I've written about Fatted Calf a couple of times before. But for some reason, I've never actually sung the praises of the pirate's booty we bring home from their stand at the Farmer's Market once a month.
Unlike so many more forward-thinking folks, I never place my order prior to market day, primarily because I am kinda wishy-washy, and not very good at planning meals that far in advance. Plus, I like walking up and taking my pick of what sounds best to me at that moment.
And so it was that a couple of weeks ago, I found myself giddily asking Taylor to pack up a pair of Lamb Crepinettes with Cumin, Persian Mint & Orange for me. I had visions of using the fat from the crepinette to make a warm vinaigrette for a pungent greens salad...
Of course, after getting home, I realized I'd failed to PURCHASE any pungent greens, and all I had in the fridge was a sad, slightly wilted bunch of baby arugula. So I set about frying up these bad boys (using Biggles' suggestion to use a dutch oven to minimize oil spatter), and rooting around the crisper to find something suitable to accompany such delectable charcuterie.
As they cooked, I steamed some gorgeous stalks of asparagus, asparagus so sweet (even in the raw) that they needed only 5-6 minutes in the steamer. Meanwhile, I measured out some couscous, opened a bottle of Syrah, and set the table.
After removing the crepinettes to our plates to rest, I added a few spoonfuls of orange juice and a dash of champagne vinegar to the rendered fat in the dutch oven, and reduced the whole thing for just a minute. Under Stella's watchful gaze, I tossed the asparagus with the vinaigrette, and
plated those up along with the now-ready couscous.
Orange & Mint Couscous
- 1 c. instant couscous
- 1-2 tbsp. olive oil
- the zest from half an orange
- a small handful of currants or golden raisins
- 1 1/2 tsp dried mint, or 1 tbsp fresh, chopped fine
- 1 small shallot, minced
- 1 1/2 c. boiling water
- 1/2 c. fresh-sqeezed orange or tangerine juice
- In a heatproof bowl, toss the couscous with olive oil, coating all the grains well.
- Add the next four ingredients, along with salt & pepper to taste. Stir to incorporate.
- Stir in the liquid, quickly, and cover the bowl with plastic wrap.
- Let rest for 5-7 minutes.
- Uncover, and gently fluff the grains with a fork.
From fridge to table in under 20 minutes, people. Tell me again why anyone would eat takeout?