Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Entertaining: Rack of Lamb with Herbed Goat Cheese

I've had a pain in my side for the last five years. It isn't a bad or a constant pain. However, it comes and it goes often enough that I went to the doctor (yes, after 5 years!) to get it checked out. Luckily, he said It would've killed you by now if it was anything terrible. He suspects dairy is the culprit and lactose intolerance the condition. As of today I am halfway through a ten day abstinence program where I can't touch a lick of dairy...

And I'm suffering greatly. I usually eat dairy several times a day. I'm that lone adult who drinks plain old white milk for fun. I love yogurt, butter, creme fraiche, cheese, cream, milk, etc. Luckily, if lactose intolerance is the culprit, I don't have to eliminate dairy. I just have to manage it. Such is life.

In celebration of all things white and creamy, I'm telling you about the perfect Valentine's Day meal well in advance so you're not scurrying around for ideas. Rack of Lamb with Herbed Goat Cheese - I've been thinking about this dish ever since we ate it over New Years. About a decade ago, my parents discovered this easy, but incredibly decadent dish while visiting my brother at school in Philadelphia. They raved about it. My father came home and made it immediately, happy that something so good was so easy to figure out and just as easy to prepare.

Imagine a rack of lamb slathered with rosemary goat cheese, topped with breadcrumbs and then roasted for half an hour. The result is a creamy, crunchy, lamby masterpiece. Given the calories (and the price) it's perfect for an occasional meal. And, given the availability of the ingredients, it's perfect for winter since the only thing you'll have to buy from afar is fresh rosemary!

Rack of Lamb with Herbed Goat Cheese
(This is for entertaining. It's so easy to find the ingredients and quick to make. With a side of roasted potatoes and a green salad, you're good to go. Plus, you can prep the lamb in the morning and then pop it in the oven about 45 minutes before you want to eat.)

What You'll Need:

1 8-chop Rack of Lamb (2 chops or bones per person)
Salt and Pepper
8 oz. Chevre goat cheese
2 Sprigs of Rosemary finely chopped
A handful of fresh Breadcrumbs

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Set the lamb bone-side down in a roasting pan and sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. 

In a small bowl combine the rosemary and goat cheese and mix well. Spread over the top of the lamb up until it meets the bones and pat gently to make sure it's snug on there. Sprinkle the breadcrumbs over the goat cheese and pat down again. Pop it into the oven and roast until the temperature reaches 130-135 for medium rare. About 30 minutes.

To serve, as delicately as possible, cut the lamb into four double chops and plate. 

Approximate Dinner Cost:
Groceries: $40
Cost per Meal: Expect four servings at $10 each.

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  1. This looks fantastic! I'm sorry to hear about your possible lactose intolerance. However, if it is slight (slight enough for you to not really have to deal with it for five years) you may be ok with cheese...goat cheese espeically. The fermentation process helps with the lactose issue. So, bring on the lamb!! (seriously, this looks worth a little pain in the side)

  2. If it's between a little pain and giving up the white stuff, I'm choosing pain, baby:) However, I'm having an easier time drinking black coffee than I thought. I was all ready to switch to green tea for a week, but black coffee ain't so bad!!

  3. Ack!! I hope it isn't something serious, or any sort of intolerance. Haha, even though you will continue eating the lovely cheeses, it's best not to have pain associated with it!
    I've never really had lamb before, but that looks SO good, esp with the herbed goat cheese.

  4. Sophia, if you've never had lamb, this is the way to try it!!

  5. Sorry about the possible dairy problem! This sounds delicious!

  6. I've never attempted rack of lamb, but maybe with your careful instructions I could do it. I love the idea of the rosemary goat cheese.

  7. Sorry to hear you may be lactose intolerant. More and more people seem to be developing an allergy to dairy. Not sure allergy is the right word, but it happened to my husband, a long-time milk drinker.

    I would never have thought to pair goat cheese and lamb, but you convinced me: I'll give this recipe a try.

  8. I think I'm lactose intolerant also but I also can't eat goat cheese! Ugh. I love lamb though. And this recipe looks delicious.

  9. peggy,
    have you tried goat cheese with butternut squash? that's one of my favorite vegetarian combinations...melted over, not baked with though. that could be an idea... and I spend a good bit of time in Ireland, where lamb is often on the menu, so great to have this idea, too. thanks



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