Easter Lamb Dinner With A Modern Twist

Forget the mint jelly with your Easter lamb dinner!

Star chef Marcus Samuelsson offered his modern take on the traditional fare, on The Early Show Wednesday. It's as easy as it is delicioius!

Samuelsson recently opened his third restaurant, in New York City, called Merkato 55, and plans to open another soon, in Chicago.

Lamb Facts

  • Lamb is lean, with fewer than 175 calories per average three-ounce portion
  • There are usually eight chops in one rack of lamb
  • "Frenched" lamb chops have the meat at the tip cut away to expose the bone
  • American lamb has a higher meat-to-bone ratio than most imported varieties


    Easter Lamb

    1 Rack of American lamb
    1 teaspoon salt
    2 teaspoons mild chili powder
    1/2 teaspoon crushed coriander
    1/2 teaspoon ginger powder
    1/4 teaspoon black pepper
    3 tablespoons olive oil
    2 tablespoons chopped rosemary
    4 cloves garlic, roughly chopped

    1. Preheat oven to 400º.
    2. Toss together the salt, chili powder, coriander, ginger, and pepper. Toast them for 30 seconds in a pan over medium heat.
    3. Rub the olive oil over the lamb, followed by the spices. Let sit for 15 minutes.
    4. Sear off the entire rack over medium heat for 3 minutes per side.
    5. Place in the oven for 15 minutes. Remove and let rest for 10 minutes. Before serving, reheat for 3 minutes. Slice into chops, and serve.

    Asparagus with Warm Ramp Vinaigrette


    1/2 cup olive oil
    2 tablespoons chopped almonds
    2 cloves garlic, chopped
    1 red onion, finely chopped
    1 finger chili, finely chopped
    2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
    Juice of 1 lime
    1 tablespoon finely chopped mint
    3 tablespoons chopped ramps

    1. In a pan, heat 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat. Add in the almonds, garlic, onion, and chilies and sauté until golden brown.
    2. Add the balsamic vinegar and simmer for 3 minutes
    3. Add the remaining oil and lime juice, bring to a boil. Add in the mint and ramps, simmer for 2 minutes then remove from the heat.
    4. Drizzle over asparagus (below)


    1 bunch of asparagus, stalk lightly peeled, bottoms removed
    2 quarts water
    3/4 teaspoon salt

    1. Bring water to a boil with salt. Blanch asparagus for 30 seconds.
    2. Drizzle with Warm Ramp Vinaigrette, season with salt and pepper. Serve with Easter Lamb & Garlic Mashed Potatoes.

    Garlic Mashed Potatoes

    Serves 4 to 6

    1-1/2 pounds fingerling or Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled
    2 cups milk
    1 cup heavy cream
    8 elephant garlic cloves
    2 fresh thyme sprigs
    Freshly grated nutmeg
    1 tablespoon olive oil
    1 tablespoon unsalted butter
    1 tablespoon freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
    Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

    1. Combine the potatoes, milk, cream, garlic, and thyme in a large saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat slightly and simmer until the potatoes are tender, 20 to 25 minutes. Drain, reserving the cooking liquid.

    2. Transfer the potatoes and garlic to a medium bowl and mash with a fork, adding the nutmeg, olive oil, butter, and Parmesan. Add about half the reserved cooking liquid, mixing well, then add additional cooking liquid as necessary until the potatoes are the consistency you like. Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve hot.