Hopefully you’ll forgive me for my disappearance.
I really haven’t cooked at all since I’ve been back home, with the exception of Mother’s Day. Within the last year or so, my Dad and I have successfully joined forces in the kitchen to make good food for my Mom (hi Mom!) – whether for her birthday or Mother’s Day.
This year, I unfortunately had to work the evening of Mother’s Day, but we made an awesomely huge lunch to make up for it.
First up is grilled lamb chops. Yes, lamb. As many of you may have observed, this blog is called everything but the baa. I’ve undoubtedly explained this in the past, but will reiterate here. I try to avoid eating lamb. Not because it tastes badly, but because of how much I enjoy living lambs. I make exceptions for occasions such as these, because lamb is one of my Mom’s favorite things.
Having said that, here is roughly what we did.
I have to say, I highly prefer grilled lamb over roasted. Then again, I find I tend to have a preference toward almost anything grilled. I enjoy the smokey flavor. Initially, we thought the sauce’s recipe called for too much lemon zest so we halved it. Personally, I would have appreciated the full amount, but even with half it tasted wonderfully. The lemon serves two purposes here. The zest functions as an aromatic enhancement, while the juice brightens the intensity of all the herbs. I thought the combination of mint and rosemary with lamb seemed a little tired, and was so happy to find this recipe. The thyme and parsley pair quite well with lamb.
We decided to go with a surf-and-turf theme and make some serious crab cakes. Seafood is one of my favorite food groups (in fact, I think it may be THE favorite), but I make it a point to avoid restaurant crab cakes at all cost. In fact, you should avoid commercial crab cakes as well. It’s well-known that the cakes are nothing but filler (be it bread crumbs, crushed crackers, or whatever other non-crab ingredient they throw in there). I actually quite pride myself on these cakes, adopted from here.
I only had 1 lb. of jumbo lump crab meat, so I adjusted the recipe accordingly. The bottoms were a little crispy, at which I initially freaked out. However, it worked out well, because crispy crab meat is delicious. After they came out of the oil, I set them on a plate lined with two paper towels. Do this, otherwise the oil will sit in the cakes and make them soggy and greasy (and who wants that?). Next time, I would probably increase the amount of Worcestershire sauce a little bit, as well as the mustard. I love the taste of crab (more than lobster, if I’m honest), but I wanted some more of the other flavors in the cakes. Nevertheless, these cakes were great because I was able to control how much filler went into them. Once you make these, there is no going back to those….excuses you get at most restaurants.
And finally, for the vegetable component to the meal, I blanched some green beans and tossed them in olive oil, salt and pepper. Simple, but so good with lamb. The beans were so crunchy and full of vibrancy. In fact, a squirt of lemon juice over them would’ve been great.
And that is that! I made blackberry souffles (first try ever!) for breakfast, but never took pictures. They turned out nicely, but I wasn’t that enthusiastic about them. I guess I expected something different (I’ve never had a souffle before).
Oh, fun fact. I turned 21 this past Tuesday, and to celebrate, I got cannolis instead of a birthday cake. If you are in the Central Jersey area, PLEASE go to this bakery. They have a location in Brooklyn (which is what the site links to), and one on Middlesex Ave in Metuchen. They have some of the finest cannolis I have had the pleasure of eating. Good bakeries are dying out, so SUPPORT THEM (but leave all the cannolis for me)!