For Tate’s birthday, I decided to attempt my very first recipe out of my brand new food porn bible, the Les Halles Cookbook by Anthony Bourdain. (Can you see the angelic halo surrounding the title!?)
To say that our dinner was good would be an insult. I’m 100% bragging, I admit, but what I made was probably my culinary masterpiece. Not only did it involve the process of roasting beef bones and vegetables for homemade stock, it also included a bouquet garni and other FRENCH words. Ooh, la, la!
First of all, please note that the title of this post is not at all accurate. International foods AISLE? Um, no. Nothing in the meal came from a box or a can, or merely an aisle! Every ingredient was fresh and came from the produce and meat section of the grocery store. Which reminds me, did you know that scalloped potatoes don’t come from a box?!? I KNOW! I didn’t know this either, but sorry Betty Crocker, my Gratin Dauphinois kicked your boxed scalloped potatoes to the curb.
So last night’s culinary journey (if you haven’t already figured it out) was to my own version of a lovely little French bistro in Paris. Here’s what I made: Carré d’agneau au moutarde with gratin dauphinois.
Rough translation (I don’t exactly speak french): Rack of lamb with a dijon mustard and bread crumb crust, served with the most delicious wine and homemade beef stock reduction I’ve ever put in my mouth (also the only) with fancy pants scalloped potatoes.
On Twitter I deemed myself, the Fabulous Rack of Lamb cooker. Yeah. It was good enough to talk about on Twitter. And Facebook. And with Tate, to whom I went on and on and on some more about my masterpiece, every few minutes.
“Can you believe how utterly fabulous that dinner I made was?! Can you???!!!”
“I..I..I can’t put into words just how delicious that was!”
“Who knew! Lamb IS good!”
And it IS! Lamb, when prepared correctly, is terrific. I’d had lamb once before and remember it being gamey and dry. What I made last night was perfectly cooked and tasted a lot like very mild steak. Both the rack of lamb and the potatoes were ridiculously, mind-bogglingly easy to make.
Part of what made the meal so enjoyable was that I’d fed the kids some leftover boxed macaroni and cheese while the lamb and potatoes were cooking. As soon as Tate and I were ready to eat, Carson magically needed to *ahem* use the restroom and requested the assistance of his sister while he, uh, did his business. We were able to quietly enjoy our dinner at Les Halles in Paris, drinking wine and having a real-live adult conversation.
It just doesn’t get any better than this. (And it makes the boring stir-fry I’m making for dinner tonight sound like pig slop.)