The vacation is over and I am back in the kitchen. This dish is from a Chef’s Table in the kitchen last night, it turned out pretty well. It’s medallions of roasted lamb loin with basil-potato puree, sweet tomato jam, roma tomato crisps, olive tapenade and potato gratin.
The lamb loin came out great. The outside was rubbed with a spice mix called “ras el hanout”, which in Arabic means “head of the shop”. The name refers to the fact that is is a blend of all of a shop-keepers finest herbs in the Mediterranean region. Ras el hanout can often contain as many as twenty spices.
The potato gratin ended up being the best part of this dish. I used Michel Richard’s recipe from “Happy In The Kitchen”; it consisted of one potato, grated, two cups of heavy cream, four tablespoons of whole butter, a sprig of fresh rosemary, a clove of garlic and a half cup of Parmesan-Reggiano. Simmer the cream, rosemary and butter, then add the potatoes and stir for about two minutes to release the starch. Grate the garlic into the mixture while it is simmering.
After it has thickened, turn the mixture out into a half hotel pan lined with parchment paper. Grate the Parmesan-Reggiano onto the shredded potato mixture. Bake for about thirty minutes at 350 degrees or until it is golden brown and bubbling. When it comes out of the oven, place it into the refrigerator until it has completely chilled. At that point it can be cut into any shape you like, then reheat to order under a broiler. Between the cream, butter and cheese there is a lot of fat, so you want to make sure to have a towel handy to dab the potato on before it goes onto the plate.
Garnishing the dish is the roma crisps (in the oven at 220 degrees for about forty minutes), and Lucky Leaf Garden’s Lucky Mix.