Inspiration for menus come from different places. At times we have a dish that we want to try and then match up other courses to go with it. Sometimes the weather just puts us in a mood, for comfort food, or a particular cuisine. At times it is a challenge that we are given, often by dislikes or allergies. This week we were inspired by 3 things…. good ingredients, comfort food, and a lot of leftovers.
We have a couple of important dinners coming up and are planning the menus, so we took a trip to the St Lawrence Market, to source some of the ingredients. When passing one of our favorite butchers, Shawn asked “did you see that nice rack?” For once we were thinking the same thing. Beautiful Ontario lamb (I know what you were thinking). That lead us to other areas of the market to pickup fresh produce and of course a snack. I can’t wait to come back when more of the local produce is ready.
With so much on the go lately, we just had our trio and Jennifer, but in hindsight, we had enough food for several more. Portions always look smaller when you buy them in a large space. For the appetizer, I think Shawn was feeling nostalgic, so he whipped up a batch of his tomato sauce, and we rolled out some ricotta gnocchi. Feeling extra Italian, we also rolled out meatballs, with pork, veal and beef. We often try to keep meals a bit light on Monday, due to rehearsal afterwards, but sometimes, you just need something that will stick to your ribs.
I have to say that this portion would have made a decent sized main. Steph was thinking ahead and reserved some of hers for lunch.
For the main, we roasted the racks of lamb, with fresh herbs, and served it atop the almost famous pomme puree, with sautéed mushrooms and sautéed heirloom carrots, surrounded by a red wine reduction. I love that almost everything on this plate came from the market.
I say to anyone who does not like lamb, try it again, done a different way, because this was sumptuous.
After our last Monday Night Dining experience, I was heard to utter “that’s a lot of Budino!” I really must remember to cut the recipe down, because as much as we like it, we really don’t eat a lot of dessert during the week. So we decided on a Monday Night Dining first…. leftovers! The best part with having the dessert, in the bag, is that we could spend more time planning Steph’s garden and the challenges of staging The Apostles. So over tea and Salted Caramel Budino, we ended the dining part of our evening and headed to rehearsal.
If you do not have a ticket for this show, do visit the Pax Christi Chorale website to learn more. Even if you do have tickets, follow the link, as the program notes are available, with some background on the work and full libretto.
With Meredith Hall, Krisztina Szabó, Brett Polegato, Lawrence Wiliford, Daniel Lichti, Michael Uloth and the Etobicoke School of the Arts chamber choir
Elgar’s deeply moving “English Passion” and the prequel to The Kingdom.
Saturday, April 29, 7:30 p.m.
Sunday, April 30, 3:00 p.m.
Grace Church on-the-Hill
300 Lonsdale Road, Toronto