Braised lamb shank with Julia Child's braised lettuce
For the longest time, I'd daydreamed about cooked lettuce. Raw lettuce is nice and all, but it's boring and tiring plain and blehhhhh ... I always thought cooked lettuce would be interesting. Then I saw Julia Child make braised lettuce on The French Chef 2, and a few days later, I was picking up a head of red leaf lettuce and a head of romaine lettuce. They tasted pretty much the same (after being braised with a lamb shank), but they also tasted like awesome! In a nutshell, rinse the whole heads in cold water, blanch for a couple of minutes, halve, season with salt, fold in half horizontally, set into your braising liquid, and braise for 20 hours at 350. In this case, the braising liquid was built on sauteed shallots and garlic, random herbs (thyme, parsley, basil), veggie stock, and salt and pepper ... and lamb shanks! After the shanks and lettuce were done, I removed and tented them under foil and made a pan sauce with some roux. Quick and easy, but because it is braising, it does take 90-120 minutes.
Hot turkey sausage with shrimp and asparagus
This was my attempt to use up a bunch of asparagus I bought on sale before they went limp. It's a simple-yet-satisfying dish. Saute sliced hot turkey sausage with some shallots and garlic, then add the asparagus and chopped asparagus at the same time, and toss in some salt and pepper--then cover for about five minutes or so, pulling off the heat when the tails are pink and the shrimp meat is just opalescent. Serve over polenta, including the yummy shrimp/turkey stock, and yum away!