We’re celebrating the arrival of spring with these two delicious recipes from the Giant Eagle Market District!

Rack of Lamb with Cherries and Kalamata Olives
(Compliments of Chef Crystal A. Baldwin)

Makes: 4-6
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup pitted kalamata olives
  • ½ cup dried sour cherries
  • 1 750ml bottle red wine
  • 1 tbsp Market District™ extra-virgin olive oil
  • 5 slices Market District™ bacon, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 5lb local rack of lamb
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 cup Market District™ beef stock
  • 4 cloves garlic, smashed and peeled
  • 8 sprigs thyme
  • ½ cup carrots, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup onions, coarsely chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • ½ tsp black peppercorns
  • 3 tbsp butter, softened
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350°. In a medium saucepan, combine the olives with the sour cherries and 1 ½ cups of the wine. Bring to a boil and simmer over low heat for 5 minutes. Set aside.

In a large pan, heat the olive oil. Add the bacon and cook over medium heat until the fat has rendered. Transfer the bacon to a plate.

Season the lamb with salt and pepper. Add the pan and brown it on all sides over medium-high heat. Transfer the lamb to the plate with the bacon. Add the beef stock, remaining red wine garlic, thyme, carrots, onions, bay leaves and peppercorns to the casserole and bring to a boil. Cook until reduced by half.

Return the lamb and bacon to the pan. Braise the lamb in the oven until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the center of the roast registers 135°. Let rest for 20 minutes.

In a small bowl, blend the butter with the flour to make a paste.

Strain the braising liquid into a medium saucepan and skim off the fat. Boil over high heat until reduced to 2 cups. Add the olives, cherries and red wine mixture and simmer over moderate heat for 3 minutes. Whisk the flour paste into the simmering sauce and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, until no floury taste remains, about 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Serve with the lamb.

Polenta Cake with Rhubarb Jam
(Compliments of Chef Crystal A. Baldwin)

Serves: 8
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients:
Cake

  • 1 ¼ cups cake flour
  • ½ cup yellow cornmeal
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 ½ sticks unsalted butter, softened
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • Finely grated zest of 1 orange
  • 1 tbsp fresh orange juice
  • 4 tbsp orange blossom honey
  • 1 tbsp water

Jam

  • 1 ½ lb rhubarb stalks
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • Mascarpone cream
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • ¾ cup mascarpone

Directions:

CAKE: Preheat the oven to 350°. Butter a deep 9-inch cake pan. In a large bowl, beat the butter with sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time, beating well between additions. Add the orange zest and juice, then gradually beat in the dry ingredients at low speed until just blended.

Put the batter in the pan and smooth. Bake until golden brown and a tooth pick comes out clean. While the cake is still warm, invert it onto a platter. Whisk the honey with the water and drizzle the honey syrup over the cake

JAM: Light a grill or heat a grill pan. Grill the rhubarb over high heat until lightly charred. Coarsely chop the rhubarb.

In a large saucepan, combine the sugar and lemon juice and bring to a simmer over medium until the sugar starts to melt.

Add the rhubarb and simmer, stirring often, until thickened.

CREAM: In a bowl, beat the cream, vanilla, sugar until whipped. Add the mascarpone and beat until smooth. Serve the cream and jam with the cake