Thursday, December 30, 2010

Want to Wine and Dine But Short on Time? (Recipe – Rack of Lamb in Red Wine Sauce)

Getting a puppy has been such a huge blessing and source of joy for my hubby and I, but it is also not without its challenges. With Cody, we’re always trying to make sure he’s staying out of trouble, and we don’t give him free reign of the house yet; he’s a bit of a chewer – mostly on his toys, but sometimes on slippers, socks and chairs - and is still not 100% housebroken. He is usually pretty good about letting us know when he has to go outside, but he still has the rare ‘whoops’ moments.

Our weeknight dinner routine hasn’t really changed much since getting Cody; our quick and easy recipes still deliver satisfying meals in minimal time. However, I have noticed a change in my weekend cooking routine. Before Cody, when we would plan for a date night, I would almost always want to be in the kitchen a majority of the day preparing the meal. I enjoyed doing so, and I know it was appreciated.

Now with the puppy, our date nights have been mostly pushed aside. Instead of spending all of Saturday afternoon in the kitchen, we’re spending our time playing fetch, going for walks and doting on our puppy. So even on the weekends I would just be pulling dinner ideas from my typical weeknight repertoire.

Though my priorities in time management have shifted, I am realized that doesn’t have to mean we sacrifice our date nights. I needed to figure out how I could make a nice meal suitable for a romantic evening but still have time to spend with my family. So what can you prepare that sets a romantic vibe with limited time? This dish.

This meal only takes a little longer than my typical weeknight dinner menu items, but we are definitely setting the tone of a “Date Night” by straying a little from our typical weeknight proteins like chicken breast and pork chops, and splurging a little bit on things like filet mignon, or a rack of lamb. This meal is so deceptively simple, you’ll feel like you could have easily ordered it at a fancy restaurant, but you can take pride in knowing that you made it yourself, and didn’t spend your entire day in the kitchen. This meal produces maximum results with minimal effort.

The other thing I do on date night is that I plate the food for each of us as if we were getting it served to us from a restaurant. So, instead of seeing the dirty serving dishes sitting between me and my husband (which only leads me to thinking about having to wash them), I can just look across the table and see only food, wine, and my husband. The only thing left to do is to simply enjoy my lovely evening (and dinner!) with the hubby. I paired this with rosemary potato wedges and roasted carrots.

Leave the dishes in the sink. Nothing kills the ‘Date Night’ vibe like being up to your elbows in dirty dishes and soapy water, especially after a glass of wine (or two!). They won’t go anywhere. One night of romance is worth a few dirty dishes in the morning.

Trust me.

Rack of Lamb in Red Wine Sauce
Online Source

2 racks of lamb
salt and pepper
1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons olive oil

1/4 cup finely chopped onion or shallot
1 cup dry red wine, Pinot Noir is very good
1 teaspoon minced rosemary leaves
1/2 teaspoon minced thyme leaves
1 teaspoon chopped chives
1 cup beef broth
1 to 2 tablespoons butter
salt and pepper, to taste

Heat oven to 400°.
Sprinkle lamb with salt and pepper. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Place racks of lamb in skillet, meaty side down, until nicely seared. Turn to brown bottoms, letting the racks support each other. Transfer to a foil-lined roasting pan. Place pan in oven; roast for about 20 to 30 minutes.
In the same skillet, sauté onions until tender. Add wine and herbs; simmer briskly until the wine has boiled down to a syrup. Add broth and continue to simmer until reduced to about 3/4 cup. Add the butter; stir. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Serve sauce with the lamb. Makes 3/4 cup.
Cut lamb into portions and serve with the red wine sauce.

Serves 2 to 4, depending on the meat-eaters in your family


Unknown said...

New puppies are so much fun! Our dog is 13 years old and starting to slow down. Your Date Night meal looks delicious! It just goes to show, you don't have to spend hours in the kitchen to get a great meal.

Wishing you, your hubby, and your puppy a very Blessed New Year!

Caroline said...

I love learning new dishes that look impressive but require only a little bit of active time. Hope you have a blessed 2011, and I can't wait to see what this year brings for us!

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