The 2023 spring semester at Ozarks Technical Community College where I teach culinary arts is halfway over with the spring break upon us. Here in this post, I will share two of my favorite dishes that you can make at home. The first one is Grilled Lamb Chops with Kalamata Olive Relish and Mediterranean Salad. The Second one is Stuffed Chicken Breast with Spinach, Fontina, and Wild Mushrooms. Both of these recipes were from kitchen labs in my Fabrication class where we first fabricate (butcher) the cuts in the first class of the week and then cook them in the next class.
Fabricating the lamb rack chops and cleaning the bones is also known as Frenching the chops which is done by cutting the meat between the bones and then scraping the chops with the back of a boning knife to clean off all the sinew.
Here is my recipe for the dish:
Grilled Lamb Chops with Kalamata Olive Relish
Yield: 24 each or 8 portions
Grilled Lamb Chops
24 single-bone lamb pork chops marinated for 2 hours in balsamic vinaigrette
Kosher salt and fresh black pepper for seasoning
Kalamata Olive Relish
1 cup Kalamata olives: rinsed, blanched, and chopped
¼ cup red onion: finely diced and blanched
¼ cup red bell pepper: finely diced and blanched
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 cup Roma tomatoes: skin and seeds removed and finely diced
¼ cup chopped parsley
1 tablespoon chopped basil
1 tablespoon sherry or balsamic vinegar
¼ cup olive oil
½ teaspoon fresh pepper
1 quart spring mixed greens
1 quart chopped romaine lettuce
1 cup artichoke hearts (canned) cut into quarters
1 cup diced Roma tomatoes
½ cup red onion cut in julienne
1 cup feta cheese in crumbles
2 cups croutons
balsamic vinaigrette to taste
Mix all ingredients for olive relish and set aside.
Over hot coals, grill the lamb chops to medium rare (130˚ F).
Toss together all salad ingredients with balsamic vinaigrette.
Place salad in a large bowl and top with the lamb chops. Finish with olive relish.
Yield 2 ½ cups (8-10 salads)
½ cup finely chopped shallots
½ cup Balsamic Vinegar
1 1/2 Tbl Black pepper
1 ½ tsp Granulated sugar
1 ½ tsp Chopped fresh basil
½ tsp Salt
1 ½ cups Extra virgin olive oil
Mix shallots, vinegar, pepper, sugar, basil, and salt
Whisk in the oil to form a simple vinaigrette or emulsify in a blender
This next dish is my stuffed Airline Chicken Breast with Spinach, Fontina Cheese, and Wild Mushrooms. This is an easy stuffing to make and can be used to stuff a boneless or airline chicken breast. The airline chicken breast refers to a chicken breast with the first joint of the wing bone attached because it resembles an airline wing. For the first class, we butcher three whole chickens to use in later classes. Here is a photo of the three chickens left to right airline chicken breast with legs and thighs (this technique yields a chicken carcass for preparing stock. The next one is trussed with string for roasting the whole bird. The last chicken below it in the photo is known as 8-cut chicken and is normally used for frying, braising, or baking.
Stuffed Airline Chicken with Spinach, Fontina, and Wild Mushrooms
Yield 24 portions
1 ½ pounds spinach, picked, steamed, & chopped
4 ounces prosciutto ham, cut into fine dice
4 ounces wild mushrooms (preferably morels) chopped fine
1 pound fontina cheese, cut into small dice
½ cup minced onions
2 tablespoons minced garlic
6 ounces heavy cream
1 cup bread crumbs
Salt & fresh black pepper
Olive oil for cooking
24 each free-range Amish airline breasts
6 ounces sherry
1 tablespoon shallots
1 tablespoon garlic
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary
1 quart chicken Jus Lie (reduced chicken stock)
Arrowroot or cornstarch slurry
*For Jus Lie, prepare Chicken Stock with the carcasses. Roast the chicken bones to make a golden stock then strain and reduce the stock by 50%.
Sauté onions, garlic, morels, and prosciutto ham. Add spinach and heavy cream. Then, add cheese and stir until melted. Add bread crumbs and cool.
Sweat shallots, garlic, and rosemary. Add sherry and reduce by half. Add jus lie and reduce by one-quarter. Thicken with arrowroot. Strain.
Cut a pocket from a wing joint into the breast. Pipe in stuffing and close the incision with a toothpick. Dredge breast, skin side, in flour. Pan-fry until crisp and golden brown. Turn over and finish in the oven. Remove the toothpick, slice it in half, and serve on a pool of sauce.
My methodology for teaching is to demonstrate classical techniques with many of my signature diner-praised dishes that can be used in real-world restaurants. Many of my recipes can be used at home and all the techniques are useful for cooking at home or in a professional setting. Hope you enjoy these and keep on cooking!