Lamb is of course the focus of our Lamb Supper Clubs. However, the apps, sides, desserts and drinks have all been getting more and more elaborate each time. Our final one, where we served Braised Lamb Shanks, was no exception.
This time we had two fabulous batches of bread, which were absolutely critical for sopping up all of the braised lamby goodness. I baked a very large country miche and someone else brought a couple of no-knead breads, cooked using the Cooks’ Illustrated recipe.
Even though it has been a mild winter, it is still winter. What better to take the chill out, than a nice spiced rum punch? Of course, having a real punch set only makes it better.
What makes a cheese (hello Humboldt Fog!) and pate plate even better? Why homemade crackers, made using Thomas Keller’s secret recipe of course!
You may remember this tiny tea cups from our last Lamb Supper. We used them to sample the variety of Greek Liquors we had all accumulated. Turns out they are also perfect for serving small samples of delicious squash soup. Pinkies up!
Of course a little greenery is always needed. This salad of butter lettuce, shined with grapefruit and sunflower seeds sprinkled throughout.
If I didn’t make it clear earlierâ€¦ we had a lot of very good bread, and everyone was happy.
Clearly we went out of our ways to put together a complete meal. A meal wouldn’t be complete though without dessert and we went all out. We had apple galette, chestnut ice cream, hazelnut meringue cookies made with the left egg whites from the ice cream and chocolate dipped cherry biscotti. Better yet, the ice cream was made with candied chestnuts that from one of the guest’s family chestnut grove in France. Best of all, there were left overs so everyone left with a bag of cookies. I ate mine for breakfast.
Chestnut ice cream
- 1 1/2 cups cream
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1/2 cup sugar
- pinch salt
- 4 egg yolks
- 1 cup chestnut spread
- 1/2 cup chopped sweetened chestnuts
- Make an ice bath in a large bowl using ice and water. Place a medium bowl in the bath and then place a strainer over the bowl.
- In a small pan, heat 1/2 cup of cream, the milk, the sugar, and the salt, stirring constantly until the sugar dissolves. Remove from the heat. Lightly beat the egg yolks, then add just a drop or two of milk. Mix the milk into the eggs, then add another drop or so, continuing the process a couple more times until the eggs are tempered. Add the rest of the milk to the eggs, then pour the mixture back into the pan. Heat, stirring constantly with a heatproof spatula, until the mixture thickens enough to coat the spatula. Pour the mixture through the strainer, whisk in the remaining 1 cup of cream and the chestnut puree, then stir until cooled. Pour into a jar and refrigerate for at least a couple of hours or preferably overnight.
- Transfer the ice cream base to an ice cream mixer and freeze according to the machineâ€™s instructions. When the ice cream is just about ready, add in the chopped chestnuts