weeknight gourmet

Elegant Weeknight Meal: Mustard Crusted Rack of Lamb & Broccolini with Olives and Capers

Here are two great recipes for weeknight entertaining or for a special meal for you and your love.  Rack of lamb sounds complicated but is surprisingly quick and easy to make.

Luckily, I married a fellow lamb lover.  Not everyone likes lamb.  But I am a firm believer that if someone who likes beef and pork claims they don’t like lamb, they just haven’t had well prepared lamb.  It is by far my favorite meat!

The key to really delicious rack of lamb is to sear it on both sides and to then cook it in the oven at a relatively high temperature (425 degrees).  In this recipe after searing the lamb, you smear Dijon mustard and crushed garlic on the rack and then press a bread crumb – parmesan combo on top.  So much flavor!!  This recipe and the Lamb Chops with Pistachio Tapenade are now my go-to lamb recipes!

Broccolini is a great and easy side dish.  I think it has a better texture than regular broccoli and will be more interesting to your guests.  After cooking the broccolini, you toss it with a olive oil, garlic, olive, and caper mixture.  Simple and delicious!

Tim and I enjoyed our meal with a wonderful Châteauneuf-du-Pape that we received as a gift.  A surprisingly tasty end to a typical Tuesday!

Mustard Crusted Rack of Lamb
Emeril Lagasse

  • 1 rack of lamb, trimmed (about 1 1/2 pounds)
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1/4 cup seasoned bread crumbs
  • 1 tablespoon grated Parmesan

Season rack of lamb well on all sides with salt and pepper. Heat a medium skillet over high heat and, when hot, add the oil. When the oil is almost smoking, add the rack of lamb and brown well on all sides, about 6 minutes. Transfer the lamb to a plate and set aside to cool slightly before proceeding.

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.

Using the back of a spoon, spread the mustard evenly over all sides of the lamb. Spread the minced garlic over the lamb in the same manner.

In a small mixing bowl combine the breadcrumbs and grated cheese and toss to thoroughly combine. Using your hands or a spoon, spread the breadcrumb mixture evenly all over the lamb, pressing so that the crumbs adhere to the meat.

Place the rack of lamb on a baking sheet and bake for 12 to 15 minutes for medium-rare. Allow lamb to sit for 5 to 10 minutes before carving into chops to serve.

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Broccolini with Olives & Capers
Fine Cooking

  • 4 medium bunches broccolini (2 to 2-1/2 lb.)
  • 6 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tsp. minced garlic
  • 2 Tbs. chopped pitted kalamata olives
  • 2 Tbs. chopped capers (rinse only if salt-packed)
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the broccolini and stir to separate the stems. When the water returns to a boil, adjust the heat to a simmer and cook until crisp tender, 4 to 5 minutes. Drain well. (The broccolini may be prepared to this point up to 1 day ahead and refrigerated.)

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook until softened, about 1 minute, taking care not to let it get any color. Add the olives and capers and cook for 1 minute more. Add the broccolini and toss to coat. If the broccolini was cooked ahead, keep tossing until heated through. Season to taste with salt and pepper, and serve.

 

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