Thursday, November 1, 2007

Braised lamb shanks

The last time I made lamb and flageolet beans, I didn't really like the way the beans turned out, so I decided to give them another shot for this dinner party. Turns out, no matter how long you cook them, the beans stay pretty firm. I guess that's one of the properties that set flageolets apart from more common white beans like canellini's. Instead of roasting a leg of lamb, I decided to go a little further down the leg and braise a bunch of lamb shanks. The one thing about serving a cut like this is its hard to really scale the portions. The shanks that Savenor's had in stock came in one size. HUGE. The plates looked like something the Flinstone's would eat.

My summer roommates, Andre and Justin, their new roommate, Dave, my downstairs neighbor, Katherine, and Elana and Stefan came over to help put down the massive amounts of food that I made. Here are some pictures from dinner.

For the first course, we had a trio of salads that I picked out of the Bouchon cookbook: chickpea and carrot salad, roasted beet salad, and celeriac remoulade. I really liked the beet salad and the remoulade. I don't eat celeriac or beets much, but it seems to be the season for them, so maybe I should change that. The chickpea and carrot salad wasn't great, partly because the chickpeas were a bit to firm, partly because the salad didn't have enough acid and was undersalted, and partly because the carrots should have been cooked a little longer. Even if the execution was better, I don't think the flavor profile was all that interesting.

The next course was cauliflower soup with chives and white truffle oil. I got this recipe from Amanda Gerke a few years back when she had a bunch of us over at her beach house in Jersey. Its really simple, really tasty, and I don't have any pictures. To make it, throw a bunch of chopped up onions and cauliflower in a big pot and cook with some olive oil until soft. Add vegetable or chicken stock and let simmer for a while. Puree the soup (an immersion blender is very handy here) then garnish the servings with finely chopped chives and truffle oil. White truffle oil is really strong, so you only need a couple of drops.

After the main course, Stefan provided a nice cheese plate for dessert.

No comments: