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Cat Cora - Harissa Roasted Lamb with Asiago Orzo, Sauteed Spinach, and Braised Maitake Mushrooms

Cat Cora - Harissa Roasted Lamb with Asiago Orzo, Sauteed Spinach, and Braised Maitake Mushrooms
The first female Iron Chef Cat Cora is showing us how to cook like a culinary superstar with a delicious Harissa Roasted Lamb recipe.
Harissa Roasted Lamb with Asiago Orzo
Course:
Dinner
Seasonal Event:
Christmas
Yield:
Serves 4-6
INGREDIENTS:

HARISSA ROASTED LAMB:

  • 2-pound boneless leg of lamb
  • 5 tablespoons harissa
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • Salt to taste
  • Pepper to taste
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 c grape or cherry tomatoes
  • ⅓ c kalamata olives, pitted and coarsely chopped
  • ⅓ c dry white wine
  • 1 c reduced-sodium beef or chicken broth
  • 2 tbsp flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp fresh mint, finely chopped

ASIAGO ORZO:

  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 1/3 cups orzo
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/2 cup plus 3 tablespoons grated asiago cheese
  • 1 teaspoon truffle oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

SAUTEED SPINACH:

  • 1-pound large spinach
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • Salt to taste
  • Pepper to taste

BRAISED MAITAKE MUSHROOMS:

  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 1 pound of maitake mushrooms, cleaned, halved through the stem
  • 1 tablespoon fresh chopped parsley
  • Salt to taste
  • Pepper to taste

DIRECTIONS:

HARISSA ROASTED LAMB:

Using a thin knife, trim excess fat and silver skin from the lamb. Mix 4 tablespoons of harissa with the minced garlic. Spread all over the lamb. Let marinate for 24 hours.

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Remove lamb from refrigerator and season with salt and pepper. Place in oven, reduce oven temperature to 350°F. Continue roasting until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the lamb, not touching a bone, reads 125°F for medium-rare, about 1¼ hours. During the last 15 minutes of cooking time scatter tomatoes and olives in the pan.

Transfer the lamb to a cutting board and the vegetables to a serving platter. Tent with aluminum foil to keep warm.

Heat the roasting pan over high heat until sizzling. Add wine and bring to a boil, scraping up the browned bits in the pan. Season to taste with salt. Stir in broth and boil until reduced by half, 3-4 minutes. Whisk in the remaining 1 tbsp harissa. Pour into a sauceboat.

Carve the lamb and serve alongside vegetables. Sprinkle with parsley and mint. Serve with the sauce on the side.

ASIAGO ORZO:

SERVES 4-6

In a 4 to 6-quart stockpot, bring 4 quarts of water to a boil. Add the salt and the orzo, and cook for 5 to 7 minutes, or until the pasta is al dente, or just slightly chewy. In a 10-inch sauté pan, melt the butter. Add the cooked pasta and 3 tablespoons of the asiago cheese. Drizzle on the truffle oil, sprinkle on the salt, and give it a few cranks of freshly ground pepper. Toss well. Spoon the orzo into a serving bowl, top with the remaining cheese, and serve immediately.

SAUTEED SPINACH:

SERVES 4

Heat olive oil in a large sauté pan on medium-high heat. Add the garlic and sauté for about 1 minute, until the garlic is just beginning to brown. Add the spinach to the pan, packing it down a bit if you need to with your hand. Use a wooden spoon or spatula to turn it over in the pan so that you coat more of it with the olive oil and garlic. Do this several times. Cover the pan and cook for 1 minute. After 2 minutes of covered cooking, the spinach should be completely wilted. Remove from heat and serve immediately, pressing out liquid with the serving spoon.

BRAISED MAITAKE MUSHROOMS:

SERVES 4

Heat olive oil in 2 large sauté pans over medium-high heat. Sauté each half of the mushrooms 2-3 minutes per side. Add the garlic and turn mushrooms to coat with oil and garlic. Cook another 1 -2 minutes, toss in parsley, salt and pepper. Coat well and cool.

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