Getting in the grilling groove

BOOKMARK

May 24, 2006|By LAURA VOZZELLA | LAURA VOZZELLA,SUN REPORTER

Meat Club Cookbook

By Vanessa Dina, Kristina Fuller and Gemma DePalma

Weeknight Grilling With the BBQ Queens

By Karen Adler and Judith Fertig

Harvard Common Press / 2006 / $14.95

This book is a mini United Nations of grilled cuisine. Umbrian Olive Panini With Fontina and Prosciutto al Mattone. Latin Lover's Carne Asada With Orange and Red-Onion Mojo. Stir-Grilled Moo Shu Pork. Greek-Style Chicken With Stir-Grilled Carrots, Olives and Lemons.

For all that, many of the 100 dishes look simple to make. Most can be put together in 45 minutes or less, the book says. Many are designed with two meals in mind, with tips for turning leftovers into a different dish.

Star Anise-Buttered Lobster Tails couldn't have been easier, with the grilled shellfish paired with a sauce of melted butter, star anise, fresh tarragon, lemon zest and juice. The sauce wasn't bad, but I'll confess that halfway through the meal, we started dunking the lobster meat in plain melted butter. Even if you search the world over, some things just can't be improved.

laura.vozzella@baltsun.com

Heavenly Leg of Lamb With Baked Apples

Serves 6

HERB-COATED LEG OF LAMB:

1/2 garlic head, cloves peeled

1/4 cup olive oil

3 teaspoons whole-grain Dijon mustard

2 teaspoons fresh rosemary

2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves

1 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander

1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 bay leaf

freshly ground black pepper

one 5-pound leg of lamb, butterflied

FRUIT-STUFFED BAKED APPLES:

1/4 cup raisins

6 pitted dates or prunes, sliced

1/4 cup chopped walnuts

2 teaspoons packed brown sugar

1 teaspoon cinnamon

6 apples, cored and tops peeled

1/4 cup water

1/4 cup brandy

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

To prepare the lamb: In a food processor, combine the garlic, oil, mustard, rosemary, thyme, coriander, cayenne, bay leaf and pepper to taste. Puree into a paste.

Place the lamb into a 9-inch-by-13-inch glass baking dish and rub with the paste. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

To make the baked apples: 1 1/2 hours before you want to eat, preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Combine the raisins, dates, walnuts, brown sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl. Place the apples in a 9-inch-by-13-inch baking dish. Fill the apples with the date mixture.

Combine water, brandy and melted butter in a bowl. Pour over apples. Cover and bake, basting occasionally with the sauce, until apples are tender, about 1 1/4 hours. Set aside.

Meanwhile, preheat a grill to medium heat. Grill the lamb over direct heat for 15 to 20 minutes per side for rare, longer if you like it more well-done. Transfer to a large platter and cover with foil. Let stand 10 minutes before slicing the lamb across the grain. Serve with the apples and enjoy!

From "Meat Club Cookbook"

Per serving: 956 calories, 74 grams protein, 59 grams fat, 24 grams saturated fat, 32 grams carbohydrate, 3 grams fiber, 255 milligrams cholesterol, 257 milligrams sodium

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