Lamb & Risotto (and a cute picture of my cat!)

Yesterday morning I got a nice surprise from the news website called Salon.com—Jim’s book was reviewed in a headline article! A very thoughtful article about drug-use in America, Jim’s review came after one on the history of crystal meth. The author had very positive praise about LDJ, despite how despairing and depressing the book actually is (don’t worry—he has a happy, well-fed life now!) So, it goes without saying, we had to celebrate.

Two recipes from the latest Bon Appetit caught my eye recently, but I’d been too busy to cook a good meal most nights. Jim’s article made the perfect excuse to drop everything for the night and cook, and Risottto with Leeks and Mushrooms and Gordon Ramsey’s Rack of Lamb made the menu.

I never fell in with the Gordon Ramsey-bonanza, but I must say I’m intrigued by his food. I mean, it’s got to be good for him to get away with being such a cad, right? And while I don’t see myself spending a bahgillion dollars eating at the London anytime soon, cooking one of his dishes is the next best thing.

The issue featured his Cheese and Herb Crusted Rack of Lamb, which touted such ingredients as fresh mint, thyme, and parsley, and lots of parmesan cheese. The lamb also called for English Mustard, and I didn’t know this meant Coleman’s until 5 minutes ago when I googled it (Bon Appetite, god damn you, explain yourself!) so I bought the hottest mustard I could find (wasn’t very hot) and added horseradish to the recipe. The result was delicious—tangy and pungent. The pungency, however, was nicely offset by the mint and parsley that was minced up with the breadcrumbs and cheese, making up the topping on the lamb. The cool flat taste of mint shined, my favorite element in the dish. I’m pretty excited to remake this recipe using Coleman’s, too.

The risotto though, I had my problems with. I thought the combination of lots of butter, white truffle oil, and leeks created a taste that was too full-bodied. When onion vegetables are cooked in fat, they tend to produce a strong, sulphuric taste—a taste I love, though not, I think, in combination with truffle oil. The white onion stood up to the butter and oil, holding some of it’s onion-pungency, and it was the best taste out of the dish. The leeks, however, became very sulphuric in combination with the truffle oil and butter, a taste that, to me, reminds me of battery acid. That said, no, I don’t drink battery acid often, but I do acutely remember being about 8 and putting a battery, about to go bad and burst, into my mouth (a dare of course) and then having this clinging, skin-on-your-tongue and, roof-of-the-mouth overwhelming taste in my mouth. But I guess, analyzing myself now, I’m probably the only nut out there (save for the other nuts who suck batteries) who wouldn’t like this flavor.

Jim, on the other hand, raved about the risotto, calling me insane for my disappointment. After all, I made this dinner as a celebration for him, right? (Yeah, right.)