This week’s recipe was “stolen” with permission from chef Erica Holland-Toll of the Lark Creek Inn in Larkspur, Calif. The recipe comprises tender juicy Sonoma lamb loin which is cooked to medium-rare and paired with English peas that are lightly cooked with butter and shallots and mashed with a touch of mint. The dish is finished with a quick sauté of butter-braised radish, English peas and pea tendrils. The mashed peas can be made a day ahead to save time.
The Lark Creek Inn is close to San Francisco, located in picturesque Larkspur in Marin County. A longtime Marin County favorite, the Lark Creek Inn features California cuisine highlighting food from local farms in a beautifully converted Victorian house set among redwood trees.
About the chef: Growing up in the small Northern California town of Arnold, chef Erica Holland-Toll of the Lark Creek Inn enjoyed the benefits of a mother who grew her own vegetables, made candies, cookies and preserves and baked bread. When Holland-Toll left home to attend the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, it was as a psychology major, but she soon realized she spent all of her time cooking instead of studying. “When I moved to Las Vegas I didn’t realize how much my mother’s cooking and philosophies on food had impacted my life,” recalls Holland-Toll. “All I could think about was food. It was a major turning point.”
She soon left Las Vegas to attend the Art Institute of Seattle’s culinary program and worked under Jan Birnbaum at Sazerac. From there her career gained momentum as she chose positions to advance her knowledge in different areas of culinary expertise.
A theme throughout Holland-Toll’s culinary career has been a focus on seasonality and locality. Since moving to San Francisco in 2001, Holland-Toll has forged relationships with some of the Bay Area’s most prestigious local farms and attends farmer’s markets three to four times a week to find the freshest produce and other ingredients available.
When not at the Lark Creek Inn, Holland-Toll enjoys camping, hiking, bike riding and making homemade jams and preserves. She lives in San Francisco.
Lark Creek Inn
234 Magnolia Ave.
Larkspur, CA 94925
415 924 7766
Seared Sonoma lamb loin with mashed English peas, braised radish and pea tendrils is served at the Lark Creek Inn for $32.
Seared Sonoma lamb loin with mashed English peasErica Holland-Toll, Lark Creek Inn
For mashed peas:
Note: This part of the dish can be made a day ahead.
Sweat the shallots in butter, when soft add the peas, sweat peas for a minute then add 1/4 cup water. Simmer until the peas are tender but still green. When the peas are tender put them into a wide pan or bowl and cool quickly. When cool, puree in food processor — not until smooth, pulse the peas and scrape the sides of the bowl to keep some texture.
Finish by mixing in the lemon zest and chopped mint. Set aside. Right before serving, heat slowly in a sauce pot with 1 tablespoon of butter.
For lamb chops:
Heat a sauté pan over medium heat, season lamb chops with salt and pepper and sear 3 minutes on each side for medium rare. Set aside in a warm place to rest.
For the sautéed radish, peas and pea tendrils:
Melt the remaining butter in a larger sauce pan, add the chopped shallots to pan, then add the radishes and cook slowly over low heat for 5 minutes. Add 1/4 cup of water and simmer until radishes are tender. Add peas and cook for 2 more minutes. Increase heat and add the pea tendrils to pan, toss until the pea tendrils are slightly wilted but not fully cooked.
Place a spoon of mashed peas on plate, place the lamb chops on the mashed peas, arrange the sauté of radish around the plate. Sprinkle with sea salt and serve.
253479606048160674picked english peas2cup2 cups picked English peasbutter2tablespoon2 tablespoons of butterlemon, zested0.51/2 lemon, zestedchopped mint2tablespoon2 tablespoons of chopped mintdiced shallots1tablespoon1 tablespoon of diced shallotsfrench breakfast radish, cleaned and cut in half1bunch1 bunch French breakfast radishes, cleaned and cut in halfenglish peas4tablespoon4 tablespoons English peaspea tendrils0.5pound1/2 pound pea tendrilsshallot diced11 shallot, dicedbutter3tablespoon3 tablespoons butterlamb loin chops- approx 3 oz ea88 lamb loin chops, approximately 3 ounces eachSalt and pepper to taste
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