Now that the blog is finally back up and running, we can get back to our regular schedule of Stanley on Wednesdays! I did quite a bit of travel in August so I have to admit, it was nice not to worry about cooking large meals on the weekends but I'm glad to be back writing about my experience cooking through The Tucci Cookbook. It really has been overall positive minus a few burns, cuts and major fails. Speaking of fails, I have a pretty funny blooper to share with you guys. Make sure to subscribe to my newsletter for the details. That content will only be available to those who subscribe. Anyway, let's move on with Cooking With Stanley, shall we?
Starter: Spaghetti with Garlic
Main: Grilled Butterflied Leg of Lamb
Side 1: Beet Salad
Side 2: Puree of White Beans, Rosemary and Garlic
This meal was full of really great, fresh dishes and surprisingly not a ton of work. I was able to pace myself over a two-hour period of time without feeling rushed during any of it. I know two hours seems long but I honestly did take my time and did some work in between dishes as well. One thing I regret is not taking photos of the prep. I picked up beets from the farmer's market for the Beet Salad and they were incredible. I wish I had taken a picture of that haul but I was in a bit of a rush. I learned while grocery shopping that a leg of lamb is upwards of $50, at least that's what it is where I live and I'm sorry but that's just ridiculous. I knew that half my family wouldn't even eat lamb so it felt like a bad investment. Instead, I got two thick slices from leg of lamb, marinated them together and bought a few steaks for everyone else. The marinade for the leg of lamb was incredible. It honestly would have made a beautiful picture had I thrown it all in a bowl instead of a ziploc bag. Lessons learned.
The Spaghetti with Garlic was the perfect dish to accompany everything else. It had a very light flavor but was super aromatic. The Grilled Leg of Lamb was quite tasty. The marinade included red wine, oregano, sage, lemon, olive oil and a few other things. Whole sprigs of herbs and lemon quarters marinated with sliced onions in a red wine with the meat. It was tasty in an understated way, perfect for summertime.
The two sides were interesting. I never really went for beets because I just remember hating them as a kid. Surprise to me, I love beets! I kept adding more onto my plate. The salad was super simple with just a few herbs, olive oil and red wine vinegar. The beets died my hands purple for a day, that was fun. The Puree of White Beans, Rosemary and Garlic was interesting. I thought the mix would be thicker but it was more creamy then anything. I could see this as a healthier alternative to Ranch. The garlic gives it a nice kick but it's well-rounded out by the beans and rosemary. I served this with some homemade toasts that were buttered before baking. If they look a little brown, that's because I may or may not have forgotten them in the oven for a few minutes.
Overall, this was a great summer meal. There wasn't a whole lot of cooking inside the house to be done which was nice since it's been raging hot in Chicago lately. Papa Coffee couldn't get over the beets. He was so excited when he saw the Beet Salad on the table. Then all through dinner he kept say, "You know these are fresh. Can't taste one preservative in here." "Best beets I've had in a while. Not from a can, nope!" It was hilarious.
What have you been cooking up lately? Any beets recipes you'd recommend? All of a sudden I'm craving them!