In the first installment of the Cooking Challenge, I will take on this request:
In the spirit of your challenge, I offer you a challenge. Instead of me giving you the recipe, I will give you the main ingredient (à la Iron Chef) and you will have to incorporate it into a dish. The main ingredient is…. Arugula.
A fair challenge, as I hardly cook with arugula. The dish… pan seared Rosemary Lamb Chops and Tofu with whole wheat spaghetti and an arugula purée and a small arugula salad with a mustard vinaigrette.
1 1/2 Tsp pine nuts – toasted
3-4 cups arugula
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 Tsp Pecorino Romano shredded
1 tsp salt
Pinch of pepper
Toast pine nuts at 300 for about 6-8 minutes, let cool. Chop arugula. Toss pine nuts into food processor and process until finely chopped. Add arugula, oil, cheese, salt and dash of pepper. Not much is needed due to pepperiness of the arugula. Process until smooth, set aside.
1 tsp dijon mustard
1 Tsp balsamic vinegar
dash soy sauce
3 Tsp olive oil
Add mustard, vinegar and soy sauce to mixing/salad bowl and mix with whisk. Slowly pour in oil while continuing to whisk. Season with salt and pepper to taste. When ready, add arugula to bowl along with tomatoes, cucumbers or other vegetables as you see fit.
1/2 brick of extra firm tofu
4-6 lamb chops
1 Tablespoon Rosemary
2 garlic cloves (minced)
2 Tsp olive oil
1/4 cup of stock (vegetable or chicken)
Slice lamb rack into individual chops (if not already done) and tofu into thin 1″ slices. Pat down both, especially tofu to remove excess water. Season with salt, pepper, and rosemary. Set aside.
Preheat oven to 375 and spray or grease oven pan. Boil water for your selected pasta. Depending on the type, begin cooking pasta in order to be nearing al dente when the lamb is ready.
Heat two pans over med/high heat with a Tsp of oil in each. Place tofu in one pan and lamb in other. In the pan with tofu, add stock and let it reduce completely, flip and cook until golden brown. For lamb, sear each side of the chops for 2 minutes. Place in oven pan and cook at 375 as pasta finishes, about 4-5 minutes, depending on your desired temperature. 4-5 minutes for medium rare. 5-6 minutes for medium.
Drain pasta, and then place back into pot. Add Arugula purée, although it may not require the entire amount. Toss until well mixed.
P.S. This is Anna here… and this is definitely one of the best meals Evan has made, so I suppose that is saying something.