Some people find inspiration for the things they are passionate about in people they will never meet. Being an untrained “kitchen chef”, I have the utmost respect for any professional chef especially the really fun ones that get their own show on Food Network. I flip through magazines and cookbooks nearly every day looking for something new and exciting that I can recreate or even change up just a bit to make it mine. However; all the shows I watch or recipes I pull will never be as inspirational as my favorite chef, my dad. My entire life he has been passionate about cooking. You could probably poll just about anyone we know and they will tell you that the best meal they ever had was around Steve’s table. He puts his heart and soul into his cooking like it’s a work of art and the end result is just that.
We recently had our annual Easter Feast this Spring. My sister and dad and I spent hours on the phone trying to come up with the menu. I hadn’t yet launched my blog, but it was in the works and they were both fully on board with creating a Pinterest worthy meal. My dad was in charge of the lamb (see below) and did he ever bring his A game to this one. What I love most about my dad is that he seems to do things in life so effortlessly. Sure there have been nights that we waited until 9 o’clock to eat dinner, but the food was always worth the wait. My dad is a very wise guy (yeah, a real wise guy, eh?). Unless he’s cracking jokes or talking about fishing or hunting, he generally lets the rest of do all the talking. I never really considered that he might not have a choice because the Thompson girls can do some talking, but it has often been the lack of what he has said that haa been the most inspirational. He lives life passionately and he believes in what he does. He has never had to say it, but what I have learned most from my dad is do what you love and love what you do and you will find success.
Happy birthday, Daddy!
Aggie, Your Little Huntin’ and Fishin’ Buddy
“Daddy Always Knows Best” Roasted Leg of Lamb (pairs awesomely with Cultivate Wine’s The Feast)
- 1 leg of lamb (deboned, trimmed of fat 3-4 lbs)
- 2 springs rosemary (leaves stripped and finely chopped)
- 2 tbs extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tbs finely chopped garlic
- 1 tbs lemon zest
- 1 lemon halved
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1 tsp cracked black pepper
- ½ stick butter
- 1 shallot thinly sliced
- ¼ cup parsley chopped
- ¾ cup chicken stock
- ½ cup white wine
Lower the rack to bottom half of oven and pre-heat to 450 degrees F.
Remove packaging or netting from lamb, rise and pat dry with paper towel. Let the lamb sit at room temperature to take the chill off.
Combine rosemary, garlic, lemon zest, salt, pepper and juice of ½ lemon and mix into a paste.
Squeeze the juice of the remaining ½ lemon over the lamb and then rub all surfaces with the paste.
Place the lamb on a rack in a roasting pan and place in the oven for 20 minutes.
Reduce heat to 350 degrees and continue to cook for an additional 40 to 45 minutes or until the lamb has reached an internal temperature of 165 degrees.
Remove the lamb and rack from the roasting pan and cover with foil. Place the roasting pan over a medium high burner; add the butter, shallot and parsley and stir until butter is melted and ingredients are softened. Add the chicken stock and wine scraping any goodies from the bottom. Lower heat to medium and reduce by half.
Slice the lamb and serve with the sauce. This dish is well accompanied with oven roasted asparagus and wild and long grain rice.
- 1 pound (1 pint) fat free greek yogurt plain yogurt
- 1 hothouse cucumber, unpeeled and seeded
- 1 tablespoon plus 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 cup lowfat sour cream
- 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice (1 lemon)
- 1 tablespoon good olive oil
- 1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic
- 1 1/2 teaspoons minced fresh dill
- Pinch freshly ground black pepper
Place the yogurt in a cheesecloth or paper towel-lined sieve and set it over a bowl. Grate the cucumber and toss it with 1 tablespoon of kosher salt; place it in another sieve, and set it over another bowl. Place both bowls in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 hours so the yogurt and cucumber can drain.
Transfer the thickened yogurt to a large bowl. Squeeze as much liquid from the cucumber as you can and add the cucumber to the yogurt. Mix in the sour cream, vinegar, lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, dill, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and pepper. You can serve it immediately, but I prefer to allow the tzatziki to sit in the refrigerator for a few hours for the flavors to blend. Serve chilled or at room temperature.
Cultivate Wines The Feast is an awesome match for this delicious meal!!!!!