Friday, December 28, 2012

Cocoa Nib Crusted Rack of Lamb


Christmas dinner. I was originally going to use walnuts for this, but my walnuts were rancid. I eat nuts so infrequently that most of my nuts were rancid. I did have hazelnuts that were still in the shell, so I used those. From now on, I will only buy nuts in a shell!

1 1/2 lbs rack of lamb

Marinade:
1/2 Tbsp olive oil
1 1/2 Tbsp Chocolate Balsamic vinegar
1 Tbsp red wine
1 tsp minced garlic
1/2 tsp cinn
1/2 tsppaprika
1/2 tsp anise seeds
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/8 tsp ginger
1/8 tsp cumin

Marinate over night.

Crust
3 Tbsp Cocoa Nibs
1 1/2 oz nuts
1 Tbsp coffee grounds
2 tsp cinn
1 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp smoked paprika
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp anise seeds
1 tsp nutmeg
1/2 Tbsp coconut oil

Combine all of the crust ingredients in a mini food processor. 

Sear marinated lamb on a grill using direct heat or in a cast iron pan. After the lamb is seared (about 5 mins on each side) then add the crust. Heat oven or grill to 400 degrees. If you're grilling, line an aluminum pan with aluminum foil and use indirect heat to roast lamb until desired temperature is reached. If using an oven put lamb in cast iron or roasting pan and roast until desired temperature is reached. If you like it rare, it's not going to take long at all. I wanted the crust to cook, so I let mine get to medium. I prefer my red meat rare, though.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Pumpkin-Banana Pancakes

I don't like adding honey or maple syrup to foods if I can avoid it. These have no sugar added and only get the sweetness from the banana. I used a banana that was just becoming ripe, pale yellow with green tips. If you prefer them sweeter, use a riper banana. I rarely make pancakes or any other type of substitute for gluten laden foods. Mostly because the texture is never right and they just leave me wishing for the real thing. This was a good alternative. Theses are thinner and denser than traditional pancakes, but very flavorful and have a good texture. Next time I'm going to leave out the coconut oil to see if they turn out fluffier because the egg and fruit mixture was pretty frothy until I added the oil.

Ingredients:
4 eggs
1 banana
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
2 tsp pumpkin pie spice.
1 Tbsp melted coconut oil (optional) and coconut oil for the pan.

Beat the eggs. Cut the banana into chunks then beat with the eggs. Add pumpkin and pumpkin spice beat it all together and then add the coconut oil.



Spoon the batter into a well oiled pan and cook until the pancake starts to stiffen and is flippable (about 3-5 mins) then flip, and cook for about another minute. This recipe makes about 8 small pancakes. You could also make them bigger and use them as crepes.

Top them with whatever you like. I like flavored olive oils and vinegars. Like these from local small businesses: Vanilla Bean Olive Oil and Dark Chocolate Balsamic Vinegar