Monday, April 11, 2011

April Dinner Party {Monthly Menu}

Here in Colorado, we have relatively mild winters, but it can snow as early as September and as late as May. This winter we've had gorgeous weather, and spring seems to have arrived early. Lucky us! But Colorado has a short growing season so we still have to wait another month for our local farmer's market to open... and even longer to get some really good local produce. Still, we've been chomping at the proverbial bit to sample some typical spring fare. For our April dinner party we decided to focus on lamb, asparagus, artichoke, and rhubarb.

April Dinner Party Menu

The lamb sausage patties, while not gorgeous (note the suspicious lack of photos!), were so good and beyond easy. I was initially considering a leg of lamb or something a bit more grand, but I was won over by the great reviews of this recipe and the relatively inexpensive cost of ground lamb.

Lamb Sausage Patties with Fresh Mint, Feta, and Garlic

Bon Appetit

  • 1 1/2 pounds cup ground lamb shoulder
  • 2 large garlic cloves, pressed
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons coarse kosher salt
  • 1/3 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh mint
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
Place lamb in large bowl. Sprinkle garlic and salt over. Gently toss lamb to blend. Combine feta and mint in small bowl.
Divide lamb into 12 equal mounds. Using damp hands, shape each into ball. Working with 1 ball at a time, poke thumb into center to make hole. Press 1 teaspoon feta-mint filling into hole. Pinch hole closed, then press ball between palms to flatten into 3/4-inch-thick disk. Repeat with remaining lamb and feta-mint filling.
Preheat oven to 250°F. Heat olive oil in heavy large skillet over medium heat. Working in 2 batches, cook lamb sausages until browned on both sides and cooked to desired doneness, about 3 minutes per side for medium. Transfer sausages to rimmed baking sheet and place in oven to keep warm. Serve hot.

  • This was the first time that I ever attempted stuffed artichokes, and I'm not sure that I'll do them again! While they were tasty, it seemed like a lot of extra fuss for a food which is really at its best steamed and then dipped in butter.
    Speaking of extra fuss, the delicious ricotta gnudi required four days to make! But they were really delicious, and the best part was the fact that my toddler liked them too! Do you think she appreciated the touch of truffle? She clearly has a very refined palate.
    Sarah whipped up these rustic strawberry rhubarb tarts using the seriously awesome pastry crust from Alice Waters' Art of Simple Food. So good.
    You may have noticed that we took a small tour around the Mediterranean for this menu. The lamb was Greek, the artichokes and the gnudi were Italian... where did those rustic tarts fit in? Well, that's just pure Americana I suppose. Well, our cocktail was French. We decided to try out some pastis, the anise-flavored liqueur. We still have some homemade grenadine on hand, so we poured ourselves some tomates, pastis with grenadine. If you aren't a big fan of licorice, this one is not for you.
    We listened to:


  1. My mouth is watering. The pictures are beautiful!!

  2. Such a wonderful and complete dinner! Well done :) The stuffed artichokes looks great and ricotta gnudi is just delicious!

  3. this all looks so so so fabulous. I also love that you didn't post pictures of the ugly lamb. I swear, the best tasting stuff always looks the worst in photos. :)


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