Friday, December 3, 2010

Sauces galore

Don’t blame this cheesy disaster on the recipe though – it’s my fault

Greeks provide a tasty zing to lamb cutlets

Sauces galore

So I’m having a slightly lazy week this week when it comes to cooking. Some weeks I just don’t feel very inventive. This week I decided to use sauces as an example of how to provide a bit of jazz to ordinary food. First was gnocchi with creamy Castello and spinach. Castello is a type of soft, cow’s milk cheese. It comes in a blue variety, but I’m not a fan of blue cheeses, so I use the white variety, which has a mild, subtle taste.

Gnocchi with creamy Castello and spinach
I won’t say where exactly this recipe is from, as it’s actually from a local guy who runs food classes. The food class I attended was great, and so is this recipe usually, so I don’t think it’s fair to name the chef given the poor rating is based on my mistake. I’ve provided the recipe on how to make the gnocchi as well, but wanting dinner to be quick, this time I simply used good quality homemade gnocchi from my local Italian grocer. I have made gnocchi before, but for me it was a bit of a disaster. I’ll readily concede that Emperor D has the upper hand here, expertly making gnocchi a couple of times.

But back to the sauce; it was tragic. It’s actually my fault though. I’ve made this a couple of times before and it’s usually pretty good. This time I think I over seasoned it. It was very salty; I seasoned with salt once the cheese had melted, and then again when the dish was complete, just before serving. Add to that the pecorino I use has a slightly salty taste to it, and the whole thing was salty to the point of being almost unbearable. I couldn’t finish it.

Seriously though, I hope you give this a shot and do better justice to it than I did this time around. It’s ridiculously easy and super quick (well, if you’re using store-bought gnocchi); you can plate this up in the time it takes to boil the water and cook the gnocchi.

Lamb cutlets that have been marinated in Greek marinade
I had much better luck with Greek marinade on my frenched lamb cutlets. I can’t tell you where I got this recipe from either, simply because I don’t remember. But this is a great, simple marinade recipe with some fantastic, zingy flavours. The rosemary, thyme, and oregano work really well with the garlic and olive oil, and of course the lemon gives it that amazing Greek tang that I love.

Try and marinate meats for at least 30 minutes before cooking; and of course, there’s no need to add extra oil to the fry pan or barbeque. You’ll add more flavour during the cooking process if you baste with the leftover marinade using a pastry brush or baster. I’ve only ever tried this with lamb – as Greek marinade seems to cry out for lamb – but give it a try with chicken as well.

Lastly, just some advance notice that I may not be posting as often over the next couple of months. Christmas is a busy time anyway (although I do hope to post a few recipes I plan on making over Christmas), but it will be even busier for Emperor D and I as we pack up our house and move overseas. I’ve been fortunate enough to score an amazing job opportunity in Geneva, Switzerland, where I’ll be headed very soon after New Year. I’m really looking forward to posting from Geneva – no doubt I’ll have to try some Swiss recipes. Fondue, anyone?

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