and whisk together. Set aside until ready to use.
3. Line a large baking sheet with paper towels and top with a single layer of shrimp, pickles and lemon slices. Place a sheet of paper towel over the shrimp, pickles and lemon slices and gently press to absorb as much liquid as possible. Season the shrimp with salt and pepper.
4. For the beer batter, whisk together everything except for the beer. When ready to fry, stir in the beer until just incorporated and no dry spots remain.
5. Dip each shrimp, pickle chip and lemon slice into the cornstarch and shake off any excess. Then dip each into the beer batter, shaking off any excess (you want to make sure to have a very thin layer of batter fully encasing each dipped ingredient).
6. Carefully drop each battered ingredient into the oil, in batches (make sure not to over-crowd the pot/fryer which will make the oil temp drop, causing the food to become soggy and not crisp) and fry for 4 to 5 minutes or until golden brown. Drain onto paper towels for 30 seconds before transferring to a baking sheet, lined with a cooling rack. Season with salt and pepper. Repeat until all of the shrimp, pickle chips and lemon slices have been fried. Serve immediately with spicy cocktail sauce.

*This post was sponsored by Vlasic. Thank you for supporting our sponsors! It helps us keep going!*


Beer Battered Fried Shrimp and Pickles

July 23, 2014  /   /   //  7 Comments

matcha_lemonade lemons matcha Lemonade_matcha I had a really long love affair with matcha years and years ago. I went to this little matcha seminar at a very fancy tea shop in LA, and learned all about it. I learned the matcha they use at Starbucks sucks (unfortunately), but that the matcha at Starbucks in Japan is quite good. I learned to buy good quality for drinking, and ok quality for baking, and how to properly prepare it. Matcha is good stuff. I made everything from cheesecake to cupcakes with matcha. Matcha is magical and I still love it so much. The thing that I really love about matcha is the caffeine. It has A LOT of caffeine in it, and so it really does make a good substitute for coffee. So during these hot spells we keep having in LA (whoever is in charge of the weather, please stop it), it is really nice to have a nice cold refreshing beverage in the fridge. This Matcha Lemonade is kind of the perfect cure to being grumpy and hot, nice and refreshing, but still a good and smooth caffeine kick. Obviously this recipe is super simple, but you can totally get crazy and add something like mint (or booze), which would be delicious. If you have never purchased matcha before, just make sure what you’re buying is actually pure matcha and that it isn’t cut with sugar and other crap. Most nice tea places will have it, and if not I suggest a Google. Happy hot summer!

Matcha Lemonade
Makes about 2 quarts

1 cup hot water
2 cups pure cane sugar
2 cups fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 tablespoon matcha
3 1/2 cups ice water

1. Pour sugar and hot water into a large mixing bowl and stir together until sugar dissolves. Stir in lemon juice and matcha.
2. Pour mixture into the well of a blender and blender until no matcha granules remain and mixture is smooth.
3. Transfer mixture into a large pitcher and stir in ice water. Allow mixture to sit for 5 minutes. Stir once again and serve.


Matcha Lemonade

July 17, 2014  /   /   //  19 Comments