Family celebrations can easily be transformed into amazing culinary occasions by choosing simple foods with extraordinary flavors. The use of readily-available mango adds an exotic touch to meals and the selection of American lamb imparts a sweetly rich flavor that awakens the senses.
Discover why the tropical mango is one of the world's most popular fruits. Its flavor is uniquely refreshing and adds a taste of sunshine to an array of savory foods. Its nutritious profile is a welcome addition as well.
Celebrity chef Allen Susser often reaches for mangos in his "Palm Tree Cuisine." He frequently whips up tropical mango chutney. "The natural sweet and sour flavor of the mango is enhanced by the heat and spice of the chutney. The vivid mango flavor emphasizes a variety of dishes, including roasted lamb, grilled shrimp or even chicken curry."
Lamb's rich flavor and buttery tenderness make it a star choice for everything from grilling to braising. American lamb is an excellent source of high quality protein and an average three-ounce serving of lamb has only 175 calories.
Susser believes American lamb, in its own right, adds a full-flavor component to the plate. "It can be combined with any number of forward aromatic seasonings such as garlic, fennel or rosemary. The unique flavor is so delicious and lamb is versatile enough to be presented casually or elegantly," he says.
Try these recipes from Chef Allen and bring extraordinary flavors to the table.
Lamb, Lime and Mango Salad
Exchange an ordinary green salad for something extraordinary by combining American lamb and mango. Your family and friends will surely ask for more.
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 head frisee lettuce, inner leaves washed and dried
2 tablespoons Thai fish sauce
In food processor, combine garlic, cilantro stems, salt, pepper and 2 tablespoons oil. Spread paste on both sides of lamb and marinate 30 minutes. Warm remaining oil in large, heavy skillet, cooking lamb on each side 3 to 4 minutes (medium rare). Remove from pan and cool; cut lamb into small strips. To serve, divide lettuce leaves among 4 plates and arrange mango, avocado, green onions and small strips of lamb on top. In small bowl, combine all dressing ingredients and stir until sugar is dissolved. Drizzle salad with dressing and scatter with cilantro leaves. Makes 4 servings.
Tropical Mango Chutney
Spicy flavor is what this condiment is all about. Mangos are available year-round, so you can add the taste of the tropics to your dishes any time.
2 large, ripe mangos, peeled, pitted and diced
In medium saucepan, combine mango, pineapple, raisins, water, sugar, cumin and cinna-mon stick. Bring to boil; reduce heat and simmer 15 minutes. Stir in remaining ingredients and simmer over low heat 30 minutes more until thickened, adding a little water if necessary. Remove cinnamon stick before serving. Serve on a variety of dishes, including roasted lamb, grilled chicken or fish. Makes 8 servings.
Adobo Crusted Lamb Loin Chops
Complement the rich, sweet flavor of American lamb with a savory spice rub. It creates a full flavor without adding calories.
1 tablespoon fennel seed
In dry skillet, toast fennel, cumin, coriander and pepper a few minutes until aromatic; let cool and grind coarsely in spice grinder or blender. Stir in salt, garlic, oregano and lime zest. Rub both sides of each lamb chop with about 1 tablespoon of spice mixture; cover and let stand at least 1 hour. Preheat oven to 400 F. Heat 2 oven-proof large skillets over medium-high heat; add 2 tablespoons of oil to each pan and bring just to smoking point. Place four lamb chops in each hot pan and sear 5 minutes; turn lamb to sear second side an additional 2 minutes. Place pans into oven and continue to cook chops 5 to 10 minutes or until lamb is cooked to your liking. Makes 4 servings.
--American Lamb is versatile, easy to prepare and adds delicious flavor to your meals.
--Refrigerate or freeze lamb immediately after purchase.
--Refrigerate lamb for up to two days or freeze for up to three to four months.
--Set your refrigerator between 32 F and 39 F to maintain safe food.
--Cook ground lamb to 160 F as measured on a meat thermometer.
--Cook lamb steaks and roasts to 145 F (medium rare); 160 F (medium); or 170 F (well done).
--Learn more at www.americanlambboard.org.