What's the best way to get rid of a murder weapon?
A. Throw it into a very large, very deep body of water.
(Recommended for firearms.)
B. Clean it well and hide it in plain sight.
(Not recommended for firearms.)
C. Use a giant icicle to commit the murder.
(It'll melt away with no trace.)
D. Roast at 325F for twenty minutes per pound.
(Serve medium rare.)
Although options A through C have probably all cropped up on the trashy crime procedural television shows I won't confess to watching, it is option D that is embraced by the main character in my inspiration for the Spring 2008 edition of Novel Food.
here), but let's say that you'll never look at a leg of lamb quite the same way again.
The menu presented in "Lamb" consists of roast leg of lamb, tinned peas, Idaho potatoes, and a storebought slice of cheesecake. Using this basic menu as a guide, I prepared roast leg of lamb seasoned with garlic and rosemary, frozen peas with mint and olive oil, classic mashed potatoes, and a simple lemon cheesecake. I had vegetarians in attendance, so I also added leek tart to the menu.
I have dim recollections of my mother trying to prepare roast lamb when I was a child, but this was the first time I ever tried it myself. I used a fairly small bone-in roast, weighing around two and a half pounds. I seasoned the lamb with salt and black pepper, rubbed it with olive oil, and stuck it all over with slivers of garlic before tucking sprigs of rosemary into the string around the roast.
Google and conventional cookbooks all offered similar advice for cooking: fifteen minutes at 400F, then twenty minutes per pound at 325F, for a total cooking time of one hour and five minutes. The meat came out more medium well than medium, but it was moist and tender, so I'm not complaining. This is the roast in the oven, along with the leek tarts:
I'm afraid we were all very hungry by the time the food was ready, so no-one remembered to take more pictures until we'd already started eating. Clockwise from the fork: mashed potatoes, peas, lamb, leek tart, fresh crusty bread.
Fortunately, we were better about remembering to take photos of the cheesecake. I think there's something almost retro about this one:
But I won't make any jokes about fifties housewives. We've seen what happens when you piss them off.
I like my cheesecake dense and not too sweet. This one is perfumed with lemon zest, and the almond extract makes for an interesting change from the standard vanilla.
(Serves one, for a week.)
Preheat oven to 350F.
First, the crust. Take one package of Lorna Doones or some similar shortbread-like cookie, put them in a Ziploc bag, and whale on them with a rolling pin until they've been properly pulverized. This is excellent stress relief if you've had a long, frustrating day.
Mix the crumbs with half a stick of melted butter. Press into an eight-inch pie pan and bake for ten to fifteen minutes, or until lightly browned. Remove from oven. Set aside to cool.
For the filling, take twelve ounces (a block and a half) of cream cheese at room temperature and pull the blocks into small pieces. It sounds odd, but it'll almost tear into neat chunks. Drop them into a food processor and add two-thirds of a cup of sugar and the zest from one lemon. Pulse for a few minutes, until the cheese and the sugar have made a grainy mess. Then add one egg and a few drops of almond extract, and leave the machine on until the mixture is smooth and creamy.
Spoon into crust. Bake for twenty-five minutes, or until filling puffs up slightly. Remove from oven and allow to cool. Chill in fridge for at least one hour before serving. Fruit compote makes a good accompaniment, but if you'd rather emphasize the lemony quality of the cheesecake, you can mix up a thin glaze with fresh lemon juice and a little icing sugar.