I don't usually cook a meal like this on a weeknight, nor have I cooked like this all summer. But summer has come to an end. And as sad as I am about that, I have accepted it as I do each Fall here in New England. It's inevitable I suppose.
So onward and upward we go into our cool weather cooking.
I bought a rack of lamb at Costco, if you have one near you, do pick one up. It comes frenched, trimmed, ready to roast and it's quite delicious. The whole thing roasts in the oven in about 1/2 hr. I did marinate it in yogurt overnight. After it's cooked (between 130-140 degrees F.), take the roast out of the oven, let it rest tented in foil for about 20 minutes before you carve it.
I also made creamy, cheesy polenta to go with it. A great and quick thing to make while the roast is cooking. And it presents so well. Just sprinkle some chopped, fresh parsley on top and it looks like you spent all day preparing.
While the roast was cooking, I served crab cakes, that I bought prepared from Whole Foods and cut them in half for a silver dollar size. They come much larger than I needed for a first dish, but easily fixable. Cut them while they are cold from the refrigerator. Then just dust them lightly with panko bread crumbs and sautéed them with a little butter in a skillet for 2 to 3 minutes per side. Plated them with red leaf lettuce and drizzled a red pepper remoulade over each. I like Ina Garten's philosophy about entertaining, "buy some, cook some". It's a great time saving tip. But, buy the best....
However, dessert was the piece de resistance... and yet so simple.
A pint of good ice cream. Just crush 4 oreo cookies. Make a simple chocolate sauce: 1/4 cup semi sweet chocolate chips, 2 T. cream, 1 tsp. butter. Melt chocolate and butter in microwave for 1 minute (but do it in 15 second increments). Stir in cream. If you want put in a tsp. of brandy, I did.
Take a parfait glass and put a teaspoon of crushed oreos. Scoop one scoop of ice cream in glass. Add another teaspoon of crushed oreos, another scoop of ice cream. Place in freezer, until 10 minutes before serving. Take parfait out of the freezer and drizzle a couple of teaspoons of chocolate sauce over the top. Simple, yet delicious! I used Trader Joe's pumpkin ice cream. It was dreamy.
I love entertaining ~