One more summer adventure to tell you about and then I’ll be done. I can then get down to some serious pumpkin cooking and baking….not. I’m glad to see though that the pumpkin craze is a bit milder this year. Honestly, how many dishes can you really destroy with pumpkin before people revolt? OK, OK, I’ll stop with the pumpkin negativity 🙂 I know there are people who wait all year for this season and I don’t want to ruin it for them.
The last fun event I was fortunate enough to attend and work, was a dinner that was sponsored by Specialty Appliance, and Kitchens by Wedgewood. I had the fortune to be asked to cater the dinner and the event. The purpose of the dinner was so our clients could welcome their guests to the newly remodelled kitchen where they could admire the new cabinetry, the Raw Urth range hood and the new Thermador appliances in action.
I supplied the action, and the dinner, of course. It was pretty nerve wracking to take over someone else’s brand new kitchen to cook a whole dinner! However, the clients were so wonderful and put me at ease and I went about doing what I do best (amongst other things 🙂 ), cooking.
I had met with the hosts of the dinner beforehand so we could discuss what kind of menu appealed to them and what kind of food they’d like to serve that evening. They are really laid back and casual and a fun couple. They have such a beautiful home up in the mountains by Boulder Canyon.
We decided on a Moroccan inspired menu and I set about making a menu. Since Morocco has such a strong French influence, I used a lot of French inspiration with a Moroccan twist. Rather than write, I’ll let the photos show most of the evening.
The recipe I want to share today happens to be the Harissa Roasted Lamb I made for the dinner. However, the lamb made that evening was made on the rotisserie that’s a feature available in the oven they purchased. It was quite a sight! And took no longer than a regular oven to cook.
Not everyone has rotisseries in their ovens so the lamb I’m posting today is cooked in a regular oven. It comes out just as juicy and tender as the rotisserie version; you just don’t get the show.
Serves: 10-12 servings
- The lamb can be marinated the night before and refrigerated.
- Unroll the boneless leg of lamb and lay flat.
- Smear half the Harissa paste on the inside of the lamb, sprinkle with half of the Ras El Hanout spices,
- add pepper and a drizzle of olive oil.
- Flip the lamb over and repeat on the top side.
- Roll the lamb back up and tie neatly to form a uniform roll.
- Place in the fridge overnight or at least 4 hours.
- Before roasting, pull out the lamb from the fridge and leave at room temperature for about 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 350F/180C
- Place the lamb on a rack in a baking sheet or roasting tin.
- Add a temperature probe and set for desired doneness.
- Place in the oven and roast.
- For a 4½ pound piece of lamb, it takes about 20 minutes a pound for rare and 30 minutes a pound for medium.
- It took me about 90 minutes to get a nice pink medium.
- In the rotisserie, the lamb turned beautiful golden brown by itself while rotating.
- In the oven, in the last 15 minutes, turn up the oven to 500F/220C to get a nice, crispy brown outside.
- Remove from the oven and rest for 10 minutes before slicing into thick slices.
- Serve with Harissa vinaigrette if desired, or this herb sauce
The chermoula sauce that was used to marinate the Herb Grilled Chicken goes wonderfully with this lamb as well.
I used the last of my homemade harissa on this lamb and bought some extra from Whole Foods, which is quite excellent. You can either make your own or buy a jar.
As you might remember, I’m not a fan of lamb at all….and I mean, at all. Lately though, I’ve been making lamb for my dinner parties because everyone else in my family enjoys it and this way, most of it gets eaten. Everyone raves about it so I guess it’s good, I, however, will never know, and that’s all right by me!
For you lamb lovers out there, try this, it really is good, juicy and tender with a lovely hit of spice.
On the topic of dinner parties, I am a little curious of dinner party etiquettes that I know exist and that I’m quite sure I follow. I was just wondering what you guys think they are? First off, I must say that in this day and age, I don’t expect anything from anyone. It just seems that’s the society we’ve become.
I don’t expect a “hello” from the friends of my daughters that come through my door for whatever reason, I don’t expect a “thank you” when I drop them off home at times, I don’t expect a RSVP unless I hunt one down, I don’t expect a “thank you” email or text after a party I’ve hosted and I certainly never expect a hostess gift when I host a party. I may be wrong to not expect general courtesies, but I’m tired of being disappointed so I just don’t care now.
This doesn’t mean that I have taught my children to do the same, no. They are always to hold a conversation and to always be courteous and polite with all adults, especially their friends’ parents, and I’m glad to say they do. This is probably why they are the favourites of those parents.
I always RSVP and send a thank you email, text or phone call. I never turn up at a party empty handed, but maybe this is just me. Your turn to chime in. What do you think is the expectation?