Mother's Day is such a special day to honor our dear mothers. They not only raised us and cared for us, they are also our Rocks of Gibraltar when we need them most. Moms help us learn right and wrong and encourage us to believe in ourselves and grow, so we can go out there and give our unique gift to the world and make it a better place.
My father died when I was young, so my mother had to raise my brother and me all by herself. I am so blessed to have had such a strong, independent mother who, despite the crushing loss of her husband, didn't give up and focused her energies on raising her kids, instilling the kind of good values, morals and manners that money can't buy. She encouraged us to get a good education and learn about the world so we could give back.
I feel so grateful and blessed to have had my mom, as well as many other wonderful aunts, grandmothers, and mentors along the way. Today, I feel so blessed to be an auntie and godmother to many so I can share the love and pass it along to my little angels below me.
Not all of us had moms growing up. But all the mother figures who became our step-in moms are just as important. They also offer that maternal bond of protection, nurturing and love that is crucial to a child's development. So this weekend Mustard Girl celebrates all the different kinds of moms in the world, including the angel moms in heaven. We honor you today and every day and thank you for all that you are and all that you did to help make us who we are ! We love you!
If you decide to plan a nice dinner for your mom this weekend, here are two of my family's favorite recipes.
MUSTARD GIRL PANKO CRUSTED LAMB CHOPS
2 Frenched 8 bone racks of lamb (approximately 2 to 2 ¼ pounds each)
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
Olive Oil for searing
¼ cup MUSTARD GIRL AMERICAN DIJON mustard
3 Tablespoons of honey
4 Tablespoons of olive oil
4 large roasted garlic cloves (put in aluminum foil and bake in 400 degrees oven for 20 minutes – can be done in advance)
5 anchovy fillets
1 ½ cups panko bread crumbs (or matzah made into crumbs)
3 tablespoons of finely chopped parsley
1 tablespoon of minced fresh rosemary leaves
2 tablespoons of finely minced chives
2 tablespoons of finely chopped mint leaves
2 tablespoons of finely chopped parsley
1. Score the fat covering on the lamb racks in a ½” diamond shape pattern. Be careful not to cut into the meat. Season the lamb racks on all sides with kosher salt and fresh ground pepper.
2. Set a roasting rack into a roasting pan. Heat a large sauté or frying pan over medium high heat. Add enough olive oil to coat the bottom of the pan well. Allow for the olive to get hot. Put 1 lamb rack fat cap down into the hot olive oil and sear until golden brown. This should take about a couple of minutes. Keep moving the rack around the pan in order to sear as much of the fat golden brown as possible. Repeat with second lamb rack.
3. Combine the MUSTARD GIRL AMERICAN DIJON mustard and honey in a small bowl, set aside. Combine the 4 tablespoons olive oil, roasted garlic and anchovy fillets in a small food processor and puree until smooth. Transfer the puree into a medium bowl and stir in matzah crumbs, parsley, and rosemary. Do not over mix, the crumb and herb mixture may not all come together, but should still stick to the rack.
4. Press the mixture evenly over the fat cap and meat – but do not coat the underside of the rack, you made need to gently press the crumb mixture on to the rack so that it adheres. (The lamb racks can now be refrigerated, on the roasting rack in the pan for up to 6 before cooking.) Be sure to remove the rack 30 minutes to allow the rack to get back to room temperature before roasting.
5. Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Put the roasting pan with the lamb racks into the lower portion of the preheated oven. Roast until the center temperature of the racks reaches 128 to 130 degrees Fahrenheit with a meat thermometer. This should take about 25 to 35 minutes for a lamb rack that weighs about 2 to 2 ¼ pounds each. Remove the roasting pan from the oven and allow the lamb racks to rest on the roasting rack (in a warm place) for about 20 minutes for medium – rare doneness.
6. Carve each rack (slice between every other bone) into four 2 bone chops and arrange on platter. Sprinkle with Kosher salt and serve with fresh lemon wedges. Enjoy one of our most favorite holiday recipes.
SERVING SUGGESTION: Fresh salad, or roasted vegetables
For Dessert, my mother would always make this Classic Angel Lemon Merengue Pie, one of our favorites!
Angel Lemon Meringue Pie
1 cup Flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup plus 1 Tablespoon Shortening
2-3 Tablespoons cold water
3 egg yolks
1 1/2cups sugar
1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 1/2cups water
3 Tablespoons butter
2 teaspoons grated lemon peel
1/2 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
3 egg whites
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
6 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1. In medium bowl, mix flour and salt. Cut in shortening, using pastry blender (or pulling 2 table knives through ingredients in opposite directions), until particles are size of small peas. Sprinkle with cold water, 1 tablespoon at a time, tossing with fork until all flour is moistened and pastry almost cleans side of bowl (1 to 2 teaspoons more water can be added if necessary).
2. Gather pastry into a ball. Shape into flattened round on lightly floured surface. Wrap in plastic wrap; refrigerate about 45 minutes or until dough is firm and cold, yet pliable. This allows the shortening to become slightly firm, which helps make the baked pastry more flaky. If refrigerated longer, let pastry soften slightly before rolling.
3. Heat oven to 475°F. With floured rolling pin, roll pastry into round 2 inches larger than upside-down 9-inch glass pie plate. Fold pastry into fourths; place in pie plate. Unfold and ease onto plate, pressing firmly against bottom and side. Trim overhanging edge of pastry 1 inch from rim of pie plate. Fold and roll pastry under, even with plate; flute as desired. Prick bottom and side of pastry thoroughly with fork. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until light brown; cool on cooling rack.
4. Reduce oven temperature to 400°F. In small bowl, beat egg yolks with fork. In 2-quart saucepan, mix sugar and cornstarch; gradually stir in water. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens and boils. Boil and stir 1 minute.
5. Immediately stir at least half of hot mixture into egg yolks; stir back into hot mixture in saucepan. Boil and stir 2 minutes; remove from heat. Stir in butter, lemon peel, lemon juice and food color. Pour into pie crust.
6. In medium bowl, beat egg whites and cream of tartar with electric mixer on high speed until foamy. Beat in sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time; continue beating until stiff and glossy. Do not under beat. Beat in vanilla. Spoon onto hot pie filling. Spread over filling, carefully sealing meringue to edge of crust to prevent shrinking or weeping.
7. Bake 8 to 12 minutes or until meringue is light brown. Cool away in refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
8. Cover and refrigerate cooled pie until serving.
Bon Appetite and have a wonderful Mother's Day!