Be The Ball, Danny

This is just another version of most of the dinners we eat in these parts lately. I just don’t have the time to indulge in any geekery, even though I’m getting ideas for some possibly cool dishes. Most of them are going to have to wait until October given the way the scheduling of the shows has worked out. The upside to this is that the garden is happening; I put some seedlings in the ground yesterday, and two other beds are sprouting, which means that we’re mere weeks from our first salad and asparagus. If this insane thunderstorm- now with hail!- doesn’t completely pummel and drown all the babies out there, that is.

This is a local lamb leg steak, given a sear and then rest, on mashed sweet potato and Japanese yam with chopped ramps and a little Kalamata olive brine mixed in. The sauce is roughly equal parts pesto and brown mustard mixed into the meat juices deglazed with a splash of wine. I steamed broccoli and tossed it with oil, salt, and lemon for one of our favorite sides. One of my ideas involves three different sauce-type things to go with three different lamb preparations, and this mustard-pesto thing is a half-assed simplification of a possible facet of that idea. Sometimes I get annoyed that I don’t have time to cook the way I want to, but the studio is roaring right now and that’s creative gratification enough.

To drink, a bottle of the Cereghino-Smith Syrah that Fred and Paula brought me as a thank you gift after the article came out. In retrospect, I should have waited, since it would surely have been better after another year or three, but it was an excellent match for the lamb. Also, as an added bonus, I was happily proved wrong about Pleiades: there is an XVII, and it’s out. I’m placing my order forthwith, and am trying not to get my hopes up; the XVI was the best yet.

3 comments to Be The Ball, Danny

  • Heather

    You say you wish you had more time to cook the way you want, but I really think your food looks/sounds the best when it is unencumbered by your profound and effluent creativity. Less is more, Peter.

  • Brooke

    I agree with Heather. Your simple dishes always make me very very hungry. Your complex expressions of food usually get a head tilt and an eyebrow raised in bewilderment.

    This one looks perfect the way it is.

  • We Are Never Full

    i’m not going to inflate your ego any more than those two biznatches before you (sorry, brooke, i don’t even know you… i’m lumping you into the same category as heather… i apologize) but they’re right. you’re good. also that lamb is PERFECTLY cooked. you could’ve taken a picture of just that on a plate and i would’ve drooled.

Yours Truly



I'm a painter who happens to also spend a lot of time growing, making, and writing about food. I'm particularly interested in the intersection of frugal peasant cooking techniques and haute improvisation. And I have a really great personality.

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