70+ degrees… yes
Waiting till for Spring to plant my garden boxes… no
Luckily, they can be protected should we have a freeze here in sunny Florida.
One thing leads to another; That defines my cooking style. Go to the produce market and see the loveliest of plums or peaches…make a tart. Fresh stalks of lemongrass = a Vietnamese influenced dish… and so it goes.
Yesterday was really lovely and warm and my earthboxes were not so lovely; stringy 4 ft. tall tomatoes plants with 3 tiny blooms at the very top, bright yellow dill flowers and woody basil stalks. Time for re-planting. I like to wait till the very, very last possible harvest before tearing out everything and starting new. Even the tiniest of gardens can add so much wonderful flavor to home-cooked meals. So… I planned to make spaghetti, my husbands favorite, but as I picked the very last of the sweet basil and purple basil and picked some of the last meyer lemons from my tree I decided to keep it light and fresh; basil chicken with mushrooms and artichokes over porcini mushroom egg pasta. Bon Appetit :)
Earthboxes great for small, super productive gardens!
I always make a “secret sauce” with rack of lamb; sweet, savory and sometimes with a little heat and au jus. My husband always ask, “is this the secret sauce?” And of course it is… secret for the day, not the same as last time though. I’m not one to stick to a recipe. Cooking for me is a creative endeavor… just like painting. I look at the possible ingredients for the meal, find some inspiration in my pantry and fridge and go with it.
Rack of lamb looks a little intimidating… I finally bought it a few years back after enjoying it at a restaurant. I decided it was just red meat and I can cook most any other kind, so why not. Not much pre-cooking preparation is needed. I like to make a mix of freshly ground peppercorns and kosher salt, freshly minced rosemary and lemon zest… that’s it, add enough olive oil to make a thin paste and slather the racks on both sides. Let them rest in the fridge for 30 minutes or longer.
My “special sauce” will remain secret… ha ha. seriously, it will. I will again say that I love sweet and savory, like garlic and shallots and red wine, honey…cherries mmmm. Make a sauce from the flavors you like and after you have cooked your racks of lamb either on a med/hot grill or in a 425 oven for about 25 minutes (if you have a convection option, use it) , let them rest for 15 to 20 minutes, then slice between the bones and add any jus or meat drippings to your sauce.
I usually make roasted potatoes with rosemary and pepper… tonight I used pink and wild black peppercorns :) I also made one of my favorites… garlic green beans.
Buy good quality ingredients, season with fresh herbs and good quality spices, and you will have good food!
OKAY… not everyone asked, but at least 3 people I know asked why I’m not blogging about food… and gardening and some of the other activities that I get involved in, besides art. So here I am. This new blog will be replacing my art blog and including so many other things.
the beauty of ingredients; peppercorns, mushroom, shallots (one of my favorites), did I say peppercorns?