HELPING FAMILY FARMS FLOURISH. HELPING FEED THE HUNGRY.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Parmesan Crusted Rack of Lamb



New Zealand where there are
9.2 sheep for every human
         I’d be hard pressed to remember the last I cooked something this impressive and yet so easy.  I must admit to having approached preparing rack of lamb with a degree of trepidation.  This dish is restaurant territory to me and I associate it with a hefty price tag on menus everywhere.  Truth be told, while not inexpensive, the lamb for 2 was about $18.00. Bless the people of New Zealand for this relative bargain. And bless whoever ‘frenches’ these racks because they involve no trimming at all and can go straight into the pan.  New Zealand lamb accounts for almost 1/3 of all lamb eaten in the US. Australia is by far and away the biggest producer of lamb, responsible for 2/3 of all the lamb imported into this country.  While researching this piece, I was quite surprised to discover lamb is very good for you. Who knew that Lamb is a significant source of omega-3, containing about 50 % the amount found in cod or tuna on an ounce-for-ounce basis ?  Or that lamb contains something called CLA (conjugated linoleic acid), that protects the heart?  And it’s a very good source of immunity boosting protein, heart-healthy vitamin B 12 and niacin. Lamb is even listed as one of the World’s Healthiest Foods.  And we haven’t even gotten to how delicious it tastes. 

Monday, March 12, 2012

He made, she made and then I made Ellie Krieger’s Pasta Puttanesca

Bobby Deen's Light Baked Spaghetti versus....
Pasta Puttanesca from Ellie Krieger
         Unless you live under some media-free rock, you have likely heard of the kerfuffle surrounding the announcement that Paula Deen, the Food Network’s Diva of Southern Cuisine, has contracted Type II diabetes.  The news came in a barrage of Deen-related press releases informing us that not only had Ms. Deen admitted to her much-rumoured diabetes, she had also signed on as the paid spokesperson for an insulin replacement therapy.  Coupled with this shocker was the introduction of Paula’s son Billy’s new television program “Not my Mama’s Meals” in which Ms. Deen’s son would re-create his mother’s high fat, high calorie dishes into something healthier.  All this was greeted with jeers from Ms. Deen’s harshest critic, Anthony Bourdain of “No Reservations” TV fame and the author of “Kitchen Confidential”. Mr Bourdain, who had earlier attacked Ms. Deen calling her “the most dangerous woman in American”, jumped into the fray with the following Twitter post: He said: 'Thinking of getting into the leg-breaking business, so I can profitably sell crutches later.' My own take on Ms. Deen’s diabetes was similar to hearing the news that the Marlboro men of cigarette fame, carried oxygen tanks on the back of their horses.  Cause meet effect.