Sunday dinner is always a favorite of mine. I usually cook something special, even though most times I dine alone. The other evenings during the week, I will grill a piece of fish or chicken and have a few vegetables or a salad. But on Sunday, I cook my heart out.
A friend of mine in Florida also loves to cook and asked that when I post a story based on food or a good meal to please include the recipe(s). I will briefly describe the recipes at the bottom of the post.
All week long I am thinking about what I will prepare on Sunday. Sunday dinner is a time-honored tradition that has been followed by my family for as long as I know. When I was a child, we all gathered in the dining room for Sunday dinner at about 2 in the afternoon.
I think the time was predetermined by the whole Sunday tradition. We would get up at 7 or 7:30 and get ready for 9 o’clock mass at Cure of Ars Roman Catholic Church in Merrick, Long Island. After mass, we would wait on the line at Richter’s Bakery on Merrick Ave. for “rolls and buns”. When we arrived home, we would feast on the wonderful rolls with gobs of butter accompanied by several cups of coffee. (To this day, I have been unable to get a hard roll that equaled those made at Richter’s Bakery.) When we had our fill of the rolls and butter, we would turn to the buns. My favorite to this day is the crumb bun, but there were Danish and jelly donuts purchased also. Mom and Dad would read the Sunday Newsday, while my brother and I got to fight over who would get the comics first.
After the paper was read, my Mother would begin preparing Sunday dinner. It was always something special, maybe a roast beef, loin of pork, or some other type of roasted meat. The dinner table always held a very large bowl of mashed potatoes – I remember helping to peel those spuds on many an occasion – and one or two vegetables. I think all the Father’s in the sixties liked their meat and potatoes albeit their ethnic background. And I think Sunday dinner gave Mom a break from preparing three meals that day, after all we would have sandwiches of the roast of the day for supper on Sundays.
So for my Sunday dinner this week (served at 5:30, I don’t follow the time tradition), I prepared a Grilled Rack of Lamb, Porcini Risotto, Grilled Leeks and Steamed Baby Beets. And boy was it delicious!
I prepared the rack of lamb by rubbing it with a paste made from garlic, salt, fresh rosemary, pepper and a little olive oil. I spread this rub on the meat and let it marinate for several hours. The porcini risotto was made with softened, dried porcini mushrooms, their broth, arborio rice, onions, white wine, parmesan cheese and a little bit of cream. The leeks were simply brushed with olive oil and placed on the grill. And the baby beets were just steamed.