I was recently contacted by the Tri-Lamb Group, “a collaborative initiative of lamb producer organizations from the U.S., New Zealand and Australia which focuses on educating Americans about lamb.” The company selects food and lifestyle bloggers in LA, Boston and Washington, D.C. to host lamb supper clubs.
They asked if I’d be interested in hosting a two-part supper club series for 10-12 people, and having never tried lamb before, I felt this was the perfect opportunity to give it a try. The Tri-Lamb Group provided me with a recipe and all the ingredients–I was just in charge of covering side dishes and dessert.
We started the night with my friend Maria’s stuffed Portobello mushrooms with mozzarella, tomato and basil, and my Italian cheese platter complete with three different cheeses, salami, prosciutto, roasted red peppers etc. The main course consisted of the lamb, arugula and roasted red pepper pizza and fettuccine Alfredo. I kept the Italian theme and served a lemon and orange ricotta cheesecake with a lemon glaze for dessert.
The dinner was an absolute success, and I can’t wait to host my second supper club in February.
Lamb pizza recipe:
1 package pre-made whole grain pizza dough, thawed if frozen
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 lb. ground lamb
1 medium shallot, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp. tomato paste
1 tbsp. dried oregano
1/8 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
2 red bell peppers, roasted and sliced
3/4 cup goat cheese crumbles
2 cups (about 2 oz.) arugula
Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
Brush rimmed baking sheet with 1 tsp. olive oil; using your hands, spread dough over entire length of baking sheet, pushing dough to edge (or roll out on floured surface and transfer to pan). Bake pizza dough for 5 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside.
Heat 1 tbsp. oil in large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Add lamb, shallot, garlic, tomato paste, oregano, 1/8 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper, cook until lamb is completely browned, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat.
Brush par-baked crust with 1 tsp. olive oil. Evenly distribute cooked lamb and roasted red peppers, top with crumbled goat cheese. Bake for about 15 minutes, until cheese looks slightly melted and edges of crust are golden brown. Toss arugula with remaining 1 tsp. olive oil, set aside. Remove from oven and top with dressed arugula.
Recipe from Lean on Lamb.
Lemon and orange ricotta cheesecake recipe:
1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
6 tbsp. melted butter
1 1/2 lbs. cream cheese (3 bricks), at room temperature
1 cup sugar
5 large eggs
1 lemon, zested
1 orange, zested
3/4 lb. ricotta cheese
Lemon glaze, recipe below
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
In a bowl, mix together the crumbs, sugar, and cinnamon. Add the butter and mix well. Using the back of a spoon, press evenly into the bottom and slightly up the sides of a 9-inch springform pan. Bake until golden, about 8 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool before filling.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment beat the cream cheese and sugar on low-speed until well incorporated, smooth and light, about 2 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, lemon and orange zest and continue to beat until well incorporated, scraping down the sides as necessary. Slowly add the ricotta cheese to the batter and mix until smooth.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake in the middle of the oven until starting to set, about 45 minutes. Lower the oven temperature to 325 degrees and cook for another 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from the oven, use a thin sharp knife and run the blade along the inside of the cake pan to loosen the sides. Loosen the outer ring, and let the cake cool in the pan on a wire rack. Once the cheesecake is cooled to room temperature, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until thoroughly chilled, at least 6 hours or overnight.
Remove the cake from the refrigerator and let come to room temperature before serving. Slice the cake and dust with confectioner’s sugar, then drizzle lemon glaze on top.
Lemon glaze recipe:
1/2 cup sugar
2 tbsp. cornstarch
1/3 cup plus 2 tbsp. lemon juice
Zest of 1 lemon
Combine sugar, cornstarch, lemon juice, zest and 3/4 cup water. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until clear and thick.
Recipe adapted from Food Network.