When Nathalie Dupree and I get in the kitchen together, it’s pure laughter. The woman is just a force to be reckoned with: She taught cooking for decades, has been featured in The New York Times and is the founding chairman of the Charleston Food and Wine Festival. Years ago, Julia—as in Julia Child—suggested that Nathalie should write a book on Southern cooking. She now has 15 of them to her name, two of which have won James Beard Awards.
Nathalie has so many different titles and awards, but when it comes to me she’s just a big mother hen. She knew my mother well and feels proprietary about me, but also loves to tease me—especially about the fact that I don’t allow microwaves in my home.
She’s like a favorite aunt—the kind who comes and takes you out for an adventure, which we certainly had during her recent visit for the Southern Chefs Series. She did a butterflied leg of lamb with Dijon mustard, rosemary, ginger, garlic and soy sauce from her book New Southern Cooking. People who don’t normally like lamb loved this dish. And the best part is that it’s easily replicated at home—and perfect for Easter.
Next up in the Southern Chefs Series: Chef Ford Fry, May 18-19. Call 770.463.2610 to register.
Butterflied Leg of Lamb
From New Southern Cooking by Nathalie Dupree
These days, butterflied (boned) legs of lamb are available at the supermarket. Usually they come in an elastic web, which should be removed. Open up the lamb and spread out to roughly resemble a butterfly.
8 ounces Dijon Mustard
2 tablespoons rosemary, chopped or crumbled roughly
2 tablespoons fresh ginger, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
3 tablespoons soy sauce
3 tablespoons peanut or other oil
1 whole leg of lamb, bones removed, about 5 pounds before boning
Mix together the mustard, rosemary, ginger, garlic, soy sauce and peanut oil . Smear over the lamb, on both sides, and marinate in a plastic bag in the refrigerator.
When ready to cook, prepare a grill or the broiler. Remove the lamb from the bag, with the marinade, and cook on the hot grill or under the broiler 15 minutes on each side. Test for doneness. (I prefer my lamb rare.) The lamb should be dark brown or black around the edges, rare inside. Don’t worry if the marinade burns…the meat will still be delicious.