Monday, April 25, 2011

Rack of Lamb with Mint, Golden Raisins and Pine nuts and Greek Yogurt Dip

I have a confession.

I do not like ham, Sam I am.

I'm being serious.  I don't like it at all.  My husband and I would order a ham every year for Easter.   (Lamb is really the more traditional course choice). My father in law would get in line, every year, at the Honeybaked Ham store for all of us.  Bless his heart for doing this.  The last Easter I hosted, the ham just wasn't very good.  And I asked everyone, "Is there a reason we get ham every year?  Does anyone really even like ham?"  I think it was a mixed response of,  "No we don't really care for it," and "We just got ham because that's just what we always did."  End of story....I needed no other reason to make some changes.

My husband's family are wild about lamb over the Christmas holiday.   I make leg of lamb for Christmas with his mom and we make lamb chops for Christmas Eve.  So why not a rack of lamb for Easter?

I've never made an entire rack of lamb, we've always just made single chops.  I must say, this is a welcomed change.  We paired the rack up with a 'relish' topping made of fresh mint, golden raisins, pine nuts, lemon zest and olive oil.  I also had a Greek yogurt dip on the side with fresh mind and shredded cucumber.  All raved over the lamb and its accompaniments.  I think we may have started a grand tradition.  The best part?  It's super easy, quick to prepare, and can all be prepped ahead of time.  Total bonus:  I get to actually enjoy my guests.  There is nothing better than that!

We used this lamb recipe--we seared our lamb racks on the grill until they had grill marks, then put them in a roasting pan in the oven until the thermometer read 135. (About 25-30 minutes).  We also made the pine nut/raisin relish.

Greek Yogurt Dip
16 oz container non-fat Greek Yogurt (I used Trader Joe brand)
1/2 english cucumber, peeled
1 tablespoon fresh mint, chopped fine

In a medium sized bowl, add yogurt and mint.  With a box grater, grate the cucumber.  Wrap the cucumber shreds in a paper towel and drain out the liquid.  Add cucumber shreds to yogurt mixture and mix until combined.  Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator until ready to serve. You can do this the morning of.  The mint tends to brown after being chopped, so I wouldn't really recommend doing this the day before.  This is great with potatoes also!

We served the lamb with roasted baby potatoes and roasted asparagus.  Both were roasted in a 400 degree oven and mixed with olive oil and salt and pepper.  

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