Monday, December 29, 2008

Top Chef in the Kitchen

Like many of you foodies out there, Steve and I are absolutely obsessed with Bravo's Top Chef. Last season the show hit even closer to home because Stephanie Izard was competing. We were lucky enough to eat at Stephanie's former restaurant, Scylla, just before she closed it. Needless to say, we were rooting for Stephanie from day 1, and watched her get better and better. 

For the season finale, Stephanie made a lamb dish that included braised pistachios, maitake mushrooms, a blackberry gastrique and manzanilla olives. Needless to say, Steve has been dying to recreate this dish since since the show aired.

The weekend before Christmas, Steve decided to bite the bullet and attempt the dish. The main variation he made to the dish was not including the manzanilla olives (we couldn't locate them at our Whole Foods). 

It was great seeing Steve really into making the dish, and he definitely learned that timing is everything! And seasoning. The final rsult was definitely tasty, but also salty. After the last bite I looked at him and knew immediately that he'd want to make it again for Christmas. He did. And it was faaabulous! Seriously, lamb has never tasted this good. And neither have mushrooms, for that matter. I absolutely hate mushrooms, but the way they were prepared in this dish made them edible even for the pickiest eater.

Conveniently for Christmas I bought Steve the Top Chef Cookbook. Now that he's unleashed his inner top chef, I can't wait to see what amazing dishes are going to be coming out of our kitchen!

Roasted Lamb Medallions
Recipe by Stephanie Izard, found via Bravo TV

1 rack of lamb, removed from bones (reserve bones)
2T yellow miso
Thyme to taste
1/2 onion, diced
3 cloves garlic
1/2 cup red wine
2 cups chicken stock
1 pint blackberries
1 cup white balsamic
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup shelled pistachios
Salt to taste
1/4 lb maitake mushrooms
2t olive oil
1t butter
Pepper to taste
1/4 cup manzanilla olives, minced
1 shallot, minced

Clean silverskin from lamb and rub with miso and thyme. Let sit overnight. Brown bones in the oven. Meanwile in saucepot, brown onios and garlic. Deglaze with red wine and let reduce. Add in 1 1/2 cups chicken stock and 1/2 pint blackberries; let simmer. Add in browned bones and reduce to nappe. Season and strain.
Place remaining blackberries in nonreactive pot with white balsamic and sugar. Reduce to thicken and strain.
Place pistachios in remaining chicken stock; season with salt and simmer until nuts are softened.
Break maitakes into bite sized chunks. When time to serve, saute mushrooms in one teaspoons olive oil and butter with salt and pepper.
Wipe miso off of lamb, season and brown all sides. Place in oven for a few minutes then let rest. Mix together olives, shallot and remaining olive oil.

To Serve:
Place mushrooms on plate. Top with sliced lamb and spoon of tapenade. Place a few pistachios on each plate. Pour spoonful of sauce on top and drizzle with blackberry gastrique.

No comments: