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This tasty pairing is party ready!
It’s my favorite time of year and I’m not talking about the holidays. Sure presents and cookies and tree-trimming are nice, but what has me feeling like a kid at Christmas is the brand new season of Top Chef kicking off this Thursday. I have been a fan of the show from the very first episode and am consistently impressed by the caliber of talent, the out-of-the-box culinary techniques, and of course the chefs’ ability to turn out impressive dishes against the ticking clock.
This year’s competition takes place in Colorado, where the altitude and some uniquely challenging locations up the ante in an already fierce competition. While the challenges are sometimes heated and always intense, the show reflects the camaraderie you feel in a restaurant kitchen instead of the snarky, overly dramatic moments many reality shows favor. I also find it especially heartening to see that in the seemingly male-dominated culinary world, half of the chefs competing this season are women.
I’ve partnered with Bravo Top Chef and The Feedfeed today for a special post perfectly suited for your Top Chef premiere viewing party. Inspired by the Colorado locale, I’ve crafted a food and drink pairing of roasted lamb crostini and a craft beer cocktail that will transport you to the Rockies. A boneless leg of lamb is slathered with garlic and herb butter and roasted until tender and juicy. Thin slices of lamb are then piled onto crisp crostini and topped with a dollop of minted goat cheese spread and some quick pickled onions. The partner to these delectable bites is a jazzed up craft beer cocktail. Mint, fresh lemon and a drop of sugar are muddled together with bourbon and orange liqueur and topped off with a coppery Belgian dubbel. The ale cuts the gaminess of the lamb without overshadowing it and the fresh mint in the cocktail and crostini are the perfect compliment.
So gather your friends and mark your calendars for this Thursday, December 7 at 10/9c on Bravo when Top Chef returns for a supersize premiere. And be sure to follow @BravoTopChef on Instagram for information about the competing chefs and for updates throughout the season. I cannot wait to see what the chefs will be cooking up!
- 3 lb boneless leg of lamb, trimmed and tied
- 4 Tbsp unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 Tbsp parsley, minced
- 2 Tbsp thyme, minced
- Kosher salt and pepper
- 1 large red onion, peeled, halved and thinly sliced into half moons
- 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 2/3 cup water
- 1 Tbsp kosher salt
- 4 oz goat cheese, chevre, softened
- 6 oz creme fraiche
- 1 Tbsp fresh mint, minced
- 1/2 tsp lemon zest
- Salt and pepper
- 1 baguette, thinly sliced on the bias
- Olive oil
- Salt and pepper
- minced fresh mint, for garnish
Remove the lamb from the refrigerator and allow it to come to room temperature (at least 1 hour) and preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
Mix all the ingredients together until combined.
Rub the butter mixture all over the lamb. Roast, uncovered, for 15 mins.
After the lamb has roasted for 15 mins at 450 degrees, reduce the oven temperature to 400 degrees and continue to roast, basting occasionally, until an internal temperature of 130 degrees is reached (medium rare), about 45 mins.
Remove the pan from the oven and cover the lamb with foil. Allow the lamb to roast for at least 15 mins before slicing. Remove the butchers twine and slice the lamb very thinly.
Place the onions in a medium non-reactive bowl.
Combine vinegar, sugar, water and salt in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil and stir to dissolve the sugar and salt. Pour over onions.
Cover onions and refrigerate until ready to use. Leftover onions will keep in the pickling solution for at least a week in the refrigerator.
Beat all of the ingredients together with an electric mixer until well combined.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and spread the sliced bread on a sheet tray. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Bake for 10-15 mins or until golden brown.
Top the toasted bread slices with the sliced lamb, a dollop of the goat cheese spread, pickled onions and a sprinkle of fresh mint.
- 1 lemon slice
- 1 sprig fresh mint
- 1/4 tsp sugar
- 1 oz bourbon
- 1/2 oz orange liqueur (Grand Marnier)
- 6 oz Dubbel Belgian beer
Muddle the lemon slice, fresh mint and sugar in the bottom of a cocktail glass.
Stir in the bourbon and orange liqueur and top with beer.