This time of year there is alot of entertaining going on in our neighbourhood with house parties abound. The food is just as diverse are our friends who are hosting these little soirees from wine and cheese minglers to the causal elegance of a sit down dinner.
If you are hosting a party this season we have a perfect recipe that gives a tender juicy lamb loin or rib chop a bit of zing in the flavour department. The aromatic rub of lavender and orange zest is an ideal flavour combination to make any cut of lamb a herbal fragrant note that is reminiscent of the southern coast of France.
Served with a lovely fall salad of arugula or other bitter greens and tossed with roasted hazelnuts and pomegranate seeds. The pomegranate seeds are delightfully sweet and crunchy. The bright red colour and burst of flavour is one of our favourite additions to any salad this time of year, not just this one.
2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 Tablespoon minced shallot
1 Tablespoon finely grated orange zest
1 teaspoon Serenity Lavender’s dried culinary buds
Pinch of sea salt
Pinch of freshly ground black peppercorns
8 double cut lamb chops (about 450 grams each)
In a bowl, blend the olive oil with the shallot orange zest, lavender, salt and pepper. Rub the mixture all over the lamb chops ad transfer them onto a broiling pan or metal rack set on a baking sheet. Let the chops rest in the fridge for 2 -3 hours
Preheat the broiler and position a rack 8-10 inches from the heat. Broil the chops for about 20 minutes, turning occasionally until the temperature reads 140 degrees F.
1/8 cup extra virgin olive oil
3 Tablespoons of fresh lemon juice (about 1/2 a large lemon)
1 teaspoon finely grated fresh lemon zest
400 grams of arugula
1/2 cup of roasted hazelnuts, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup of pomegranate seeds
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Place the arugula in a large bowl. Add the remainder of the ingredients into a small round covered plastic container. Shake well until the oil and lemon juice are blended. Pour over the lettuce, toss and serve with the lamb chops.
Presentation, any chef will tell you, is vital to every finished dish. Open your nearest cookbook. Turn on the Food Channel. All the dishes have something in common; beautiful, well-presented dishes.
Our Chef Shawn will teach you the art of plating and presentation. He will teach you the rules to food presentation, garnish and techniques to plate the perfect dish and make your table shine. You will learn exciting new techniques such as: foam, spherification, carving and the use of smoke.
What to expect: Heaps of concepts to impress your guests and make any of your dishes look as beautiful as they taste. Learn how to set your table, fold napkins and make the use of height for that “Wow!” factor.
Dinner is available prior to the workshop. Reserve a table in our Bistro 42 by calling 519-738-6111.
This time of year brings me back to my grandmother’s orchard with its wonderful fruit selection – plums, pears, peaches, and apples. My all time favourite were the wonderfully ripe peaches. They were so fragrant and succulent that the juices ran all over with just one bite. I can still smell the aromas just thinking about my childhood.
In days gone by we had many peach orchards in beautiful Essex County. We even celebrated peaches in our little town of Harrow with a festival and the crowning of the Peach Queen. The Harrow Research Station developed a number of peach varieties such as the Harrow Beauty and Harrow Diamond Peach. Today, you can still find fresh peaches at our neighbour’s Leslie and Doug of the Fruit Wagon and Maria’s on Ridge Road.
So today in celebration of the long weekend and fresh Essex County peaches I thought I’d share a lovely adult beverage recipe that incorporates my favourite herb- lavender and of course those luscious peaches.
Lavender Peach Bellini
2 ripe large peaches, peeled, halved and stone removed
1/4 cup of sugar
1/4 cup of water
1 teaspoon Serenity Lavender’s culinary lavender
750 ml bottle of North 42 Degrees Sparkling Sauvignon Blanc, chilled
Fresh lavender sprigs to garnish
Add water into a small pot. Bring to a boil add sugar stir until completely dissolved. Take off the heat and add 1 teaspoon of Serenity Lavender’s culinary lavender. Put the lid on the pot and steep for about 20 minutes. Strain the lavender and put the lavender simple syrup mixture into the fridge until cooled completely.
Blend the peaches in a blender until smooth. Place 1 tablespoon of peach puree into a glass add 1 tablespoon of lavender simple syrup and top with chilled sparkling wine.
Decorate each glass with a lavender sprig and serve straight away!
Use 1 parts puree to 4 parts sparkling wine. Good quality peach juice can be used as a substitute.
We’ve started our holiday baking with a few of our favourites from mouth watering shortbread to chocolate fudge. At Serenity Lavender we’re always experimenting and adding lavender to different recipes to see how our favourite herb accents a recipe. Like anything in life, we’ve had some huge successes and then some less than stellar results. Over the next several weeks on Sundays we’ll be sharing some of our recipes that have been great hits and sure fire crowd pleasers. Today we thought we’d start with a classic – Lavender Shortbread! Buttery crisps with a hint of floral and citrus notes that turns this old family recipe into something spectacular!!
Servings: 5 dozen cookies
1 lb unsalted butter, softened
1 cup icing sugar
2 teaspoons Serenity Lavender culinary lavender (ground)
2¼ cups all-purpose flour
½ cup rice flour
½ teaspoon salt
Preheat oven to 325°F.
Cover bottoms of two baking sheets with parchment paper. In a large bowl, cream together the butter, sugar, lavender with an electric mixer. Mix until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add all purpose flour, rice flour and salt and beat until incorporated. Divide dough in half. Flatten into squares and wrap in plastic. Chill until firm. On a floured board, roll each square to a thickness of 3/8 inch. Cut with cookie cutters and place onto baking sheets, spacing cookies about 1 inch apart. Bake 15 to 20 minutes or until pale golden around the edges. Cool then transfer to a rack. Sprinkle with powdered sugar.
Store in an air tight container.
Photo from ilovemilkandcookies.blogspot.ca