Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Michael Psilakis - How to Roast a Lamb

A few weeks ago, my husband, our friend and I headed over to the Astor Center for a dinner inspired by the amazing Greek chef, Michael Psilakis. (Check out an article about the night here). I was a little apprehensive — after all, the menu started off with octopus! — but everything was magnificent and I enjoyed every second of my dinner.

Here's Michael at the helm:

Michael Psilakis

As part of the fee for the night, we all got copies of his new book, How to Roast a Lamb:

Michael Psilakis

I haven't cooked anything from it yet, but judging by the delicious dinner, I definitely will soon! The book has a lot of really beautiful color recipe photography done by Christopher Hirsheimer & Melissa Hamilton.

We started with Roasted Octopus with Salami, Apple & Anchovy Vinaigrette. I seriously thought I was going to dislike this, but it was delicious. The octopus was roasted and not rubbery or fishy at all.

octopus dish

Next, we moved on to the Sheep's Milk Ricotta Dumplings with Spicy Lamb Sausage, Spinach, Sundried Tomatoes, Pine Nuts & Feta. Anything with all of those ingredients is going to be spectacular, in my opinion, and this was even better than that. The dumplings were light in texture and very flavorful.

sheeps milk ricotta dumplings

Next was our main course, the Braised Lamb Shank with Orzo & Root Vegetables. I could eat this all day, every day. It was so good and the meat was perfectly tender.

braised lamb shank

Finally, for dessert, we had Yogurt with Quince spoon fruit & Jordan Almonds. The yogurt was Greek style, super thick and strained (the only kind I eat!) It was delicious and, although not super sweet, definitely satisfying.

yogurt with quince fruit

I had such a great time at this dinner, and I loved hearing Michael Psilakis talk about his past and the path he took, with no formal training, to become the NYC Greek cuisine pioneer that he is today. It is really incredible, and he is such an inspiration.

Here are some more photos from the event to inspire you!

I hope you all have a wonderful holiday season :)

wine glass abstract

lamb with steam

Michael on tv screen

our sommalier

Michael live and on TV

yummy sparkling wine