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Chef John McDermott prepares Grilled Rack of Lamb with Asparagus
Tags:Grilled Rack of Lamb with Asparagus recipe,cheflive,grilled rack of lamb and asparagus,john mcdermott
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I’m going to take the rack lamb and I’m going to cut and chopped off the lamb. I’m going to grill it. And once it’s grilled, we’re going to serve it on a dish. I’m going to put a bed of what is called actually a lamb’s lettuce. Lambs lettuce is from Europe. They’ve been eating this in Europe since the Romans. Now, it’s on the pot. In France it’s called mâche. And it’s a beautiful leaf. It’s soft. It has a mild flavor. It’s also good to dress onto the plate with some grape tomatoes and some asparagus.
This is a grill pan. And it’s made from cast iron. Cast iron is one of my favorite things to cook on because it holds the heat so well. It’s perfect time of the year for asparagus, right? You don’t realize it in Vegas but this stuff grow. We’d pick this up in May and April back home, you know. And asparagus is significant in springtime. It’s a beautiful vegetable. Actually people don’t realize, it has a flower on there, and it’s actually in the grass family. Now I’ve taken this asparagus. I’ve cut the woody ends off, and then take it a step further. We’d use the peeler to clean the edge of the asparagus so that it’s much more tender. It’s good to eat a lot better.
So, once the grill heats up, it’s getting there. We’re going to dress up the asparagus with a little bit of extra virgin olive oil like so. It’s right here. Alright, we’ll just dress this like so. Give it a shake over here like this. Now I’m going to season it with a little bit of salt and pepper.
Now we’re going to take this asparagus. We’re going to place it against the gram on the grill. If you line them up nice, they’re easy to take off later. And we were talking earlier also about managing your kitchen and time management. When food’s ready to go, I set myself up so that later on when it’s done, I’m going to get it right off fast. We think ahead a little bit. When you’ve done, I guess when you’ve been on the black a million times you can do a blank photo. I’ve been stuck behind enough times, you got to load some in my head then I’ll tell you a million stories.
A little more olive oil here, salt, pepper, and onto the grill. You’ve got to line them up again so once they’re ready to come off, I’m going to do this really quick later. So thinking ahead, we’re going to line those up perfectly like so. I remember back home, we knew when there was no apple orchard. I lived enough in New York for a number of years. And I own the restaurant there was on this little country road, and across them was an old apple orchard, that was overgrown. And this wild asparagus grew throughout the orchard. And my buddy, he was really an outdoors guy. He knew how to. I could never find it. He knew what to look for. He could find dead grasses and the old asparagus would be there and he would see that the young ones are inside. We’d go for walks on Sunday morning with a bucket and come back to the pizza joint in the morning before we open for business. And then we put out for breakfast, some scrambled eggs and asparagus. I miss those days.
Alright now, the next thing that’s going to end up on the grill is going to be these tomatoes here. I’m going to set these aside while the asparagus cook on. We’re going to dress these with a little bit of olive oil also. Salt and pepper, and these are grape tomatoes. You know, it’s really tough to get a good tomato these days. In the old days, we used to grow them in the garden. And the flavor was always so much better. Nowadays, I can get tomatoes out of the store, I mean I actually can’t do anything. You can’t work with them. The better if I buy the can. But these, I noticed they’ve been consistent, they’re really sweet. And I really dig the flavors so they’re going to work out with this dish.
Alright, we’ll get some asparagus on here. Now, I’m going to turn my heat up a little bit. Alright, a little bit more maybe. I want to hear some action. I want to hear them talk to me. The chef told me in school, “When you hear them talking, then that’s working”.
Now while that’s going on, I got my lamb racks up here. Now, this is how it looks like when we take it out of the package. This would be perfect for roasting. If you wanted to roast this, I would put this fat side down in the frying pan and get a nice caramelization, brown color on the outside of that lamb. Of course, I would probably season it first with salt and pepper. I might even rub some rosemary and some garlic on there also. Get that nice brown color and set it on the pan, and then into an oven.
The other day, when I made it, I douched it with some red Zinfandel from Amador County, California. Put a nice tight lid on top of the lamb and let it steam with the wine and the rosemary and the garlic. And it was beautiful. I really enjoyed it. But tonight we’re going to grill it.
So you the chops we have here. Basically, when you do them like this and they’re grilled, you can serve them a number of ways. I’m going to show you tonight, we’re going to put them on one plate, as if it was on tray. And drop samples of that on the appetizer portion. And I’ve also seen as hors d'œuvres, where folks can just kind of hold the end of the bone and kind of have a lamb chop as an hors d'œuvres. I thought that was pretty neat.
I’m checking my asparagus here. You can see how, they’re going to get just a little bit of color. I’m not expecting like really hard, hash marks on that asparagus, but they’re going to brown. You see these are getting bright green in here. When you see that brightness that means it’s cooking. It’s coming, you don’t want to get past that. The brightness is very eye-appealing. It also tells me that it’s nice and al dente, crisp. So I’m looking for that color. I also want a little bit of brown in there that’s going to come from the pan, but that’s going to be another minute.
Alright, so back to the lamb. Now, to cut them is very simple. If they come from the butcher like this and this is referred to as front rack lamb. Because when you take the rack, and, we just scrape the bones, so the meat and the sinew comes off, and it presents like this. It’s also very simple. If you want to do the chops now for this dish, I’ll make a cut between this bone and this will fall away from the rack, like so. There are eight bones on a rack. Now I hope I have enough for everybody. Now, when I went to the butcher shop yesterday, he might have sold all his lambs. I only liked the two racks that I bought here. He had another one in there but I wasn’t shy about leaving it there. I tell you that right now.
Now the asparagus. Let’s look what we’ve got going on here. I’m going to turn these pieces over. You’re going to notice some of the darker color I told you about. Can you see it on these asparagus? The bright green? You’ve got the caramelization on the vegetable against that bright green and that’s working just right. That’s it about as much as I want, just like that.
To make the dressing, basically what we’re going to put together here is the formula for this I basically a vinaigrette. The basic formula for a vinaigrette dressing would be one part vinegar to three parts of olive oil. We would also season that with some fresh herbs, some pepper, some garlic is nice. If I was going to do the garlic, it would have like to have started it a little bit earlier because you want that garlic to mix in with the vinegar, because what’s burns in the garlic is an oil. And obviously what burns in the vinegars is an acid. So the acid will cut the oil and you get a nice blend. That’s how that works.
We all know that oil and water do not mix. But we can help them along and we can kind of convince them to work together temporarily. Anyway, that’s what I’m going to do here. It’s called the temporary emulsion. Now, I made it as a permanent emulsion which is basically the same thing. You’ve got water, you’ve got this oil in there, seasonings, a little bit of lemon juice to cut it, and it has the proper way of blending the egg yolks that are in the mayonnaise enables you to have a permanent emulsion.
Tonight, we’re going to do a temporary one, very similar to it an Italian dressing, maybe oil and vinegar. Now, I’m going to do this really quickly here. The asparagus, we’re going to hold these on the side while we prepare the other ingredients. That will stay right there.
Now the next thing that we’re going to do is onto the grill with these tomatoes here. We need to be careful with, these are small. Tomatoes also, once they cook, they get soft fast so I want to have something I can work with later. And you want to present well, I’m thinking about presentation on the plate. So I need them to maintain a certain body. You know, if you let them go too long, you forget about them. They just fall off they’re security that fine. I mean who wants to eat that? I don’t know. You got to taste them around, you can’t find them after that.
Let’s the emulsion over here. Now, I’m going to put in a bowl. In this cup here, I’ve got measured my balsamic vinegar that’s going to mix with my champagne vinegar. That’s the first ingredient. Now, the next thing I’m going to work into this bowl is going to be my seasonings for the vinaigrette dressing. And we’re going to put into the vinaigrette’s going to go first of all about half a teaspoon of dry mustard.
After that, I’m going to put about half a teaspoon of some fresh basil. Now, I’ve got about half a teaspoon of oregano. These are all fresh herbs by the way. You know working with a fresh herb and dry herb is so much different. I love it when people have those bottles of dried herbs up in the cabin I feel like last three years. You notice that. You want more cooking in the house and you say “hey, you’ve got any basil?” and then say “oh yeah, here it is”. What’s this? I want the fresh stuff.
Now the next ingredient that we’re putting in here is the mushroom. Mushroom goes in here. And this is about another half of teaspoon of freshly chopped parsley goes in here. And I’m going to season it with just a bit of salt. And then we’re going to put a little bit of fresh cracked pepper in here also. So now, I’ve got all my seasonings are in here and all and my vinegars are in here.
Now comes the tricky part. It’s going to be to incorporate of the oil to the dressing. I’m double checking my tomatoes so you see. I don’t want to get them too far. I’ve got these nice cool marks in these tomatoes now.
This is a cup and a half of olive oil. This is a French whip. I’m mixing my seasonings and my vinegar. And that is very, the key point in time when you‘re starting an emulsion like this is very at the beginning. You want to add the oil very slowly especially in the beginning. I’ve known chefs that the graduation is so slow in the beginning that they would just dip the whip into the oil and just incorporate about that much in one time.
So, we’re going to just drizzle it really slowly like so and cut back. Again, before you add any more, you always incorporate what just went in first. So we’ll just do this. This makes the difference. When you’re building, you always take care. When you build a house, you always build a foundation. It all depends upon the foundation. When we build a good foundation here, it will make a really nice dressing later on.
I’m going to put this whip down for about two seconds. I’m going to take these tomatoes off the grill. I can tell they’re ready to go. So now, the tomatoes are put over here on the side with the asparagus. And once you’ve got the initial emulsion working here, we can go a little bit faster. In fact while I’m doing this, I’m going to put the lambs up. The grill’s heated up again now so whenever we cook on the grill or a frying pan or anything, the food will take the heat from whatever it is that you’re cooking on. That’s why you’ve got to be careful not to overload the pan or grill because you don’t want to lose all your heat. So once I’ve grilled these items right here, and taken them away from the grill, I’m going to let it heat up again for just kind of catches heat back for a minute before I put the next items on there. And the next items are going to be these lamb chops here.
So before they go on the grill, I got to season them a little bit with salt and some fresh pepper on both sides. So here we go, lamb chops are down the grill. I’m going to slowly heat down just a little bit. I’m starting to build an emulsion now so I’m going to pour the oil a little bit faster now than I had before, like so.
We’re going to slow this down a little more so let’s do this. I told you that iron hold the heat, right? You can see the smoke coming off of that. I’m going to turn my lamb chops over.
Now the dressing is complete. We’ll get this out of the way. While the lamb is cooking, I’m going to start to fix the plate. Once I’ve done my greens, I’ve got my greens in the bowl. I’ve got my salad dressing ready to go. I’m going to pour this salad dressing. Pour the salad dressing over the greens like so. I’m going to toss it right in the bowl, like so. Let that sit for a minute. I’m going to come back over here. Now, get back to the plates.
Here’s how I’m going to serve my on-tray on. I’m going to take some of these greens. I’m going to put a little more greens in here because I know it looks a little bit heavy on the dressing. Here we are, the greens go down the plate like so.
Now the next thing we’re going to do, for the on-tray, of course I’ll give them three chops. Now when they go on the plate, we’ve got to divide the plate into thirds. So I’ve got three sections on the plate.
Now for the areas where the voids are, we can put our asparagus. Now my grape tomatoes are going to go again in the three sections right here, a nice garnish for this dish. This is a ketchup squeeze bottle right here. Yesterday, we did some balsamic vinegar. Balsamic is a high sugar content. Balsamic is an interesting product. Most vinegar has to become wine first, so when you crush the grapes and you ferment the juice, and from that point usually before it becomes vinegar, is always the wine. My grandfather used to make wines, but he’s making vinegar down the basement, alright. So, but somehow in the process of the balsamic, before those sugars convert to alcohol, balsamic never becomes a wine. It goes directly from being grape juice to vinegar.
Like this here and here we are. Bon appetit. Grilled rack of lamb, served with grilled asparagus and grilles grape tomatoes, on top of a bed of lamb’s lettuce with champagne vinaigrette.