Friday Cookbook Review: “The Chef’s Companion”

“The Chef’s Companion” Third Edition, Elizabeth Riely, Wiley Publishing, 2003

To refer to “The Chef’s Companion” as a culinary dictionary would be correct, but not all that accurate. Riely’s latest update to her classic of 1983 is part dictionary, part history lesson, and at times part lifesaver. Can’t remember the difference between chili and chile?  Don’t know when to braise and when to poach? This is the book you want handy. read the complete review here.

Easter’s right around the corner and with it, lamb. Here in Arizona, it’s also grill time, which makes this recipe from Jacques Pepin perfect.

Grilled Spicy Leg of Lamb
Serves 8-10

1/3C hoisin sauce
2T balsamic vinegar
2T chopped garlic
2T soy sauce
1T Tabsaco sauce

41/2 pound whole leg of lamb, hip pelvis bone removed, most of the fat removed from the top and hi area. Leave skin intact on lowere leg and shank area.
3/4C water

Combine all marinade ingredients in a bowl. Place trimmed leg of lamb in large plastic bag, pour marinade over all. Seal-tie the bag tightly, refrigerate overnight.

To cook, preheat your oven to 275F and heat a gas or charcoal grill. If using charcoal, use wood charcoal not briquettes which are a petroleum product. Clean the grill thoroughly and heat wood charcoal to white hot.

Remove lamb from bag, cleaning off most of the marinade, setting it aside in a roasting pan for later use. Grill the lamb for about 10 monutes, turning it son ti is nicelybrowned all over, then put it on top of the marinade in the roasting pan with 3/4C water.

Put lamb in the oven, cook for about 1 hour. Turn oven off, let lamb rest there until serving time. Adjust the time if the leg is bigger or if you like the lamb medium rather than rare. Slice, serve.

Kent McDonald is a Certified Personal Chef, living and working in Phoenix, AZ. (c) All Rights Reserved, 2009

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