COWGIRL In The Kitchen: Double Cut Rack Of Lamb With Ratatouille Nicoise

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Rack of lamb is served rare.  But rare doesn’t mean raw; the trick is to leave the meat to rest after roasting so that the juices in the center have time to flow back toward the skin, making the lamb an even pink color throughout. HINT: Get fresh packaged New Zealand rack of lamb in the meat department at Costco.

Photo and Preparation by Ken and Lucinda Amorosano

RACK OF LAMB

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 racks of lamb with 6 ribs each
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 3 tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 1 medium carrot cut into chunks
  • 1 medium onion quartered
  • Bunch of watercress for garnish

DIRECTIONS: 

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Heat the oil in a roasting pan over high heat. Add the carrot, onion, and the racks of lamb fat side down and cook, turning until golden brown on all sides. 

Transfer to the oven and roast for 12 minutes. Turn the meat over and roast until medium rare, about 12 minutes longer. Remove racks from pan and wrap in aluminum foil to keep warm.  Discard any fat from the roasting pan and place pan over medium heat. Add 2 cups of water and deglaze the pan, scraping the bottom to release cooking particles. Reduce, then strain sauce and keep warm.  Double cut racks into pieces of two ribs each. Serve and drizzle sauce to taste.

RATATOUILLE NICOISE

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 pound eggplant
  • 1 pound small zucchini
  • 1 medium green bell pepper
  • 1 medium red bell pepper
  • 9 tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 large onions, sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped fine
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 sprig fresh thyme or 1/4 tsp. dried
  • 2 tbsp. chopped fresh basil
  • 1 tbsp. rosemary leaves
  • 1 pound tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and diced or 1 can of whole tomatoes, diced
  • 1 tbsp. tomato paste
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper

DIRECTIONS:

Peel the eggplant and cut into bâtonnets, 1 1/2” long, 1/4” wide. Cut the zucchini and cleaned bell peppers into bâtonnets of the same size.  Heat 3 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large frying pan over high heat and sauté the eggplant and zucchini until golden brown. Remove from pan and drain on paper towels. Heat the remaining olive oil in a large saucepan over low heat. Add onions and peppers and cook until soft.  Add garlic, herbs, tomatoes, tomato paste, zucchini, and eggplant.  Season to taste with salt and pepper. Simmer over low heat without stirring for 20 minutes, then serve.

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