Newsletter

December, 2014 — The Holiday Issue

Grilled Lamb Recipes

Celebrate this holiday season with a beautifully-roasted leg of lamb served hot off the grill. We’re offering up two recipes for your enjoyment: one rolled with a cherry hazelnut pesto; and the other with a mint goat cheese pesto. Both fillings enhance the flavor as well as the presentation, making either or both worthy centerpieces for your holiday table. For sides, we think you’ll enjoy our grilled broccoli with maple gorgonzola dressing and a sliced sweet potato roast courtesy of Smitten Kitchen.

‘Tis the Season for Giving

Since the founding of Kalamazoo Outdoor Gourmet, it has been our tradition to share what we have with those who are unable to provide for themselves. We have created a simple and easy way for you to help us give back. We call it "You like. We give." All you have to do is go to our Facebook page and like us. We’ll donate $5 to food banks in our communities for every new Facebook fan we receive between now and the end of the year.

We wish you a happy and safe holiday season.

Cheers,

Russ Faulk


Cherry Hazelnut Pesto Rolled Leg of Lamb

Grill Roasted Cherry Hazelnut Pesto Rolled Leg of Lamb

A quick and easy pesto comes together in the food processor to add festive flavor to a rolled leg of lamb roast. The impressive presentation belies the simplicity of this recipe. Add a little cherry wood smoke on the grill for even more amazing flavor.

Ingredients

For the Cherry Hazelnut Pesto:

  • 3/4 cup roasted hazelnuts (We bought raw hazelnuts and roasted them in a cast iron skillet over medium heat for about 20 minutes)
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened dried cherries
  • 1/2 cup loosely-packed flat parsley leaves
  • 2 tablespoons clarified butter, melted (We use Indian-style clarified butter called Ghee. To make your own, check out this info from Alton Brown. Make some extra to use in this Sliced Sweet Potato Roast.)
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon coarse black pepper

For the roast:

  • 5 pound boneless leg of lamb
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Fine sea salt
  • Freshly-ground black pepper
  • Butcher’s string

Instructions

Prepare the pesto by combining all ingredients in the food processor and pulsing until it reaches a fine texture.

Prepare the grill for indirect grilling at 450°F. If desired, prepare cherry wood chips for smoking (recommended).

Trim excess fat from the outside of the boned leg of lamb. Open the leg flat (with the outside of the meat facing down) to evaluate the consistency of the thickness (or lack thereof). For easier rolling, reduce the thickness of larger areas by butterflying them from the center outward. Slice from the center, being careful to stop about 1 inch from the outer edge, then lay out the sections. Then, place a zip-top freezer bag over the top of the meat and pound it to a consistent thickness. We really like this reversible meat tenderizer to get the job done.

Spread the prepared Cherry Hazelnut Pesto onto the meat, keeping roughly 1 inch from all edges. Roll the meat tightly from the narrow end toward the wide end, and then tie securely with butcher’s string every couple of inches. Brush the outside of the meat with olive oil and season liberally with salt and freshly-cracked black pepper.

Place the rolled lamb directly on the grill grate in the indirect zone, and roast with the hood closed (most of the time) until an instant-read meat thermometer inserted into the center reads 130°F for medium rare. That should require about 1 hour and 15 minutes roasting time. We suggest turning and rotating the roast every 15 minutes.

Remove the lamb from the grill and let rest on a carving board for 10 minutes before removing the butcher’s string and slicing to serve.


Mint Goat Cheese Pesto Rolled Leg of Lamb

Grilled Mint Goat Cheese Pesto Rolled Leg of Lamb

The flavor of this pesto is bright and herbaceous, and a perfect pairing for roasted lamb. It also works well as a condiment with a variety of grilled meats.

Ingredients

For the Mint Goat Cheese Pesto:

  • 1/2 cup loosely-packed mint leaves
  • 1/2 cup loosely-packed flat parsley leaves
  • 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 2 whole cloves garlic, peeled
  • Zest of 1 lemon, finely grated
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons walnut oil
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse black pepper
  • 8 ounces fresh goat cheese (chèvre)

For the roast:

  • 5 pound boneless leg of lamb
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Fine sea salt
  • Freshly-ground black pepper
  • Butcher’s string

Instructions

Prepare the pesto by combining all ingredients except the goat cheese in the food processor and pulsing until it reaches a fine texture. Add the goat cheese and process until smooth.

Prepare the grill for indirect grilling at 450°F. If desired, prepare wood chips for smoking (recommended).

Trim excess fat from the outside of the boned leg of lamb. Open the leg flat (with the outside of the meat facing down) to evaluate the consistency of the thickness (or lack thereof). For easier rolling, reduce the thickness of larger areas by butterflying them from the center outward. Slice from the center, being careful to stop about 1 inch from the outer edge, then lay out the sections. Then, place a zip-top freezer bag over the top of the meat and pound it to a consistent thickness. We really like this reversible meat tenderizer to get the job done.

Spread the prepared Mint Goat Cheese Pesto onto the meat, keeping roughly 1 inch from the edges. Roll the meat tightly from the narrow end toward the wide end, and then tie securely with butcher’s string every couple of inches. Brush the outside of the meat with olive oil and season liberally with salt and freshly-cracked black pepper.

Place the rolled lamb directly on the grill grate in the indirect zone, and roast with the hood closed (most of the time) until an instant-read meat thermometer inserted into the center reads 130°F for medium rare. That should require about 1 hour and 15 minutes roasting time. We suggest turning and rotating the roast every 15 minutes.

Remove the lamb from the grill and let rest on a carving board for 10 minutes before removing the butcher’s string and slicing to serve.


Grilled Broccoli with Maple Gorgonzola Dressing

Grilled Broccoli with Maple Gorgonzola Dressing

We have experimented with grilling broccoli many times over the years, but have never been thrilled with the results – until now. If you have tried many recipes from Kalamazoo Outdoor Gourmet, you’ve likely figured out that we put olive oil on just about everything before it hits the grill. Turns out that isn’t the right approach with broccoli, and it took a grilling session with Chef Stephanie Izard to reach this conclusion. Simply break the broccoli down into pieces and grill over a hot fire. A hot wood fire is even better. She also serves it with blue cheese, which we think is brilliant… So here’s our take on Stephanie’s grilled broccoli. Our dressing includes Gorgonzola Dolce, a sweeter gorgonzola from Italy, and a hint of maple syrup, to create a unique flavor profile.

Ingredients

For the Maple Gorgonzola Dressing:

  • 4 ounces Gorgonzola Dolce cheese, broken down into smaller pieces
  • 1 teaspoon sherry vinegar (our go to is Blis #9)
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup (we use a bourbon barrel maple syrup, also from Blis)

For the broccoli:

  • 4 pounds broccoli, cut down into bite-sized stem and floret sections

Instructions

Prepare the grill for direct grilling over a very hot fire.

Combine all dressing ingredients in a blender and pulse until smooth.

Grill the broccoli on the hottest part of the grill until browned on the edges and softened to al dente, about 5 minutes total. Turn once or twice along the way.

Remove from the grill and drizzle with dressing to serve warm.

Chef Stephanie Izard grilling broccoli on her Kalamazoo grill


Sliced Sweet Potato Roast

Grill Roasted Sliced Sweet Potato Roast

As soon as we saw this recipe from Smitten Kitchen, we knew we had to make it on the grill. A little wood smoke and slightly more intense heat really help bring out extra flavor. We have adjusted the cooking time and temperature so this can be roasted alongside our pesto rolled lamb leg.

Ingredients

  • 3 pounds garnet yams (skins left on)
  • 1 large shallot, peeled
  • 3 tablespoons melted butter (or use clarified butter to reduce the moisture content, recommended. To make your own clarified butter check out this info from Alton Brown.)
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Fine sea salt
  • Fresh-ground black pepper

Instructions

Cut off and discard the pointed ends of the yams. Slice the remainder thinly and uniformly. We used our trusty ceramic-blade Kyocera mandolin to make short and precise work of this task, slicing at 0.5mm thickness. Slice the shallot as thinly as possible as well. Reserve.

Prepare the grill for indirect grilling at 450°F. If desired, prepare wood chips for smoking during the final 30 minutes of cooking (recommended).

Whisk together the melted butter and olive oil, and pour about 1/4 of it into an 8-inch round, grill-safe baking dish or cast iron skillet. Spread evenly on the bottom and season liberally with salt and pepper.

Arrange yam slices in the dish, starting around the perimeter. After every 5 or so slices, add a sliver of shallot between yam slices. It is better to add the shallot as you go, rather than trying to insert them after all the yams a layered in place. Once the dish is filled with tightly-arranged slices, brush the remaining butter and oil mixture over the top and season liberally with salt and pepper.

Cover the dish with foil and place in the indirect zone of the grill. Roast, covered, in the indirect zone for 45 minutes. Rotate the dish halfway through for even roasting. Remove the foil cover and continue roasting for 30 minutes more so the edges of the yams become browned and crispy. Remove from the grill and let rest for 5 minutes before serving.