Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Take Comfort In Me

Rainy Day in Central ParkIt's dark now; dark when I awaken, and dark when I finish work for the day. My internal clock falls back an hour in its own way. I nest. I conserve my energy. I forego the television and rely on my books. I turn down invitations. I don't stray too far from my kitchen. And on a rainy day like this one, I plot a meal that will comfort like an old pair of slippers.
For me, when I want to feel cozy and safe, it's meat and potatoes roasting in a hot oven. The heat and smells from the kitchen permeate the rest of the house. I am blanketed in the familiar as if in a fog of nostalgia and I am gladdened. Time slows down, and I become aware of every step in my preparation, but observe as if outside myself. These hands know just what to do; the knives and pans feel like old friends. There is no conscious effort on my part. Instinct and muscle memory take over. Even anticipation falls away, replaced with a certitude that all is well. For an hour or two the internal dialogue is quieted and I am at peace.
Herb roasted leg of lamb and Confetti potatoes
Browing leg of lamb
Coat a boneless leg of lamb with chopped rosemary, thyme, garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper. Brown on all sides in a large pan with 2 Tbsp of olive oil, 10-15 minutes total.
Confetti potatoesPotatoes coated in oil, salt and pepper
While meat is browning, quarter purple, red and gold potatoes and toss with 1 Tbsp olive oil, salt and pepper.
Add potatoes to pan
Add the potatoes to the pan and transfer to a 450° pre-heated oven on the lower-middle rack. Cook approximately 20 minutes per pound, or until meat reaches an internal temperature of 135° for rare, 145° for medium.
Roasted leg of lamb with Confetti potatoesLamb and potatoes ready for serving.
Remove roasted lamb from pan allowing it to rest covered with aluminum foil for 20 minutes. Return the potatoes to the oven to crisp up if you prefer. Cut medium-sized slices and serve with potatoes and a good Cabernet Sauvignon, like Stag's Leap 2005 Artemis from the Arcadia Vineyard in the Napa Valley.
Thanks for taking the time - Blog O. Food

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