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Old 02-28-2007, 01:18 AM   #1

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Lamb loin

A recent cook:

Lamb loin, salted then rubbed with a dry rub of garlic, onion, thyme, Greek oregano, Aleppo pepper, grilled direct over very hot lump; sliced, served with a shallot-wine reduction finished with aioli and butter. Sides: wilted spinach, sauteed button mushrooms and, instead of potatoes or rice, tyropita--Greek filo pastries filled with a feta-egg blend; served with tomato-shallot-caper jam.


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Old 02-28-2007, 05:35 AM   #2
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Old 02-28-2007, 06:18 AM   #3
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That looks pretty good!
I hope this isn't negative!
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Old 02-28-2007, 08:56 AM   #4
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Boggs, incase you didn't know, Kevin is a pro chef...he plates fancy even at his house!
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Old 02-28-2007, 09:33 AM   #5
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That plate of food is smiling for the camera.
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Old 02-28-2007, 09:38 AM   #6
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More Kevin Kruger Awesomeness!
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Old 02-28-2007, 11:41 AM   #7
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I'm curious.. you "grilled" a lamb loin.... did you grill it, for a specified period of time, turn once , twice, or what ever, then move it to a cooler part of the grill to get it up to temp, say like 140*.. That's what I do when I do a PISMO on the grill, only bring it to 125, then let sit forabout 10-15 minutes ??.. looks great!!! and I like your sides ...

I dont think I've ever seen a Lamb Loin.. I'm going to Restaurant Depot today and will try and find one...

THIS has my interest...>>>>tomato-shallot-caper jam. .. beautiful trio to mix together.. Care to share that one??

Again, it all looks great !!!
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Old 02-28-2007, 12:09 PM   #8
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Man o man that looks great!
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Old 02-28-2007, 12:43 PM   #9

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wboggs, Greg is right--the meal and the plating is normal for me. But it's a good question.

Plating like this pre-dates the Food Network by many years. I (and others) plated similarly more than twenty years ago, but you're correct that, in the scheme of things, it is a relatively recent invention. (Some might call it a conceit.)

I do not recall who, if anyone, was credited for the style, and I don't doubt that there were those then (as well as those now) who might plate this way simply to create an illusion of quantity. That's not my motivation nor that of other chefs I know but I will concede that it is helpful when it comes to portrioning the smaller-quantity items on a plate--things like condiments, edible garnishes, smaller sides, etc. For instance, the tomato-shallot-caper jam--just a dollop on one end of one tyropita--would have looked minuscule if alone, worse if relegated to a little side cup or dish. One would have had to increase the quantity just to make it look good. Likewise, the button mushrooms (a serving of just 3 or 4 per plate) would be lost in a side dish (though they'd work if off by themselves on a plate). So, it's a visual thing with an eye to cost effectiveness.

Plating for visual height can make a plate arresting. But it is not always appropriate and I don't always do it. An example: I enjoy pulled pork dinners with sides of crisp coleslaw, spicy beans, turnip greens and cornbread. I think all these items work well together taste-wise, but how could I possibly plate for height in a way that made sense and looked good? I couldn't. Conversely, for a plate I did not too long ago, height made the plate look best and made perfect sense to me. The meal was of spit-roasted poussins (small chickens), served halved, one half per plate, grilled polenta rounds, grilled fingerling potatoes and grilled asparagus. The sauce was roasted garlic jus. I grilled the asparagus whole but halved them crosswise for plating, putting the halves (4) off-center on an oval plate crossing each other. This gave me a little height and I placed three grilled polents rounds on the asparagus, leaning on it and slightly overlapping wach other. Then I placed the poussin half--the leg end--on the polenta, the breast end was on the plate. This not only gave me more height, but the angle of the poussin (breast lower than the leg end) allowed juices to flow toward the breast, keeping it moister. The fingelings (which I'd halved lengthwise for grilling) were interspersed with the asparagus tips on the plate next to the breast. I drizzled a little sauce on the leg end and it, combined with the natural juices dripping from the underside of the leg end, moistened the polenta nicely. The rest of the sauce I served in ramekins on the side. So, the motivation can be one of cohesiveness of flavors and textures, complements and interesting contrasts, and that is most often my motivation for planning a meal and plating this way.

Hope this makes sense.
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Old 02-28-2007, 12:50 PM   #10
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Man that looks awsome..thanks for the info as well
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Old 02-28-2007, 01:24 PM   #11

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Thanks, witt.

Bob--I grilled it like a steak, direct, over very hot lump. Because lamb loin is lean (and relatively small--they are about the size of pork tenderloins but are not tapered at one end) it cooks quickly. Sear well, flip, sear well--done. At lower cook temps they can be moved off to finish but at high temps it's not necessary.

Lamb loins are hard to find. I cannot get them around here. These I bought at a Trader Joe's in Tucson while I was on the road, and stuck them in my freezer. I have looked at other TJ's and have not found them but I cannot imagine that they are the only one that carries them. I will be in Vegas next week and plan to look in that one. Another thing the Tucson Joe's has that I have only found rarely at other TJ's: lamb tenderloins--and they're just great!

The jam cam out of my head as I made it but I'm sure I can recall the flow closely enough:

I used one container of ripe grape tomatoes, halved lengthwise; 3 shallots, peeled and finely chopped, a pinch of minced fresh thyme leaves (a pinch of dried would be fine), a little olive oil, a good splash--say 2-3 tablespoons--of good quality balsamic; salt and a few turns of the green peppercorn mill to taste; a little sugar--to taste; about 1.5 tablespoons nonpareil capers, rinsed.

Heat a pan over med and sweat the shallots in the oil till very soft, adding a pinch of salt and the thyme pinch at any point during. Increase the heat to med-high, add the halved grape tomatoes and another pinch of salt and allow to warm through and release some juices, about 3-4 min. Add the balsamic and stir well. Cook 2 min (the skins will start to come off the tomatoes) then add a little sugar (about 1 T). Cook till the sugar dissolves, about 1-2 min more. Add a little salt, if desired, and some ground green pepper.

Remove the mix to a mini-processor, the container for a handblender, or a blender. Puree the mixture by pulsing the blender (or whatever you're using) in short pulses, scraping down the sides of the container frequently. What I was looking for was the tomato skins to be rendered small enough to be unobtrusive but not have the mixture completely smooth.) Add half the capers, pulse briefly, then stir in the rest of the capers. Adjust salt, pepper and sugar; done.
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Old 02-28-2007, 04:42 PM   #12
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Kevin. I can't even begin to imagine how good that tastes. It looks awesome. I like lamb anyway. I always go the easy route with it. EVOO and Garlic. I am too chicken to try anything like you do.
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Old 03-01-2007, 02:48 PM   #13
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Thanks for the details
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Old 03-01-2007, 03:53 PM   #14
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do you make your own tyropita?

I make about 4 different kinds my favorite being a leek and ricotta mix.


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