A few weeks ago on Serious Eats I received a virulent comment from someone who was very upset about the simplicity of my recipe. And in some ways, I understand that. Why do I get to sit up high somewhere on the Internet pontificating what some people consider child’s play?
But today, I had lunch with one of my oldest friends, who also, happily, lives in the UK. She said to me, “Kerry, I work until nine every night. I don’t know how to cook. I don’t keep a stocked pantry. You have to tell me what to make.”
And as I sat there, I realized she reminded me of someone else: me! I too am in my twenties, and am in school, and don’t have a proper kitchen apparatus at this particular moment (my recipes have to be conjured up away from school–either at Mr. English’s, or when I am back in the States). Often we feel like “good” means “difficult” or “complicated.” But when it comes to food, I am taken back to one of my least favorite classes of all time: Mr. Martin’s sixth grade math. The algebra–that didn’t really stick with me. But one thing did: KISS–Mr. Martin’s mantra of Keep It Simple, Stupid. If you use terrific ingredients, and you know how (or you have someone like me to tell you!) to mix and match, food is better when it isn’t subtle, but when it’s all about a few perfect flavors simply assembled into a fresh, uncluttered meal that contrasts beautifully against our often haggard, extremely cluttered and complicated lives.
I think this week’s French in a Flash column for Serious Eats exemplifies just that. These lamb brochettes are party food for idiots–they just can’t go wrong, and they are impressive to look at, distinctive and delicious, and use authentical Provencal flavor pairings (apricot, rosemary, and olive oil–stolen from an old Papier Provence that I shared with you). All you have to do is heat a grill pan, skewer some lamb onto a rosemary twig, drizzle on some olive oil, and stir together some apricot jam and creme fraiche. I really love these, and despite their simplicity and graceful ease, I’m sure you will too! BON APP!
For the full story and recipe, as always, click here!
- 1 pound lamb loin, cut into 1-inch cubes
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 8 sticks of rosemary
- 1/2 cup crème fraîche
- 1/4 cup apricot preserves
- Salt and pepper
- Preheat a grill pan on high heat.
- Prepare the rosemary skewers by stripping off about 1/2 to 3/4 of the leaves off of each twig, so that you have an exposed "skewer" with a beautiful head of rosemary leaves. Chop up the stripped off rosemary leaves to flavor the lamb.
- Toss the lamb with the olive oil, some of the chopped rosemary, salt, and pepper. Skewer onto the rosemary sticks.
- Sear on all four sides, until just golden and crusted—1 to 2 minutes per side.
- Meanwhile, make the sauce by whisking together the crème fraîche and preserves.
- Serve the skewers hot off the grill with the sauce.