friday was apparently a rough day for Chris, something about his computer melting down and replacement parts not so functional. but he did get around to taking a pair of frenched lamb racks out of his freezer that afternoon to bring over to my house to cook that night, and i was again reminded of why i’m all goofy for this man.
while he was prepping, i was mixing him some pink martinis and sassing him about the differences in our versions of clean (i’m both more and less anal about these things: i never wash mushrooms at all, for example, but i’m psycho about having a dedicated raw meat vs veggie board; he thinks a quick water-only rinse is both necessary and adequate for most everything). i’m not entirely sure what all he put on those 2 racks, i just know that one ended up more honey/carmel/spiced sweet and the other ended up more savory/garlicky. both involved coatings with a dizzying array of spices & sauces, wrapping in foil, and cooking on a much lower heat than i’ve ever used with meat, around 250+, and then finishing for just a minute or so under the broiler. i think i’ve never used the broiler at all – i’m not even sure if electric stoves have one, and i’m quite sure i used the ones in both college station and b’more as pot-storage drawers – but wow, i’m a convert now. both racks were sliced into individual “lollipops”, and the garlicky ones easily rivaled similar things i’ve eaten at iron bridge. the sweet glazed ones, though, were heartbreakingly amazing, and i’m fervently hoping he can re-create that sauce again on demand.
much like my cooking, his tends to be more of a ‘what can i make from what’s laying around the place’ rather than ‘what do i need to go buy to make x from the book.’ to that end, the luscious fat mushrooms and baby bell peppers i’d bought in big flats from sams got recruited into appetizers/side dish items. we finely diced the mushrooms and sauteed them in butter, adding garlic (both dry powder & diced), shredded capicola, dry chives, french provencial herbs, dry shallots, and crushed garlicky croutons at the end. this mixture was stuffed into the cleaned-out baby peppers after we’d flamed them on the burner (whee! s’mores for grownups! now with petite syrah!), and then baked for a while in the oven. these little jalapeno-sized morsels of heaven were possibly the only things imaginable good enough to compliment that lamb (and the excellent wine). we spent the rest of the meal contemplating differences in the recipe, such as making it with jalapenos instead of sweet bells, chanterelle/shitake instead of or with the white button mushrooms, or proscuitto instead of the more black-peppery capicola. i think we agreed that any re-creations *must* include 1)mushroom, 2)croutons, 3)herbs, (make without the cured pork for your veggie friends, though the two of us find it quite important) and that all else was open to culinary debate .