Thursday, July 03, 2008

Colorado chef's degustation: course six...

The next course of our recently completed Colorado chef's degustation event-- technically the "entree" course-- focused on local lamb.

We decided to give our lamb course some Asian flair, marinating the locally raised lamb chops in a Mongolian marinade rich with lemongrass, Thai basil, kaffir lime leaf, garlic and ginger. The marinade is just sweet enough that it nicely caramelizes on the grill-- even if the lamb is only grilled for a few minutes (which was the case in this instance). The result is an aromatic, flavorfully spiced, and tender meat which is incomparable in taste!
Served over the lamb, our Thai Cabernet and red curry reduction-- a sauce that begins as two sauces: a classic Cabernet pan reduction married with a Thai red curry sauce which has it's base in coconut milk and fish sauce. Together, these two disparate sauces mingle to create a rich and creamy (but spicy!) blend.

Our lamb was served alongside mashed celeriac, the root of the celery plant, which brought a creamy and earthy flavor to the dish, as well as some Chinese long beans which were braised with Harissa. (Harissa is a North African hot red paste made from smoked or dried chili peppers, tomatoes, garlic, coriander, caraway, and cumin and thinned with olive oil.) The spicy, yet smokey, harissa was the perfect foil for the sweet sauce and earthy celery root, with the braised long beans adding textural crunchy contrast!
Overall, our guests favorite course of the evening, we were all too pleased to highlight the deliciously young and tender locally raised lamb. Tomorrow, the first of two plated cheese courses (which will prepare you for our recently completed 10 course chef's cheese degustation... coming soon!) Be sure to check back!

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