Braised Lamb Riblets, Grilled Summer Squash, Apricots + Chard

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We found riblets at the farmer’s market. Only a tiny package was left, with these tiny riblets.  We ate them slowly, carefully, little delicacies in our fingers. The sweetness from the peach, crispiness from the braised, then blackened fat, and bitterness from the greens. It’s also a nice thing to grind your own spices in a mortar & pestle. You can switch up the ingredients in this recipe all you want, adding, replacing, changing the spices. The dish is super versatile, but the best part is when the braised ribs get caramelized in a skillet.

Braised Lamb Riblets, Grilled Summer Squash, Apricots + Chard
1 lb pastured lamb riblets
1 tsp black peppercorns
1 tsp coriander seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp red chili flakes
Sea salt
1 small onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 inch ginger, chopped
Handful of fresh thyme
2 cups water or beef broth
1 tbsp butter
5 summer squashes, cut lengthwise
Huge handful chard, chopped
3 sprigs rosemary
Lemon juice
5 apricots, halved & quartered
Handful of cilantro

Bring the riblets to room temperature.
Add the pepper, coriander, cumin, chili flakes and sea salt to a dry skillet over medium heat. Toast until fragrant, 2-3 minutes and then grind in a mortar & pestle. Rub the spices into the riblets, place in a covered bowl, and let sit in the fridge for a few hours or overnight.
Heat the oven to 325*.
Place the butter to a dutch oven over medium-low heat. Add the onions to the skillet, cover and saute for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onions are translucent, but now browned. Add the ginger and garlic, saute for a few minutes, then add the thyme, broth or water, and the riblets.
Bring to a gentle simmer, then place the dutch oven, covered, in the oven and braise for about 2 hours, until the meat is tender.
About 15 minutes before serving, heat the grill, and cook the summer squash.
Remove the riblets from the braise, and cut them into individual ribs, reserving the braising liquid for roasting future vegetables.
Heat a skillet, add some olive oil or butter to the pan, and add the chard and rosemary. Season the greens with lemon juice & sea salt, and then throw the apricots in the with greens. Cover the skillet, turn the heat down and allow to cook for a few minutes until the greens and apricots are slightly wilted & cooked down.
In the meantime, heat another skillet, add a little oil or butter, and sear the ribs until the fat starts to caramelize on all sides.
Serve the riblets with the chard, squash, and apricots, sprinkle with cilantro and a grind of salt & pepper.
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Peach Souffle + Lemon Verbena Cream + Blackberries

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So light and tasty and not too sweet and just exciting on the tongue is how I’d describe this dessert. The only hard part is making sure you have all the parts ready to go together, so doing a bit of prep beforehand pays off. I, for example, made the lemon verbena cream while the souffle was about to go into the oven and so I was running out to the garden to get more verbana to make the infusion, while watching the souffle cook, while trying to whip the cream. Just make the cream first and save yourself some trouble. These are to be served right out of the oven, piping hot with the cool, light, lemony cream just dripping a bit down the sides. Using coconut palm sugar gives the souffle a delicate caramel taste, but its not traditional and it effects the way the whites fluff up a bit. That said it was still excellent and I would use coconut palm again next time.

Peach Souffle (Recipe adapted from here)
2 large peaches
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 meyer lemon juice
sea salt
7 egg whites
3/4 cup coconut palm sugar (or granulated sugar)
1 tbsp butter, room temperature

Oven 400. Generously butter 8 ramekins ( I only had 4 small ones and one huge one, so use what you got).

In a food processor, or by hand, chop the peaches, or pulse until they are just about bite size pieces. Scoop a heaping spoonful of the peach mix into the bottom of each ramekin.

Add the vanilla, lemon juice and salt to the remaining peach and process/blend until smooth.

In another bowl, whip the egg whites until they are slightly frothy, and then add a touch of salt, and gradually, over about 5-10 minutes, add the 3/4 sugar. Blend until the egg whites start to hold their shape and form peaks. Again, they will behave a little differently than your used to if you use coconut palm sugar-they won’t form such high peaks.

Incorporate about two cups of so of the eggs yolks into the peach mix, stir well, then add the peach/egg mix back into the beaten eggs. Stir until just combined

Spoon the souffle mix into the ramekins all the way to the top. Bake in a rimmed pan for about 10 minutes.

Lemon Verbena Cream (make before souffle)
4-5 small springs lemon verbena
3/4 cup whipping cream
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup  coconut palm sugar
1/2 cup water

In a small saucepan heat the water + sugar. Chop the lemon verbena and bruise a bit with your hands, then add it to the saucepan. Whisk on low heat for a few minutes, until quite fragrant. Remove from heat, and pour into a glass jar. Cool in the fridge for about 20 minutes

When the verbena simple syrup has cooled, whip the cream for a few minutes, then add the vanilla. Spoon in about 1/4 cup of the simple syrup, but not too much. Add it to the cream slowly so the cream doesn’t lose its shape.

Serve the souffles piping hot with cream on top, blackberries and any other garnishes you wish. Enjoy!