HANK PHILLIPPI RYAN: New Years is coming, and I know we'll talk about resolutions, at some point, but--not today. Today we are talking about New Years Eve traditions. And ours is: Okay, watch me.
I'm holding up one finger. You say: One word! Right!
Holding two fingers against the inside of my lower arm. You say: TWO SYLLABLES!
I'm looking pensive, thinking thinking.
I "hold the steering wheel with two hands", then "steer like crazy." You say: DRIVE!
I stamp my feet and shake my head. I do the "drive" thing again, then gesture to show it's what's AROUND me.
You say: Car! Sounds like CAR.
I touch my nose. Two fingers on my inner arm.
You say, second syllable. Right?
You say, sounds like "car" something?
Yes! Okay, we got this. Then I look worried. Is this gonna work? I better remind you.
Two fingers on my inner arm. You say—Geez! We GOT that! Sounds like Car something.
I'm thinking. I could do "jade," but that's tough. Or "laid," but that's fraught with problems.
Now you know what we all do on New Year’s Eve. Car-maids. Are we geeky and old?
And pssst. How would you act out that second syllable?
And while you're thinking, here's another of our New Year's Eve traditions...rack of lamb. One word, two syllables, sounds like--points to tummy. YUMMY!
Hank's Secret and Amazing Special Occasion Rack of Lamb
Rack of lamb, you're saying? That's extravagant! And difficult! Yes, it can be extravagant--but it doesn't have to be. And it doesn't have to be difficult, either. In fact, it's an amazingly affordable treat--that's gloriously impressive.
And pssst: easy.
First, you should know this is my go-to dish when I want to impress someone. Just saying. And on New Years Eve it's the absolutely perfect romantic dinner for two. Or four.
Serve with tiny green beans and maybe wild rice. YUM. And easy!
If there are two of you, a rack of lamb serves four, so there are fabulous leftovers for New Year's Day--just add to a Greek salad for a lovely dinner.
Everyone thinks rack of lamb is one of those feasts that's out of reach. This proves "everyone" is wrong. Prepare to wow your friends..and have one of the most delicious dinners ever.
8-rib lamb rack
4 tb. olive oil
2 tb. dijon mustard
1 tb. parsley
2 tb. soy sauce
2 grinds black pepper
1 garlic clove or chopped garlic
Preheat oven to broil.
Whisk all the ingredients (except lamb) together until the mixture forms a mayonnaise consistency.
Place lamb on broiler pan, lined with foil to make it easier to clean. Coat each side of the rack of lamb with the marinade. End with the lamb concave on the pan.
Broil five minutes per side. Turn oven to 400 degrees. Bake (with lamb track convex on the pan) for 10 minutes for rare. (This is chic, but I think this is too rare.) Bake 12 minutes for medium rare (that’s how I do it!) 13 for medium.
Remove from oven, let stand for five minutes.
Secret: after those all important five minutes, make the first cut in the rack in the middle. This will show you instantly if it's not done. If you need to bake it for another minute, no problem. It is far better to undercook, check ,and then put back in the oven than it is to over cook.
Slice into chops, arrange on the plates with rice and green beans, and wow. Let me know how you like it! It's one of our very favorites.
SO Reds, what are your New Year's eve traditions? And how do you feel about, um, Car-Maids?