Sunshine on the table
At this time of the year, there is a wide selection of spring fruit and vegetables available. These ingredients have ripened in the spring sunshine and you can taste it! When using them in a dish and preparing them on the Big Green Egg, you don’t just taste the sun, but also that delicious Big Green Egg flavour, which greatly enhances the natural flavour of the ingredients. This three-course menu of ricotta blinis with green asparagus, leg of lamb and filo tart for dessert will definitely bring the sun to your table!
Ricotta blinis with grilled green asparagus and anchovy vinaigrette
Leg of lamb with herb crust and vegetables ‘en papillotte’
Filo tart with dried cranberries, pumpkin seeds, honey and pan-fried strawberries
For the blinis
- 2 bundles green asparagus, 350g each
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 4 eggs
- 100 g flour
- 100 g ricotta
- 200 g grated Parmesan cheese
- 2 tbsp sunflower oil
For the vinaigrette
- 1 red onion
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 10 anchovy fillets (tin)
- 100 g black (Taggiasca) olives
- 50 g capers, drained
- 10 sprigs of parsley
- 200 ml olive oil
- juice of 1 lemon
For the leg of lamb
- 2 kg leg of lamb
- 2 large cloves of garlic
- 10 sprigs of parsley
- 400 g crème fraîche
- 100 g panko (or coarse breadcrumbs)
- 100 g fresh or 20 g dried morels
- 200 g French beans
- 300 g new (small) potatoes, unpeeled
- 300 g broad beans (in the pod)
- 300 g peas (in the pod)
- 30 g butter
For the filo tart
- 60 g butter
- 150 g honey
- 300 g filo dough
- 150 g dried cranberries
- 150 g pumpkin seeds
- 250 g fresh strawberries
- ½ tbsp sunflower oil
- 25 g sugar
- 50 ml red vodka
PREPARATION IN ADVANCE
Remove the hard ends of the asparagus and, if necessary, halve the thick ones lengthwise. Drizzle olive oil onto the asparagus and sprinkle with salt to taste.
For the blinis: beat the eggs and mix with flour in a bowl. Fold in the ricotta and Parmesan cheese and season with salt & pepper. To make the dressing, peel and chop the red onion and the garlic. Finely chop the anchovy fillets, olives and capers. Remove the parsley from the stalks and finely chop. Cover and refrigerate all ingredients until needed.
Leg of lamb
Season the leg of lamb with salt and pepper, including the opening where the bone was. Peel and crush the garlic. Remove the parsley from the stalks and finely chop. Mix the garlic and parsley with the crème fraîche and the panko. Brush an even layer of this mixture over the upper side of the meat. Loosely cover with foil and store in the refrigerator until needed.
Cut the fresh morels in half lengthwise and wash them in tepid lightly salted water. Let them dry on a clean kitchen towel. Are you using dried morels? Leave these to steep in warm water for about 30 minutes, drain and finely chop the morels.
String the (haricot vert) beans and cut them into strips. Wash the new potatoes. Cook the beans and potatoes in separate pans in lightly salted water until nearly done and drain. Pour cold water into the pan with the beans and drain again. Let the potatoes cool down and cut them in half. Pod the broad beans and the peas. Lay two large sheets of grease-proof paper on the work surface and evenly spread the potatoes, (haricot vert) beans, broad beans, peas and morels over them. Ensure that the vegetables are in the middle. Cut the butter into small cubes and spread over the vegetables. Sprinkle with salt and fold the paper forming well-closed packets. Store the packets in the refrigerator until needed.
Melt 50 grams of the butter with the honey in a small pan on the stove. Grease a shallow round oven dish with a diameter of about 20 cm with the remaining butter.
Place a sheet of filo dough in the dish, letting a part of the filo hang over the edges. Brush the dough with the honey-butter mixture. Mix the cranberries and pumpkin seeds and sprinkle a thin layer (about 1/10th) over the dough. Place another layer of filo dough on top of this, brush with the honey-butter mixture and sprinkle a thin layer of cranberries and pumpkin seeds over the dough. Repeat until the filo dough or the cranberries and pumpkin seeds have all been used. Fold the overhanging filo dough over the last layer of cranberries and pumpkin seeds and brush with the honey-butter mix. Store the tart in the refrigerator until needed.
Leg of lamb (part 1)
Ignite the charcoal in the Big Green Egg and heat to 180°C with the Cast Iron Grid.
Place the leg of lamb, meat side down, on the grid of the Big Green Egg. Close the lid and grill for a few minutes until the meat is nicely coloured. Remove the meat from the grid, lift the grid from the EGG using the Cast Iron Grid Lifter and place the convEGGtor with the Rectangular Drip Pan on top. Replace the grid and the leg of lamb and close the lid of the EGG. Heat the EGG to 150°C and cook for about 1½ hours until the leg of lamb has a core temperature of 54°C. Check this with the Instant Read Digital Thermometer (or use the Dual Probe Remote Thermometer). Remove the leg of lamb from the grid, cover loosely with aluminium foil and leave to rest.
Tip: the blinis can be pre-fried and heated.
Take the Cast Iron Grid out of the EGG using the Cast Iron Grid Lifter. Remove the convEGGtor using the EGGmitt and replace the grid. Heat the EGG to 180ºC. With the lid closed, warm the Cast Iron Griddle Half Moon (or two small cast iron frying pans) with the smooth side uppermost on the Cast Iron Grid. Stir the blini batter.
Grease the Half Moon Cast Iron Plancha Griddle (or the pans) with sunflower oil and ladle generous tablespoons of the blini batter onto the plate. Fry the blinis on both sides until golden brown. In the meantime, grill the asparagus on the grid until nearly done, 5 to 8 minutes. Regularly turn the asparagus and close the lid of the EGG after each action.
Take the blinis from the Cast Iron Griddle Half Moon and keep them warm under aluminium foil. Use The Pit Mitt BBQ Glove to remove the Cast Iron Griddle Half Moon from the grid or to remove one of the cast iron pans from the grid. To make the vinaigrette, heat a third of the olive oil in a small cast iron pan on the grid of the Big Green Egg and sauté the onion and garlic in this. Mix in the finely chopped anchovy fillets, olives, capers, remaining olive oil and lemon juice.
Remove the asparagus and the pan from the grid and add the parsley to the vinaigrette and stir. Divide the blinis and asparagus between the plates and drizzle the vinaigrette over them. In the meantime, prepare the EGG for the vegetables packets that are to be served with the leg of lamb.
Leg of lamb (part 2)
Take the Cast Iron Grid out of the EGG using the Cast Iron Grid Lifter. Set up the convEGGtor and put the grid back. Heat the EGG to a temperature of 180 °C.
Place the vegetable packets on the grid. Close the lid of the EGG and allow the vegetable packets to cook for about 10 minutes until done.
Cut the leg of lamb into neat slices and divide between the plates along with the vegetables from the packets.
Remove the oven dish with the unbaked filo tart from the fridge. Remove the Cast Iron Grid using the Cast Iron Grid Lifter and place the convEGGtor and Stainless Steel Grid in the EGG. Heat the EGG to 180°C.
Place the oven dish with the filo tart in the middle of the grid. Close the lid of the EGG and bake for around 30 minutes until done and golden brown. In the meantime hull the strawberries. Wash and halve them.
Use the Pit Mitt BBQ Glove to remove the filo tart from the grid. Remove the grid and the convEGGtor and replace the grid. Gently heat the sunflower oil in a cast iron frying pan on the grid. Add the strawberries and fry them for about 2 minutes. Sprinkle with sugar and deglaze with the vodka. Wait until the liquid has nearly been absorbed and re-heat the tart for a few moments if it has cooled too much. Close the lid after handling the food.
Cut the tart into portions and serve with the warm strawberries.
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