New York (December 17) - StarChefs.com, the ultimate online culinary magazine, is pleased to announce Chef James Botsacos of Molyvos and Abbocatto in New York as the next featured chef for QuickMeals™ - fast and easy healthy recipes from the country's hottest chefs.
QuickMeals use a minimal number of ingredients and minimal preparation time. Every week, StarChefs features 5 QuickMeal recipes from a different celebrity chef with serving suggestions and wine pairings, plus a shopping list and the chef's ideal pantry.
James Botsacos’ Menu for the Week:
Monday: Cheese and Leek Pie
Tuesday: Marinated and Grilled King Salmon with Yogurt-Garlic Sauce
Wednesday: Pan-Roasted Sirloin Steak with Tomato and Arugula Salad
Thursday: Red Snapper Plaki with Tomato, Onion, Garlic and Red Wine
Friday: Baby Lamb Chops with Ionian Garlic Sauce (recipe follows)
James Botsacos' name is synonymous with fine Greek cuisine in New York City. A descendant of Greek- and Italian-American chefs, Botsacos trained at Johnson and Wales before his seven-year tenure at The 21 Club. He was named executive chef of Park Avalon at the age of 24 and then the consulting chef for Bluewater Grill three years later. When he signed on as executive chef of Molyvos - owned by the Livanos family- he traveled to Greece and met with Greek food authority Aglaia Kremezi to research the country's regional home cooking. At Molyvos he draws upon his classical training and techniques to creatively interpret traditional Hellenic specialties, without diminishing their centuries' old authenticity. Together with the Livanos family, Botsacos recently opened Abbocatto, an authentic Italian restaurant that celebrates Italy's local and regional specialties.
A subscription to QuickMeals makes a great holiday gift for the food lovers in your life. Or, better yet, treat yourself this holiday. New seasonal recipes are provided each week by top chefs like Mario Batali, Bobby Flay, and Daniel Boulud. A QuickMeals gift subscription is only $54.99 for 12 months with unlimited access to chef recipes or $9.99 for a super-saver 3-month trial subscription. For more information or to subscribe to QuickMeals, go to www.starchefs.com/quickmeals.
The next edition of QuickMeals will feature a different chef each day of the week. Our stellar lineup of chefs from around the country includes John Ash, Paul Kahan, Bob Kinkead, Bradley Ogden and Lidia Bastianich.
Recipe for Baby Lamb Chops with Ionian Garlic Sauce
Chef James Botsacos of Molyvos and Abbocatto – New York, NY
Adapted by StarChefs
Yield: 4 Servings
Chef Botsacos’ Baby Lamb Chops make an ideal holiday entrée that requires minimal preparation and cooking time. A salad of warm watercress and wild mushrooms rounds out the meal. Cook the racks of lamb whole, and set them aside as you prepare the remaining elements of this dish. Separate the racks and sear the chops just before serving.
2 Tablespoons chopped garlic
1 Tablespoon dried Greek oregano, plus additional for garnish
½ Tablespoon dried Greek savory (available at specialty food stores), or dried thyme
1¼ cups plus 2 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
½ Tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
¼ Tablespoon kosher salt
Juice of 1 lemon
4 racks of lamb (14-16 ounces each), cleaned and frenched. (Chef Botsacos prefers New Zealand lamb)
Extra-virgin olive oil for brushing
Ionian garlic sauce:
1½ Tablespoons chopped fresh oregano
2 Tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
1½ Tablespoons chopped fresh dill
1½ Tablespoons chopped watercress
1½ Tablespoons minced garlic
2 cups extra-virgin olive oil
¾ cup red wine vinegar
1 Tablespoon sugar
In a mixing bowl, whisk together the garlic, oregano, savory, 1 ¼ cups olive oil, pepper, salt and lemon juice. Place the lamb in a large roasting pan. Pour the marinade evenly over the lamb, cover tightly with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 30 minutes. For maximum flavor, the lamb should marinate overnight.
Heat 2 Tablespoons olive oil in a sauté pan over medium heat. Remove the lamb from the marinade, and wipe off any excess marinade. Season the rack with salt and pepper on both sides and place in the hot sauté pan, flesh side down. Cook 2-3 minutes or until lightly seared. Turn and cook on the bone side an additional 2-3 minutes. Transfer to a platter and let the meat rest; the lamb will still be raw in the center.
For Ionian garlic sauce:
Place the oregano, parsley, dill and watercress on a clean cutting board. Sprinkle one-half Tablespoon of the salt evenly over the herbs. Working with one herb at a time, chop until fine. Bring all the herbs to the center of the cutting board and chop again until very fine and slightly moist. Set aside.
Warm the oil briefly in a small non-corrosive pot over medium-low heat. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute without browning and remove pot from heat. Add the vinegar, sugar, and chopped herbs to the pot. Season with salt and stir.
Cut each rack into individual chops. Lightly brush both sides of the chops with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Heat a sauté pan over medium heat and arrange the chops in a single layer (cook about 4-5 at a time). Cook for 1 to 2 minutes. Turn and cook for an additional 1-2 minutes. The chops should be medium-rare. Arrange 4 lamb chops on each plate, and drizzle with Ionian garlic sauce.
Yield: 4 Servings
Round Out the Meal:
With warm watercress and wild mushroom salad (recipe follows).
2 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
½ pound crimini mushrooms
½ pound shiitake mushrooms, tough stems removed
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
3 cups watercress, washed and dried, coarse stems removed
1 Tablespoon balsamic vinegar
2 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Heat a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the olive oil to the pan and sauté the mushrooms. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms are soft, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Drain excess oil from the pan and keep warm. Place watercress in a serving bowl and add the mushrooms. Season with salt and pepper, drizzle with vinegar and olive oil, and toss.
Limit the garlic in the sauce and serve a mixed green salad instead of the mushroom salad.
An Australian Shiraz or a Greek red in a similar, fruity style like the Pavilion Vineyards Agiorgitiko 2003.
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