Lamb and Goat Cheese Appetizer Recipe (+Giveaway)
It makes me sad that lamb is so under-utilized and under-appreciated. I love lamb! Whenever I want to introduce lamb to someone who may have had a bad experience, I give it to them in appetizer form. Getting a large chunk of a meat you don't know or haven't enjoyed in the past can be intimidating. Bite size appetizers are much more inviting in that if after a bite you don't like it, you can stop right there without offending anyone.
I bought a lamb tenderloin to create appetizers with the tender meat. I would usually stack cold meat on toasted brioche, but I needed to add something studier to hold the little bites together. I used mini wafer crisps and topped them with hash-brown style sweet potatoes. I created many layers of flavors so the elements would complement each other. I made a mint goat milk yogurt sauce to pair with the lamb and finished the appetizer with two different kinds of Cypress Goat Cheese chevre to repeat the flavor.
Today our friend Jason from Cypress Grove Chevre is offering the Flashback Family Gift Pack (which I used for this recipe) as part of our 25 Days of Giveaways. The giveaway includes five amazing flavored goat cheeses. Each flavor has a groovy name: Ms.Natural (plain), Sgt.Pepper (exotic spices & pepper threads), Purple Haze (lavender), PsycheDillic (dill) and Herbs de Humboldt (Herbes de Provence). I like them all and I've told you Cypress Grove Chevre is really dear to my heart (find out why). As an added bonus, it also includes John Lennon-style tinted glasses to help your chevre lovers properly mellow out. That's 24 ounces of delicious chevre, a $75 value! Enter now.
Make sure you're a fan of PhamFatale Facebook fan page and Cypress Grove Chevre, or follow @Phamfatalecom and tweet about this giveaway. To make it easy, you can just copy and paste this tweet if you’d like: "Flashback Goat Cheese Family Gift Pack $75 value #Giveaway from @Phamfatalecom and @CypressGrovers: http://bit.ly/sp4V7y".
Yields: 28 appetizers1-½ pounds lamb tenderloin
2 tablespoons papaya paste (see tips)
1 teaspoon rosemary, chopped
½ teaspoon red chili pepper
½ teaspoon dill seed powder
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon black pepper, freshly cracked
2 cloves garlic, finely minced and puréed
4 tablespoons canola oil
2 sweet potatoes, peeled and shredded
1-½ tablespoons rice flour
4 ounces Cypress Grove flavored chevre (see tips)
1 (3.4-ounce) package thin wafer bread crisps
½ cup mint goat milk yogurt sauce (recipe follows)
Prepping the lamb tenderloin:
Preheat the oven to 425°F.
Pat dry the piece of meat using paper towels. In a large baking dish, rub the lamb with rosemary, garlic, papaya paste, red chili powder, dill powder and black pepper. Drizzle about 1 tablespoon canola oil, chill and allow to marinate for at least 15 minutes.
Remove the lamb from the refrigerator so it returns to room temperature.
Pat the meat dry one more time.
Place the probe of a digital oven-proof thermometer in the center of the meat. Roast the meat until the thermometer reads 145°F (see tips), depending on how pink you like the meat.
Cover with a piece of aluminum foil. Let the meat rest for 1 hour before slicing (I didn't re-heat the meat as I also like eating it at room temperature). That way the meat stays very juicy and tender.
Slice the lamb into 3/4"-thick pieces and set aside.
Preparing the hashbrown-style sweet potatoes:
Sprinkle rice flour over the sweet potatoes. Toss well. Season with salt and pepper. Mix well.
In a heavy-bottomed skillet, heat the oil until hot. Grease disposable gloves with oil, then form small sweet potatoes flattened patties. Lower the heat to medium-high and place the patties in the skillet. Brown the hash browns for about 3 minutes. Flip the hashbrowns using a flat spatula. Cook for about 2-3 minutes until golden. Transfer the patties onto a platter lined with paper towels. Set aside.
Place the wafer crisps onto a serving platter. Top with the sweet potatoes. Spoon a little mint yogurt sauce. Layer a slice of lamb and finish with a chunk of chevre (one of the flavorings of your choice).
I use green papaya as a meat tenderizer to ensure moist and juicy meat. The papaya paste was Baji, my husband Lulu's late grandma's secret for tender and moist meat. Peel a green papaya. Grind the cubed papaya with seeds in a mini food processor; place about 2 tablespoons of papaya paste per slot in an ice-cube tray and freeze them. Transfer the ice-cubes into sealable plastic bags and place back in the freezer.
I used Cypress Grove chevre. I selected Sgt.Pepper (exotic spices & pepper threads), Purple Haze (lavender), PsycheDillic (dill) and Herbs de Humboldt (Herbes de Provence).
You can find dill seed powder in most Indian markets.
The roasting time depends on how pink you like the lamb. If you want to be absolutely sure (and this is my fool-proof way of cooking lamb), just place a temperature probe in the center of the piece of meat, and remove the lamb from the oven when the thermometer registers at least 130°F (I prefer 145°F, so the meat is less rosy). You can get a digital thermometer at IKEA for a reasonable price.
I love using an assortment of cold meats for appetizers. I let the lamb rest for 1 hour (until room temperature), so the meat remains tender without the juices dripping and turning the wafer soggy.
How to make mint yogurt sauce: In a bowl, combine ½ cup honey-flavored goat milk yogurt, 2-½ tablespoons chopped fresh mint leaves, 2 teaspoons minced fresh dill, ¼ teaspoon red chili powder, 2 teaspoons lemon juice, 1 finely minced pickled garlic and 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Whisk the yogurt using a fork until smooth. It's ready!
My secret to crispy hash browns is sprinkling rice flour over the shredded potatoes. Vietnamese cuisine calls for rice flour for a lot of fried items for a nice texture. You can find rice flour in most Asian stores, but I prefer grinding my own. I get a finer flour using the Nutrimill brand mill. I got it several months ago and it's very useful to make any kind of flour.
I used Redwood Hill Farm brand wildflower honey yogurt for the yogurt sauce to repeat the flavor from the appetizer topping. It's natural European-style goat milk yogurt. Redwood Hill Farm is part of our "25 days of giveaways" project. So stay tuned to check it out and maybe win their amazing prize!Published By: on December 6, 2011.