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Our Easter Dinner, Oaxaca Deal Extended until Thursday, April 21

By Jane Butel  April 19, 2022

Easter Dinner has always been a very special family and friends time.  This year my daughter, granddaughter and her husband and two close fiends shared Easter dinner with us.  I had not made Lamb ala Greque for a long time and decided to prepare it this year.  ( I originally developed the recipe for my Southwestern Grill Cookbook.)  I like to grill it in a shallow pan to save the juices and keep the marinade surrounding the roast.  You can roast it in the oven if you prefer.  Honestly, I got so busy serving, I forgot to take pictures.  I did take a picture of our tulips and daffodils.

I created the marinade on Saturday for roasting on Sunday.  The marinade is loaded with fresh garlic, lemon, olive oil, fresh mint and Mediterranean oregano, making for a very yummy roast.  I served it with my favorite Jalapeno jelly, which I had to refill the little serving container twice.

Along with the Lamb, I served a Wild Rice Pilaf that everyone just loved and wanted the recipe, which I got from the Chef at the  Cloudcroft Inn in New Mexico  The other sides were steamed asparagus with Bearnaise Sauce and a wild green salad with fresh pineapple and honey roasted almond slivers with a Lemon Honey Dressing.  Dessert was Strawberry Shortcake with Lavender Whipped Cream.  The cake I always use is the Welsh or Feather cake from my Father's Mother, which I have previously shared.    I am sharing the  Lamb Roast and the Wild Rice PIlaf recipes with you.

We had a great response for our Oaxaca Culinary Tour June 14 - 20, 2022 Special, with some requesting an extension, so I am extending  that special until this Thursday, April 21 at midnight.  Pictured is an Oaxacan Clayuda. (This just may be my last time to conduct this tour, so if it is on your bucket list, I hope you can make it.)

We still have a few openings for this Thursday evening, April 21 at 5 PM, New Mexican Favorites class.   Here's the menu--

  • Salsa Verde                                                   
  • Salsa Rojo
  • Blue Corn Crusted Chile Rellenos with Red Chile Sauce
  • Traditional Red Chile Beef Tamales
  • Green Chile Chicken Enchiladas
  • Perfect Margaritas
  • Flan Caramelisado

We also  have a few openings for our weekend class which starts at the end of next week,  April 29 -May 1.  The menus are available byclicking on the weekend class and then menu on my website www.janebutelcooking.com.

Taking a break and cooking is a great way to enjoy Spring!

Here's  my two favorite recipes-- 

BUTTERFLIED LEG of LAMB ala GREQUE

I’ve long loved leg of lamb served with grilled fennel, carrots and potatoes, it’s marvelous and often frequents our Easter table.  Or you can serve other side dishes as I did this year.

Yield: 8 to 10 servings

1 (4-to-5 lb.) whole leg of lamb, butterflied and trimmed of hard fat and parchment-like covering

8 cloves garlic, minced

3 Tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

3 to 4 Tablespoons virgin olive oil, preferably Greek

2 Tablespoons fresh mint leaves or 2 teaspoons dried mint

2 Tablespoons fresh Mediterranean or 2 teaspoons dried oregano

1 teaspoon salt

Freshly ground black pepper

2 heads fennel, quartered, optional

8 to 10 carrots, halved, optional

10 medium new potatoes, halved lengthwise, optional

1. Have your butcher de-bone a leg of lamb, telling him not to tie it. Combine garlic, lemon juice and 2 Tablespoons of the olive oil in a small bowl. Spread half of mixture over inside surface of lamb, reserving the remainder for the outside. Place mint and oregano leaves on the inside surface of the lamb; then roll and tie together with kitchen twine. Apply remaining garlic mixture to the outside. Season with black pepper. Allow to stand 2 hours at room temperature or overnight in the refrigerator.

2. Preheat grill to medium-high or 450°F (230C). If using charcoal, create two banks of coals for an indirect fire. If using electric or gas, then use the heating units at the sides only, not the middle, for best cooking. Place rack about 6 inches above heat. After 20 minutes, turn the heat to 325 F or a medium heat. Turn after 30 minutes.  Roast one hour or until a meat thermometer inserted in  the leanest portion registers 135 for rare--140 flor medium rare.  Roast will be most moist if not roasted until medium or well done.

3. Lightly brush vegetables with remaining olive oil and place on rack, covering grill if possible. Cook lamb until it reaches desired doneness or about 1 ½ hours total cooking time for medium-rare, turning after 45 minutes. Grill vegetables until fork tender, turning as they cook. If using charcoal, replenish hot coals after 1 hour. Allow roast to stand about 20 minutes before carving.

Note: You can also roast the lamb in an oven using the same temperatures recommended above and for the same timing.

Reprinted with permission from Jane Butel’s Southwestern Grill

WILD RICE PILAF

This is by far and away the best Wild Rice Pilaf I have ever tasted.  After having it served alongside a Quail dinner, I asked the Chef for the recipe and he generously shared it.  The recipe makes enough for two to three meals for 4 to 6 people each and it freezes beautifully.  When preparing this dish, remember to plan ahead—it takes a long time to bake and then sit.  You can make it one day and in a day or two, reheat for about 15 to 20 minutes at 350F or until hot. 

Cooking time:  1 ½  hours

Yield:  12 to 18 servings 

½ cup unsalted sweet butter

½ pound fresh mushrooms, sliced or 1, 4 ounce can

1 clove garlic, minced

1 cup wild rice

2 Tablespoons minced green pepper

½ cup slivered almonds

1 teaspoon salt

Several grinds black pepper

3 cups chicken broth 

  1. Preheat the oven to 350F.  In a Pyrex or tempered glass 8 by 12 inch pan, place the butter and process in the microwave until melted, then add all of the remaining ingredients except the broth and  cook for another 2 minutes in the microwave, stirring once or twice.  Be sure to place a sheet of waxed paper over the pan to keep the ingredients from bursting up. Or, if you do not have a Pyrex baking dish, then use a skillet and melt the butter and cook the remaining ingredients, except the broth until well coated.  If microwaving, stir in the broth and cover tightly with aluminum foil or a lid. 
  1. If cooking conventionally, place in a 8 or 9 by 12 inch pan and place the lid on top or cover with foil.  Bake 1 and ½ hours.  Remove the lid or foil briefly and stir to mix well. The mixture will be rather liquid, then cover and let set for an hour or so or until cool.  By then, all of the liquid should be absorbed.  You can serve immediately or refrigerate and heat for a later meal.

Reprinted with permission from Jane Butel’s  FREEZER COOKBOOK.

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