Flay's Spring Feast

Spring is finally here, and that means the arrival of colorful, delicious, seasonal ingredients. The Early Show resident chef Bobby Flay has a delicious menu, perfect for Easter or just to welcome the arrival of warmer weather.

It consists of Boneless Leg of Lamb with Tapenade, Orzo Risotto with Lemon and Parsley, and Peas with Serrano Ham and Onions.

Spring is a considered a time of renewal, not just in terms of religion and nature, but when it comes to food. All those hearty winter meals you've been eating can now be put aside for lighter spring fare. After gray winter days, we could see the beginnings of a bumper crop of colorful, bright veggies to decorate our plates.

The following are Flay's recipes.

Sautéed Peas with Serrano Ham And Fresh Mint
Serves: 6-8

Ingredients:
2 tablespoons unsalted olive oil
1/2 pound slice Serrano ham or cooked country ham, diced
1 medium Spanish onion, halved and thinly sliced
1 1/2 pounds frozen peas
1/2 cup chicken stock
Salt and freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint

Method:
  1. Heat olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add the ham and cook until golden brown.

  2. Remove to a plate lined with paper towels. Add the onions to the pan and cook until soft.

  3. Add the peas and stock, cover and cook until the peas are just cooked through, about 5 minutes.

  4. Season with salt and pepper, and fold in the mint.

  5. Transfer to a platter and top with the ham.
Boneless Leg of Lamb with Tapenade
Serves: 6-8

Tapenade
Ingredients:

1/2 pound black olives, pitted
4 anchovy fillets
2 tablespoons capers, drained
2 cloves garlic, peeled
Pinch of red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
1/3 cup olive oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper

Method:
  • Combine all ingredients in a food processor and process until smooth.
Note: Tapenade is a paste made from cured black olives seasoned with olive oil, garlic, anchovies, capers, lemon, and marc or cognac. This is common in Province, where it is served with croutons and raw vegetables to dip. This also makes a good sauce for grilled meats and strong flavored fish.

Lamb
Ingredients:

1 boneless leg of lamb (5-6 lbs), trimmed of excess fat and butterflied
Tapenade (see above)
Olive oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper

Note: Lamb is produced from animals less than a year old. Since the quality of lamb varies according to the age of the animal, it is advisable to buy lamb that has been USDA-graded. Click here to learn more about buying meat.

Method:
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Spread the butterflied leg of lamb, boned side up, on a work surface with the grain of the meat running left to right. Spread the tapenade across the meat, leaving a 1/2-inch border on all sides.

  2. Roll the meat over the tapenade, jelly-roll fashion, and tuck in the ends. Tie with kitchen twine every 2 inches. Rub the olive oil over the surface of the meat and season generously with salt and pepper.

  3. Heat a large heavy roasting pan over two burners on top of the stove set to high heat. Sear the lamb on all sides until golden brown. Transfer to the oven and roast until an instant read thermometer registers 140 degrees F. for medium-rare, 1 hour to 1 hour and 15 minutes.

  4. Remove from the oven and transfer to a cutting board. Let rest for 15 minutes before carving. To serve, remove the kitchen twine and slice.
Orzo Risotto with Lemon & Parsley
Serves: 6-8

Ingredients:
8 cups homemade chicken stock or low sodium canned chicken broth
1/2 cup roasted lemon juice
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium Spanish onion, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 pound orzo pasta
1 cup dry white wine
2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh lemon zest
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup grated Romano cheese
2 tablespoons cold unsalted butter
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh flat leaf parsley

Method:
  1. Place chicken stock and roasted lemon juice in a medium saucepan and bring to a simmer over low heat.

  2. Heat oil in a large high-sided sauté pan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until soft. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the orzo and stir well to coat the pasta with the oil mixture. Increase the heat to high, add the wine and cook until reduced.

  3. Begin adding the stock 1 cup at a time, stirring constantly until the liquid is absorbed. Continue adding stock and cook until the pasta is al dente, stirring every few minutes.

  4. Season with salt and pepper and stir in the zest, cheese, butter and parsley and serve immediately. Serve additional cheese on the side, if desired.

  • Tatiana Morales

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