I love hosting parties in my backyard, especially in Spring. The only nerve wracking problem is the weather! For weeks, I check the weather app and one day it says windy, another day it says sunny, and yet another a chance of rain. I nervously continue to dream about a magazine worthy outdoor Aussie Lamb Simply Spring Party while developing an indoor back-up-plan.
Simply Me Party Tip #1: Always have a location backup plan! Or when planning an outdoor party in Spring only invite how many you can host inside your home.
Another party challenge is that some guests like to RSVP the day before the party! I am a planner so this always throws me for a moment but I do not have the heart to turn away anyone! One family of 5 adults and 3 children texted the day before the party to ask if there was still room. If you are on my invite list I care YOU and have envisioned your presence at my party.
Simply Me Party Tip #2: If you absolutely need to know your head count then post a RSVP deadline. If there is some flexibility in the number you host then always plan for 3-5 more last minute guests.
Lastly, I have hosted too many parties to count and have come to grant myself a few luxuries or might I call that “Simply Me”. My style of party decoration is casual elegance. I serve drinks in glasses, food on china or clear glass, cloth napkins with napkin rings, and cloth table coverings. To use a trendy term that KonMari states, “Does it give me joy?” And yes, setting my tables in a beautiful elegant way brings me joy and allows me to be “Simply Me”. Soooo.........
Simply Me Party Tip #3: Rent chairs for a harmonious look! There ya go, instead of hauling out dining chairs, neighbor chairs, patio chairs, and folding chairs I rent Bistro chairs for $1.70 per chair. My total bill was $34 and all 20 chairs fit in my Prius! If you are on a tight budget ask a friend who wants to help or bring something to take care of the chairs!!! Brilliant idea! The rental of chairs is equal to 2 bottles of wine someone would be happy to bring.
Simply Me Party Tip #4: Ask a friend to assist you in day-of-the-party cooking. My friend, Jennifer, saved me! Although I had side dishes made and meat seasoned the day before I needed her for grilling lamb, plating, brushing butter on phyllo, and making the chocolate mousse brownie! Friends help friends!!!
Simply Me Party Tip #5: So you have another friend who asks what they can bring or provide….ask them to stay and help wash dishes or pay for the high school student who will come over after the party is over and wash the dishes. I pay $15 per hour for extra help and let me tell you it saves me! On PaRtY DaY my feet get tired, after all the day before I made side dishes that made lots of dirty dishes, and I pre-washed glassware. This year I forgot to hire my girl and I washed and cleaned for 3 hours after the party….note to self…before my next party I promise to read my Simply Me Party Tips! #SimplySpring is all about that….make it simple on yourself!
With all that being said, the weather God was with me and the day was a absolutely perfect 72 degrees with no wind! My guests were WOWED by the presentation of so much delicious food. Everyone loved the lamb dishes and were very interested in the lamb presentation. I must say I didn’t really need the salmon dish cuz everyone feasted on the Aussie Grassfed Beef and the Aussie Lamb!!!
Aussie #SimplySpring Menu
Sweet and Spicy Grilled Aussie Rack of Lamb with Green Rice
Simply Spring Grilled Aussie Lamb Loin Chops
Broccoli Asiago Herb Quinoa
Spinach Dip and Aussie Lamb Loin Puffed Pastry
Slow Roasted Aussie Grassfed Beef Tenderloin and Mushrooms Sliders
Slow Roasted Brown Sugar Salmon with Dill Mustard Sauce
White Bean with Artichokes and Olives Skillet
Roasted New Potatoes with Dill and Parsley Cream
Butter Leaf and Veggie Salad with Honey Mustard Dressing
Pineapple and Raspberry Fruit Platter with Agave and Mint
Chocolate Mousse Brownie Trifle
Strawberry Bundt Cake with Fresh Strawberries and Whipped Cream
Banana 2-Chip Mini Muffins
Sweet and Spicy Grilled Aussie Rack of Lamb on Green Rice
Sweet and Spicy Rub:
1 packages Aussie Rack of Lamb
2 teaspoon smoked salt
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon curry powder
1 teaspoon granulated garlic
1 teaspoon granulated onion
1/2 teaspoon ground thyme
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne powder
1 1/2 tablespoon dark brown sugar
2 tablespoons garlic or olive oil
1 cup fresh baby spinach tightly packed
½ cup cilantro tightly packed
3 tablespoons chopped mint, divided
1 cup low sodium chicken broth
1 cup whole milk
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 ½ cups jasmine rice
1/2 cup chopped white or yellow onion
2 cloves garlic finely minced
1/4 teaspoon crushed pepper flakes
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Remove lamb from the refrigerator. Season lamb and set aside to allow lamb to come to room temperature. Meanwhile, make green rice.
To make Sweet & Spicy Lamb: Mix all spices, brown sugar, and oil in a bowl. Spread the mixture all over the lamb and let marinate for 30 minutes or overnight.
Heat a large skillet on medium-high heat, and drizzle with canola oil. When the skillet has just begun to smoke, sear lamb for 5 minutes on each side until charred. Place skillet with lamb in the oven for 15-20 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 128°F -130°. Let lamb rest for 10-15 minutes and slice 2 chops per person.
Chef’s Tip: To divide a cooked rack of lamb into portions, use a sharp knife and cut right along the edge of the bone not the center of the rib.
For Green Rice: Combine the spinach, cilantro, 1 tablespoon mint, chicken broth, milk and salt in a blender container and blend for about 30 seconds.
In a medium saucepan heat butter and canola oil. Add the rice and sauté until light golden, stirring frequently for 3 to 4 minutes.
Add the onion and garlic and cook 2 minutes, stirring frequently.
Add the blended mixture, stir well and bring to a boil. Cover the pan, turn heat to lowest temperature and cook for 20 minutes. Fluff rice with a fork, and cover toilet rice steam 10-15 minutes.
Fluff rice and place on serving platter. Arrange rack of lamb on top. Garnish with chopped mint leaves.
For information on where to buy Aussie lamb near you visit True Aussie Beef and Lamb!
For more delicious Simply Spring Aussie Lamb recipes visit Bringing Home the Flavors of Spring