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This is what we had for Easter Dinner

Recipe courtesy of Susan Spicer's cookbook, "Crescent City Cooking"


Serves 4
Prep time: about 45 minutes


3 ounces fresh goat cheese, at room temperature
1/4 pound pancetta, diced and cooked until crisp
2 tablespoons diced marinated sun-dried tomatoes
1 teaspoon herbes de Provence or fresh herbs of your choice (such as rosemary, thyme, and/or basil)
1 garlic clove, minced

This filling can be made one day in advance. Using a fork, combine the goat cheese, pancetta, tomatoes, herbs, and garlic in a small bowl. Chill the mixture for a few minutes to allow the flavors to meld. When ready to use it, let the cheese mixture soften slightly at room temperature.


1 cup Zinfandel or full-flavored red wine
1 medium shallot, finely minced
2 sprigs fresh thyme or rosemary, or a combination
2 cups lamb stock (or substitute rich Chicken Stock [see book for recipe])
2 tablespoons butter, cut in four pieces
Salt and pepper

Place the wine, shallot, and herb in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer until the liquid is reduced by half. Add the stock, bring to a boil, then lower the heat and let it simmer until reduced to 1/2 cup of liquid. Remove the herb sprigs.

Whisk in the butter, 1 piece at a time. The sauce should be glossy and slightly syrupy (but not so thick that it sticks your lips together; add a tablespoon or two of hot water if it gets too thick). Taste and season with salt and pepper.


1 1/2 pounds boneless lamb loin, cut into 4 (6-ounce) portions
Salt and pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
Goat Cheese Filling
Zinfandel Sauce

Season the lamb with salt and pepper. Heat the olive oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat until almost smoking. Sear the lamb on both sides for a minute or so, to brown, and then reduce the heat and cook each side 3–4 minutes longer. Transfer to a plate and let rest. You may serve the loins whole or sliced, with equal portions of the goat cheese mixture crumbled along the top and Zinfandel sauce spooned over it.



* 1 1/2 tablespoons good olive oil
* 1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
* 3 cups chopped leeks, white and light green parts (2 leeks)
* 1 cup chopped fennel
* 1 1/2 cups Arborio rice
* 2/3 cup dry white wine
* 4 to 5 cups simmering chicken stock, preferably homemade
* 1 pound thin asparagus
* 10 ounces frozen peas, defrosted, or 1 1/2 cups shelled fresh peas
* 1 tablespoon freshly grated lemon zest (2 lemons)
* Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
* 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
* 1/3 cup mascarpone cheese, preferably Italian
* 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan, plus extra for serving
* 3 tablespoons minced fresh chives, plus extra for serving


Heat the olive oil and butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the leeks and fennel and saute for 5 to 7 minutes, until tender. Add the rice and stir for a minute to coat with the vegetables, oil, and butter. Add the white wine and simmer over low heat, stirring constantly, until most of the wine has been absorbed. Add the chicken stock, 2 ladles at a time, stirring almost constantly and waiting for the stock to be absorbed before adding more. This process should take 25 to 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, cut the asparagus diagonally in 1 1/2-inch lengths and discard the tough ends. Blanch in boiling salted water for 4 to 5 minutes, until al dente. Drain and cool immediately in ice water. (If using fresh peas, blanch them in boiling water for a few minutes until the starchiness is gone.)

When the risotto has been cooking for 15 minutes, drain the asparagus and add it to the risotto with the peas, lemon zest, 2 teaspoons salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper. Continue cooking and adding stock, stirring almost constantly, until the rice is tender but still firm.

Whisk the lemon juice and mascarpone together in a small bowl. When the risotto is done, turn off the heat and stir in the mascarpone mixture plus the Parmesan cheese and chives. Set aside, off the heat, for a few minutes, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and serve hot with a sprinkling of chives and more Parmesan cheese.

We used frozen asparagus, and it came out fine. The only thing I would do differently next time is add the peas and asparagus toward the end, so they were crispier.

ToniAnne made popovers to go with the meal, based loosely on a Yorkshire Pud recipe, and they were heavenly to sop up the Zinfandel sauce with, even though she said they were lousy as popovers.

The Old Wolf disagrees - this was one of the nicest Easter dinners I've ever had.

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Apr. 4th, 2010 11:31 pm (UTC)
And I was happy with ribs and mashed potatoes!

Purrr...you and I were made for holiday meals. And family gatherings--always something good at a wedding reception.

If you ever make your way to this part of the world, I need to take you to Mandarin, a Chinese/Western buffet restaurant in the Toronto area. You'll put them out of business ;)
Apr. 5th, 2010 03:50 am (UTC)
Hm. Let's see if we can make it happen!''
Apr. 5th, 2010 02:03 am (UTC)
Apr. 5th, 2010 03:52 am (UTC)
By the dysfunctional pancreas of Mogg's diabetic uncle... those look decadently good!
Apr. 5th, 2010 01:27 pm (UTC)
Sounds really good Olde Wolf

But all i had was Spam Lamb with a order of taters

Wolf Lynx
Apr. 5th, 2010 03:21 pm (UTC)
Would have enjoyed sharing those with you, if only for the company!


The Old Wolf

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