My father was a commercial airline pilot and in the latter years of his career, he routinely flew from his base of operations in Los Angeles (an hour north of where we lived) to Sydney, Australia, and then to Auckland, New Zealand before heading home. Often, my dad would return from these long trips with a white Styrofoam iced cooler under his arm containing a fresh rack of lamb that he purchased in New Zealand immediately prior to boarding the plane. My mom would prepare the lamb for that evening’s dinner, and I remember vividly the whole family eating in virtual silence and awe, mesmerized by the combination of this fresh lamb and my mom’s consistant ability to cook it perfectly. Mom has always been a remarkable cook, but there was something special about this dish.
The date of this post is 18 years ago to the day of my fathers passing, so in his honor, we have decided to feast on a rack of lamb.
Rack of Lamb for Dad
Serves: 2 / prep & cook time: 90 minutes
- 1 rack of lamb (seven or eight cutlets)
- 2 sprigs (about 2 tbs) of fresh rosemary
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 1 head of garlic
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- sprinkles of red pepper flakes
- salt and pepper
Fresh rack of lamb.
And fresh ingredients!
Rub the rack of lamb with a thin coat of olive oil and place in an oven dish fatty side up. Chop the garlic into coarse chunks and let marinate in a prep bowl holding the remaining olive oil. Strip the rosemary from the stems and finely dice. Next, sprinkle the rosemary over both sides of the rack of lamb along with the oregano, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper. Finally, lightly spoon the olive oil and chopped garlic mixture over the lamb covering as much of the rack as you can with garlic without drowning it in oil. Let sit in the refrigerator for at least an hour.
Seasoned and ready for the oven.
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Place the cooking dish containing the rack in the oven’s center and let cook for 15 to 20 minutes for rare to medium rare temperature (our preference, longer if you prefer more cooked). Remove from the oven, place on a cutting board and cut individual cutlets. Plate and serve!
It’s the Saturday before the Halloween, we have made some party plans for the evening, but there’s nothing going on in the afternoon. We thought it’d be perfect if we keep it low-key and just invite a couple of neighbors over and watch some college football. We bought some delicious seasonal pumpkin beer the day before, all we needed is a little snack for people to munch on during the game. Chris’s mom has this amazing recipe for black olive salsa, it looks simple, but it has the perfect amount of crunch and saltiness to go with the chips; it’s packed with flavors, and it’s pretty on the eyes, too! This is the perfect occasion for us to recreate this salsa to impress our neighbors!
Mom’s Black Olive Salsa
Serves: 8 / Prep & Cook Time: about 15 minutes
- 6 to 8 Roma tomatoes
- 1 red onion
- 3 tb of cilantro
- ½ head of garlic (5 or 6 garlic cloves)
- 1 can (6 or 7 ounces) of black olives
- ¼ cup of olives oil
- 1 small jar of (hot, medium or mild based on your preference) Picante sauce
- pinch of garlic powder
- salt (coarse if available) and pepper
Dice the tomatoes, removing seeds where possible (it’s not necessary to remove all of the seeds), and place in a large bowl. Next, finely dice the red onion and cilantro, then add to the tomatoes. Chop the garlic into small chucks and add to the bowl. At this point, pour the olive oil over the mix and lightly salt with ground coarse salt and add a pinch of garlic powder.
While this bowl of deliciousness marries, drain the black olives, chop and add. Pour in the Picante sauce and mix everything together, salt and pepper to taste.
We prefer to cover and cool in the refrigerator for maybe 20 minutes or so before serving. Serve with tortilla chips of choice.
The first time we discovered these stuffed peppers was at a friend’s house party. Among all of her amazing homemade hors d’oeuvres, it was these bacon wrapped stuffed jalapeño peppers that were the biggest hit. I mean, spicy jalapeño with salty bacon, and creamy filling? THAT is an amazing combo. I was angry that I didn’t come up with the idea first. These stuffed jalapeños were so delicious but the spiciness creeps up on you. My mouth was on fire but I just couldn’t stop eat them. It didn’t take us too long to recreate this spicy delight. We tweaked the recipe and made our own version and here’s how we made it:
Bake Stuffed Jalapeño Pepper
Serves: 4 / prep & cook Time: about 30 min
- 12 jalapeño peppers
- 4 oz cream cheese, softened
- 1/2 cup parmesan cheese (gouda cheese works well, too)
- sprinkles of onion powder (optional)
- 4-5 slices of prosciutto, cut into bite-size pieces
- salt and pepper to taste
Cut peppers in half lengthwise; remove seeds (reserve the seeds if you like your peppers spicy!). Cook the peppers in building water for 5 minutes, if you like it spicy, or cook for 10 minutes for a milder version. Drain well and let it cool.
Boiling the peppers!
Combine the cream cheese, parmesan cheese (or cheese of your choice), onion powder if you’re using it, and the reserved jalapeño seeds if you really want to turn up the heat. Fill the pepper with the cheese mixture and sprinkle the prosciutto bits on the top.
Place the peppers on a lined baking sheet and bake in 400F for 5 to 10 minutes, and broil until the prosciutto turn brown and crisp.
We didn’t share with anyone this time, we ate them all! But these serve well as party food. It’s definitely a crowd pleaser and easy to make ahead of time. Enjoy!