Recipe & Wine Pairing
by Far Niente Executive Chef Trevor Eliason
Grilled Double-Cut Lamb Chops, Creamed Spinach, Chantrelles and Crispy Shallots
Oakville, Napa Valley
1 tablespoon fennel seed, toasted
1 tablespoon coriander seed, toasted
4 cloves garlic, smashed
4 rosemary sprigs, smashed
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 frenched rack of lamb
cut into 4 chops
(1 bone per portion)
1 pint heavy cream
2 shallots, sliced
1 garlic clove
4 bunches of spinach, washed
1/2 teaspoon salt
Nutmeg, for grating
1/4 pound of chanterelles
1 tablespoon olive oil
A pinch of salt
4 thyme sprigs
4 whole garlic cloves
4 whole shallots
1 cup flour
3 cups rice oil or vegetable oil
(good for frying)
Lamb Chop Marinade:
To make the marinade, place the toasted fennel and coriander seeds on a cutting board. Smash gently with the back of a sauté pan to release their oils. Place the spices in a medium bowl, and then add the smashed garlic, rosemary sprigs, olive oil and combine well. Place lamb chops in a large Ziploc® bag then pour in the marinade. Seal and refrigerate for two hours minimum, or for up two days.
Start by reducing the cream for the creamed spinach. In a medium-sized stainless steel pot, add the heavy cream, sliced shallots and garlic clove. On medium-low heat, reduce by half or until the cream produces pea-sized bubbles. Let the liquid cool to room temperature.
In a steam basket, steam the spinach for three minutes or until soft. (You may need to cook in batches, depending on the size of the steamer.) Place the spinach in an ice bath to stop the cooking process and preserve color. Then strain spinach in a colander and squeeze out all the liquid. Set the spinach on a paper towel to absorb excess liquid while you set up your food processor. Place the spinach in a food processor bowl, and with the regular blade, add salt and three grates of nutmeg from your microplane. Add half of the reduced cream and purée with the spinach on medium speed. Stop and occasionally scrape down the sides of bowl. Add more liquid, if needed, to smooth the consistency of the purée. Taste and add salt, if needed.
To prepare the chanterelles, cut them in half lengthwise and trim ends. Wash and drain on towels, and then let air dry for 20 minutes. Place a medium sauté pan on high heat and add olive oil. When you can see ripples in the oil, add the mushrooms. Season with a pinch of salt. Drop in the thyme sprigs and whole garlic cloves. Sauté the chanterelles until golden brown, then set aside.
Slice the whole shallots about 1/8-inch thick using a mandolin (or a very sharp knife and a skilled hand). Soak the sliced shallots in water for 20 minutes. Drain in a colander and lay them on a towel to dry. Place the shallots into a bowl of flour and toss to coat evenly, shaking them free from each other. Bring a heavy-bottomed stainless steel pot to medium heat, and then add the fryer oil. Heat the oil to 350°F, using a thermometer to confirm. Fry the shallots in batches until golden brown (about three minutes) and place on a paper towel-lined sheet pan. Season the shallots to taste with salt.
Grilled Lamb Chops:
Prepare the grill for the lamb. Be aware that fat will drip when grilling and can cause flare-ups that will add a carbon-like flavor to the meat. To prevent this, cook these lovelies over a lower flame—even just glowing embers. Cook the chops to medium-rare, about three minutes on each side. Turn to the side with the fat and let render for three more minutes or until the internal temperature reads 125°F.
Lay down four warmed dinner plates. Place a large scoop of creamed spinach on the center of each plate, and then the lamb chop. Nestle the chanterelles next to the lamb and top with the fried shallots. Enjoy with a glass of Far Niente Cabernet Sauvignon!