Thursday, October 28, 2010

A New Guest Brings a New Cocktail: Aren't We Lucky!

This past Whatever Night Dinner Club dinner brought a new guest, Renée's sister, Amy. And she brought with her the fixings for a lavender cocktail. It went well with our lamb and salad and roasted veggie risotto, though it probably would have accompanied most dishes nicely. It is a perfect pink color.

Lavender Vodka

3 hours (or longer) prior to drinking, soak 3 TBSP lavender flowers in 750 ml vodka. Let sit 3 hours. Strain  out flowers (they can be reused to make more of the vodka).

Lemon Syrup

1/2 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup simple syrup
1/4 cup water

Lavender Cocktail

this makes 4 single-sized cocktails. Or 2 doubles. That's good math.

In a shaker add:

1 cup lavender vodka
1/4 cup lemon syrup

Top with ice and shake until cold. Strain into 4 single-sized, chilled glasses.

Lamb Shoulder

Preheat oven to 350.


In a bowl mix all herbs (fresh if possible):
1 TBSP chopped rosemary
2 TBSP chopped mint
2 TBSP minced garlic
2 teas. chopped thyme
1/2 teas. salt
1/2 teas. pepper

Add 2 TBSP olive oil and the juice of 1/2 of a lemon. Mix well.

Salt and pepper 2 lbs. lamb shoulder chops.

Heat an oven-proof pan on the stove. Add 1 TBSP olive oil and sear chops on one side for 1 minute.
Turn over and cover chops with the rub. Put the pan in the oven and cook until done (~15 - 20 minutes), checking after 15 minutes.

Pressure Cooker Risotto

This recipe assumes familiarity with a pressure cooker. If you lack that, use ingredients to make a traditional risotto.

Saute 1 chopped onion, in 1 TBSP olive oil.
Add 1 smashed garlic clove and 2 cups arborio rice. Stir to coat.
Add 5 cups chicken broth and lock lid.
Bring to high pressure and cook for 4 minutes.
Slow release.

Open and stir in:
4 cups previously roasted veggies (make extra when cooking roasted roots or fries and save in the fridge for a few days or freeze until needed)
1 head chopped and wilted bok choy (saute in olive oil for a few minutes)
1 cup grated romano cheese

Spinach salad

Saute 4 oz. bacon cut into 1" pieces, reserving fat.

Meanwhile, add into a large bowl:
Cut 1 apple into quarters and then into 1/4" slices.
Thinly slice 1/2 cup assorted sweet peppers.
Rip 4 oz. spinach into bite-sized pieces.

Add bacon to bowl and toss salad with 1 TBSP of the bacon fat. Season with black pepper.