cooking: lamb steak over polenta w/ oven roasted veggies

What to do when you’re feeling bummed out? Eat a great meal of course…or at least one that you know will make you feel better!

After work, I made a quick stop at Wegmans to pick up lamb sausage a lamb steak, and a couple veggies. I also attempted to try to find the Vosges Gianduja Bar to no avail. Wegmans please carry this variety soon please? It may be my favorite Vosges bar.

Anyway, during my drive home the dish came together in my mind. Serve the steak medium over polenta with a side of roasted tomatoes and mushrooms. Perfect.

Lamb Steak over Polenta w/ Oven Roasted Veggies
Steak serves 1; Polenta and Veggies serve 1+

-1/2 lb. leg of lamb steak
-vegetable oil
-salt & pepper

-1/2 c polenta
-1 c milk
-1 c water
-1/2 c pecorino romano, grated
-salt, to taste

Preheat grill.

Season steak with salt and pepper on both sides. Next, rub oil over both sides of steak.

Start making polenta.

In a saucepan, whisk together polenta, milk, water, and salt. Cover and bring to a boil over medium-high heat, whisking occasionally. Once boiling, turn the heat down to low and shift the lid over so it’s cracked. Leave for 15 minutes.

Place the steak on the grill. You should hear a nice sizzle. If not, your grill is not hot enough. Close lid of grill. If you want to achieve grill marks, rotate the steak 45° after 2 minutes. After another 2 minutes, flip the steak over and repeat.

Once finished and cooked to your desired doneness (I was going for medium), set aside to rest, covered with foil, for about 10 – 15 minutes.

Whisk the pecorino into the polenta and mix well.

Place a serving of polenta on a plate, then top it with the steak. Serve with roasted veggies.


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cooking: five cheese mac & cheese with roasted tomatoes & mushrooms

Last weekend, Meg, from Runner’s Kitchen, and I made the BEST mac and cheese. EVER.

We were inspired by a Saveur recipe and messed around with the cheese types and the quantities of each. Also, since we wanted to make a side, we decided to roast some tomatoes and mushrooms. There were a ton of leftovers and I had them for lunch for the next two days. Unfortunately, I didn’t bring home a lot and experienced some withdrawal on day 3…

grating the cheese

Anyway, here are the recipes…

Oven Roasted Tomatoes and Mushrooms
Serves 4 as a side

-6-8 roma tomatoes, halved
-10 oz. pack of baby portobellas/crimini mushrooms, quartered
-olive oil
-salt & pepper, to taste
-fresh basil leaves, chiffonade

Preheat oven to 475°.

In large bowl, toss tomatoes and mushrooms with olive oil until coated. Season with salt and pepper and toss once more.

Spread out tomatoes and mushrooms in a single layer onto a sheetpan. Place in oven for 10 minutes.

Sprinkle with basil and serve.

Five Cheese Macaroni and Cheese
Serves 6-8
Adapted from Saveur’s Four Cheese Macaroni and Cheese

-1 lb campanelle pasta
-6 tbsp unsalted butter
-3/4 c panko bread crumbs
-1 c parmesan, grated
-1/2 tsp paprika
-2 shallots, minced
-1 bay leaf
-1/4 c ap flour
-1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
-3 c milk
-10 oz sharp white cheddar, grated
-8 oz gruyere, grated
-8 oz fontina, grated
-3 oz gorgonzola, crumbled
-salt & pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 375°.

In large pot, cook pasta according to package directions only HALFWAY. This is important since you want the pasta to finish cooking in the oven while absorbing some of the flavor of the sauce. Once halfway cooked, drain and set aside.

Melt 3 tablespoons of butter in a medium saucepan. Add the panko breadcrumbs and parmesan. Toss to coat. Remove from heat and set aside.

In a medium to large pot, melt the remaining 3 tablespoons of butter over medium heat. Add the shallots, paprika, and bay leaf. Stirring often until shallots soften. Add cayenne and flour and stir until thickened, about 1 minute. Whisk in the milk. Whisk often until the mixture has thickened, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and discard bay leaf.

Whisk in the cheese slowly (reserve a handful of gruyere for the top), ensuring all the cheese melts together nicely. Take the pasta and stir into the cheese sauce. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Place the macaroni and cheese in a 9″ x 12″ baking dish. Sprinkle the remaining gruyere across the top. Next, sprinkle the bread crumb mixture across the top till evenly distributed.

Cover a sheetpan with foil and place the baking dish on top. Place in the oven and bake for 30 minutes. The dish is ready when the crust is golden brown and the cheese is bubbly. Let rest for 10 minutes.

Serve and enjoy.

For more mouthwatering photos, check out Runner’s Kitchen.

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