A lovely friend from Paris–who is moving this month to London–was in town for a quick visit (a work trip within two weeks of starting her brand new job). She’s hosted me to so many marvelous treats in Paris (we’re talking multiple meals at Le Cinque, among other things), so I really wanted to roll out the red carpet for her. Unfortunately, I missed her first few days in Singapore; I came back from my Venice trip with only a couple days left in her stay and was also really quite jet-lagged from all the traveling. She was in turn really busy, what with this being a work trip and all. My wife and I were only able to book her for dinner on her last night in town, and only right before she had to head to the airport to catch a red-eye back to Europe.
We made a simple 3-course meal. S had baked some deliciously flaky tart cases and we filled them with a crabmeat and scrambled egg filling, and served that with a small side salad tossed with a lemon-truffle dressing. For our main, we made a coriander crusted rack of lamb with a spiced orange-hoisin sauce, served over creamless creamed corn. For dessert, we had a very light dish of some bellini sorbet that S had made the night before.
The lamb dish is one of my favourites and something we learned from Chef Jimmy Chok, who has just taken over the restaurant of the Singapore Academy of Law (restaurant re-opens 1 August and will be open to the public). Here’s the recipe:
2 racks of lamb (frenched, each should have 8 ribs)
100ml hoisin sauce
200g coriander leaves (chopped)
50g coriander seeds (freshly toasted and pounded)
250ml hoisin sauce
200ml tomato ketchup
50ml red wine vinegar
1 orange (juiced, zest)
3 red chilies (chopped)
1 tsp garlic (chopped)
2 tsp curry powder
1 tbsp honey
Marinate the lamb with 50ml of the hoisin for an hour. To cook the lamb, sear the meat on a hot pan and roast in a preheated oven at 180 Degrees C for 20 minutes or until an instant read thermoter reads 55 Degrees C. Remove from the oven and spread 50ml of the hoisin on the lamb and crust with the coriander leaves and seeds. Set aside the lamb to rest.
For the sauce, mix all the ingredients together in a mixing bowl and whisk until the sauce is well mixed. Heat before serving.
Slice your chops when ready to serve and sauce to taste. For the corn recipe, please refer to Tom Colicchio’s excellent cookbook, Craft of Cooking.