Thursday, July 10, 2008
Lamb Tenders and Supposedly Spoon Bread
I have been craving spoonbread, which is a dish my mother occasionally made when I was a kid. I loved it and couldn't get enough of it but have never attempted it myself. It is a slightly custardy, cornmeal side-dish; a cross between pudding and bread. I have never attempted this recipe myself but I decide to try. However, I found the recipe to be too complex so I looked for a variation that is less time consuming. The results were good but not what I was looking for so I will have to suck it up and be patient next time.
I have defrosted lamb tenders (1 to 1 1/2 pounds) and decide to marinate and broil them. My marinade consists of about 3 tablespoons of olive oil; two cloves of rough chopped garlic; 1 sprig of fresh rosemary, also rough chopped; pinch of salt and pepper; and 2 tablespoons of red wine. I set this aside while I move on to assemble my side dishes.
I set the over on to 375 degrees and collect my ingredients. I place 4 tablespoons of butter (half a stick) into a round deep casserole baking dish and set it on the stove over medium heat for about two minutes taking care not to burn the butter. turn off the heat and let it stand there. You can also use a cast iron skillet for this recipe. Next, I place all my dry ingredients in a large bowl: 1 1/2 cups cornmeal; 1/2 cup of all-purpose flour; 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder; 1 teaspoon of salt; and 1/4 cup of sugar. Next in a separate bowl, I combine 2 eggs yolks (set the whites aside for the last step) with 1 1/4 cup of milk (you can substitute buttermilk or yogurt here). I stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and combine until smooth. Then I beat the two egg whites until stiff but not dry. I gently fold them into the batter until smooth then place the finished batter into the baking dish and put it in the oven to bake for 45 minutes.
I decide to not cook the lamb until the bread is finished because the meat will need to broil no more than 5 minutes per side. While I am waiting I periodically move the lamb around in the marinade to coat it evenly. When it is time to cook it, I set the broiler to Hi and place the lamb tenders on a broiler pan on the uppermost rack. I remove from the oven when each side has cooked for approximately 4-5 minutes and let stand.
To offset the baked bread and cooked meat, I decide to serve a cherry tomato salad on the side. I cut about 10 cherry tomatoes in half and toss them with a bit of olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper. I slice the lamb tenders into bite-sized pieces, spoon a portion of the corn bread and a serving of tomatoes.
The bread is light and fluffy but there is no sign of a pudding texture. It is tasty and I am only disappointed because I really am still craving spoonbread.