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Easter Recipe – Moroccan Rack of Lamb

For the lamb
2   Frenched lamb racks (most butchers will be happy to do this for you)
2 Tbsp   Moroccan spice rub
1 Tbsp   olive oil
2 tsp   preserved lemon rind, finely minced
1 tsp   garlic, finely minced
salt and pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 325° F.
Season the lamb with lots of salt and pepper.  Sear all sides on a hot barbeque, grill pan or a cast iron frying pan.  Set aside.

Combine the spice rub, preserved lemon, garlic and olive oil.  Coat and rub the mixture into the lamb.

Roast in the oven until medium or an internal temperature of 138° F.   Approximately 18-25 minutes.  Let rest 10 to 15 minutes before cutting each rack into 2.   Immediately place on a warm plate and top each serving with crumbled feta.

Moroccan Spice Rub
Makes 2/3 cup (makes extra for future use)

2 tsp   black pepper
2 Tbsp   cumin seeds
2 Tbsp   whole coriander
2 Tbsp   fennel seeds
2 Tbsp   cinnamon, ground
3 Tbsp   salt

Toast the cumin, coriander and black pepper over low heat in a dry pan just until you can smell the spices.  Mix with the cinnamon and fennel seeds and grind into a powder using a spice or small coffee grinder.  *Alternatively, you could make this rub with all ground spices for convenience.

Vegetable Jewels
1/8 cup   carrots, cut ¼” dice
1/8 cup   celery root, cut ¼” dice
1/8 cup   radishes, cut ¼” dice
1/8 cup   Roma tomatoes,  cut ¼” dice (with skin)
1/8 cup   red pepper, cut ¼” dice
1/8 cup   butternut squash, cut ¼ “dice
1 ½ Tbsp   unsalted butter
salt and pepper, to taste
cilantro, chives, mint leaves, chopped,  to taste

Sauté each vegetable separately so that each is fully cooked, but retains some firmness.   Do not cook the tomatoes or radishes.  Combine together with the fresh herbs and place on a small baking sheet.  Set aside until serving time.

Warm in the 325° F oven for 3 to 4 minutes.  Serve hot.

1 1/4 cups  couscous
1 ½ cups  water
1/2 tsp  lemon zest
1/2 tsp  orange zest
2 Tbsp  olive oil
3 Tbsp   dried currants
2 Tbsp   whole almonds, toasted and chopped
3 Tbsp   dried apricots, chopped
3 Tbsp   fresh mint, coarsely chopped
1 Tbsp   Italian flat leaf parsley, coarsely chopped
1 ½ Tbsp   fresh lemon juice
unsalted butter, to taste
salt and pepper, to taste

In a bowl  pour boiling water over couscous.  Cover with plastic wrap.  After 1 minute, stir lightly.  Cover and let sit for another 7-8 minutes.  Stir in citrus zests and butter.  Let cool.
Once cool, add remaining ingredients, season and serve.

Margaret tip:  Roasting food in the right size pan.
Anytime you are roasting food, one important key is to give it the correct amount of space.  The right size pan will allow the hot air to circulate and caramelize the food.

The size of the item being roasted determines the proper size of the pan to be utilized, i.e. making sure to roast smaller foods in the smaller pans.  Otherwise, juices from the food will be dispersed too widely, causing them to evaporate and burn on the bottom of the pan.

If you use too small of a pan the food will be crowded, steam and moisture will collect, and the browning or caramelizing reaction will not happen.   For example, when roasting a rack of lamb or chicken, there should be 2 or 3 inches of space on all sides of the food.  If you are roasting a pan of vegetables, always have one layer with ½ to 1 inch of space between vegetables.


Photo credit: Foodie Photography

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