Your Recipe for Convection Cooking
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Roast Leg of Lamb with Roasted Ratatouille
Ratatouille is a flavorful vegetable stew from Southern France that combines a bounty of summer vegetables, eggplant, zucchini, peppers and tomatoes. Typically it is cooked in a heavy casserole on the cooktop but the vegetables can also be combined and roasted in the oven for an easy Convection Meal. Ratatouille combines well with roast chicken, oven baked polenta and our favorite roast lamb and can even be served over pasta or grains.
Roast Leg of Lamb
1 semi boneless leg of lamb, approx 4 - 5lbs
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp, finely chopped fresh rosemary
2 tbsp olive oil
3 shallots, peeled and cut in half
10 cloves garlic, peeled
2 small Italian eggplant or 1 Italian and 1 Fairy Tale eggplant, cut into 1 ½” chunks
3 large zucchini, cut into 1 ½” chunks
2 large peppers, yellow and orange are nice for the color, peeled, seeds removed, cut into
1 ½” pieces ( a Y shaped vegetable peeler does a good job of removing the peel)
¼ cup olive oil
1 level tsp herbs de Provence
4 medium roma tomatoes, cut into quarters (these are added later)
To coordinate the cooking plan on the following timing.
Lamb - 1 hr 25 minutes including 10 - 15 minutes for resting and carving.
Ratatouille - 40 - 50 minutes
Begin by seasoning the lamb and letting it sit overnight in the refrigerator. First give the lamb a generous sprinkle of Kosher salt, then combine the rosemary, garlic and oil and rub it all over the meat. Cover loosely with a sheet of wax paper and refrigerate for 6 hours or overnight. And be sure to let it sit outside of the refrigerator for at least an hour prior to cooking.
Organize the oven racks to accommodate the roast and the tray of ratatouille underneath.
Heat the oven in the Convection Roast or Convection Bake Mode 325 ℉.
Place the lamb on a rack in a shallow pan. And if your oven has a meat probe insert the sensor into the meat on the diagonal, taking care not to touch any bone.
Slide the lamb into the oven and activate the meat probe function then program to the desired internal temperature. Remember the internal temperature will rise as the meat rests so if you like your lamb medium rare, select an internal temperature of 125 - 130 degrees.
When the lamb has cooked for at least 45 - 50 minutes, slide the tray with the ratatouille into the oven.
Combine the shallots, garlic, eggplant, zucchini and peppers in a large shallow mixing bowl.
Season with a sprinkle of Kosher salt and the herbs, add enough of the olive oil to coat the vegetables evenly then spread onto a rimmed baking sheet. The vegetables will shrink a fair bit during the cooking so it’s best if they are fairly crowded on the tray.
When the lamb has cooked for 45 - 50 minutes, add the tray of ratatouille into the lower part of the oven. Remove the lamb when the meat probe indicates it has reached the desired internal temperature and set aside to rest. Carefully combine the tomatoes with the other ratatouille vegetables and reprogram the oven to finish cooking the vegetables in the Convection Roast or Convection Bake Mode,400℉ and set the timer for 25 minutes.
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Almond Orange Olive Oil Cake
One of the great mysteries of the the appliance industry is that most ovens sold nowadays feature Convetion cooking modes; however, recipes rarely reference cooking with Convection.
1 - cup whole raw almonds lightly toasted and cooled
¾ - cup twice-sifted cake flour
1 ½ - teaspoons baking powder
Pinch of kosher or sea salt
4 - large eggs
1 - cup sugar
1 - teaspoon vanilla extract
Finely grated zest of one small orange or Meyer lemon
⅔ - cup extra virgin olive oil
Toast the almonds in the Convection Mode 325 degrees until golden brown inside, set aside to cool completely.
Leave the oven set at 325 or change to 350 degrees if using standard Bake Mode.
Butter the bottom and sides of a 9” round cake pan and line the bottom with a circle of parchment paper.
Place the almonds in a food processor with one third of the cake flour and process until almost as fine as sand.
In a medium sized bowl whisk together the remaining cake flour, baking powder and salt then whisk in the ground almond mixture.
In a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, whip the eggs on high speed until well-blended. Add the sugar gradually then add the vanilla and orange zest. Continue whipping on high speed until the mixture triples in volume, about 3 minutes.
On low speed, add the flour mixture in three batches alternating with the olive oil and beating just until the batter is blended.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake until firm to the touch in the center. Cook in the pan for 10 minutes before inverting onto a rack.
Recipe from “Wine Country Table ” author Janet Fletcher