The personal stories and adventures of a nerdy food lover.

When a ‘boy look’ turns out to be a winner

Tell me if you’ve ever had this conversation before:

DBF (Dear Boyfriend): *shouts out from another room* Baaaaabe. Have you seen the [insert random item]?
Me: *shouts back* It’s in the [insert random location]
*a few minutes pass*
DBF: Are you sure it’s in the [insert random location]? I can’t see it.
Me: *Walks to the other room, pulls out item in question in less than 2 seconds* Here you go.
DBF: Hmph….thanks babe.

The situation I’ve just described is known as the ‘boy look’, where your other half fails to see what is right in front of them. This situation occurs with moderate frequency in my household, and I tease my DBF a lot for it. I can’t say, however, that I’m immune from having the odd ‘boy look’ moment myself. In fact, it only happened to me the other day when I was shopping for the recipe in this post. I had the afternoon off from Uni, so I decided that I would take a trip into the Adelaide Central Markets to get my ingredients. I needed a rack of lamb, and headed straight for my usual butcher to get it. I scanned the cabinets and saw that they had racks of lamb already frenched (i.e. the meat, fat and membranes that connect the individual rib bones removed) with a spring of rosemary tied to them. They looked really nice, so I asked the butcher to grab one of the racks for me and brought it home. What I had failed to see, which was right in front of my face, was a sign that said ‘prepared lamb racks with herb and rosemary stuffing’. I wanted plain lamb racks, not stuffed! Feeling a little foolish and annoyed with myself, I decided that I would use the lamb anyway despite it not being exactly what the recipe called for. Thank goodness that the dish worked out, and we were able to have a lovely dinner. Possibly the one and only time that a ‘boy look’ worked out for the better; I’m definitely taking a closer look at what I buy from now on…. This recipe serves 2 people.

‘Boy look’ herb-crusted lamb rack & braised peas with lettuce & speck
70g (1 cup) day-old white breadcrumbs
2 small garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 cup curly parsley, finely chopped
½ tsp dried thyme leaves
15g unsalted butter, melted
1 lamb rack (8 cutlets on the rack), French trimmed (and no stuffing!!!)
1 tbs olive oil
10 golden shallots, peeled
2 tbs Dijon mustard

Braised peas with lettuce & speck
125-150g speck, rind removed, cut into pieces
25g unsalted butter, chopped
¼ iceberg lettuce, outer leaves removed, core removed, finely shredded
250g frozen baby peas
1½ tbs chicken stock

Preheat oven to 180˚C (fan forced). Combine the breadcrumbs, garlic, parsley and thyme in a bowl. Add the butter and use your hands to mix until everything is coated.Mix the breadcrumb mixture

Heat the oil in a large frypan over medium heat. Season the lamb with some salt. Cook the lamb and shallots, turning, for about 6-8 minutes or until the lamb is browned off. Transfer the lamb and shallots to a roasting pan. Roast, fat side up, for about 10 minutes.

Brown the lamb rack and shallots

Pull the lamb out of the oven, and quickly spread the mustard over the fat, then evenly press the breadcrumb mixture on top. Whack the lamb and shallots back into the oven and roast for a further 5-10 minutes or until the crust is golden and the lamb is cooked to your liking. Cover loosely with foil and set aside for about 15 minutes to rest.

Spread mustard over lamb Press breadcrumb mixture onto lamb

To make the braised peas, heat a frying pan over medium heat. Cook the speck, stirring, for about 4-5 minutes or until it has browned a little. Chuck in the butter and cook for another 3-4 minutes. Chuck in the lettuce and stir until it has wilted, then add the peas and stock. Increase the heat to medium-high and simmer for about 10 minutes or until the peas are cooked and the stock has reduced.

Cook speck until golden Stir in lettuce until wilted Add peas and stock

Serve the lamb with the braised peas and roasted shallots.

Not bad for a 'boy look'

Note: I’ve made some minor amendments to the original recipe which is a Manu Feidel recipe, if you would like to see the original recipe, it’s on page 74 of the latest magazine (September issue). I have to say, I was impressed with the taste of the braised peas with the lettuce and speck. I never would’ve thought to combine the 3 ingredients together. At first I thought that 250g of peas would be too much for two people, but DBF and I ate the lot!

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12 thoughts on “When a ‘boy look’ turns out to be a winner

  1. cheryllovesfood on said:

    Great story. Love the plated dish, just lovely. I recently saw Michel Roux, Jr. make a dish that used lettuce and peas, I think he said it was a classical French dish. I was surprised, but would love to try it. I would like to try it. Thanks for sharing!

  2. From how delicious that looks, I would definitely agree this must be the best boy look ever!

  3. That looks amazing Chook

  4. Nice recipe. I too would never have imagined to cook iceberg lettuce, or combine it with peas. I’m afraid I’m usually the one with the ‘boy look’ and ask my DHB (dear husband) to find stuff for me — including my own kitchen stuff! At Flinders I was the best at spotting wildlife though, so it can’t be my eyesight. (I really liked the yellow-footed rock wallabies by the way.)
    P.S. You might want to add at the end to serve those shallots, too 😉

  5. I think it truly is “a guy” thing… the “Where is such & such” line ! My late husband & my sons often acted as if they had on horse blinders…. Mothers – and teachers – seem to have a Sixth Sense. Example, after a couple of weeks, I’d come to know each student’s hat, shoes, boots, mittens AND special stuffed animal – and made sure they all went home with their own stuff.
    Quick true story – once one of my twin son’s came home from school with HIS BROTHER’S school photo package! I was the only one who noticed, it seems!

  6. This really does look good. And the photos are great too – the peas look wonderful, and I’m sure that they went very well with the lamb.

    • Thanks Georgina! Yes, the peas went surprisingly well with the lamb – plus the speck added such a nice flavour. I really wouldn’t have even thought about the flavour combo, if it wasn’t for this recipe.

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