French in a Flash: Tender Lamb Brochettes with Thyme and Haricots Verts

French In A Flash

Quick and easy recipes that prove that great French food doesn't require a tall hat and a fancy kitchen.


[Photograph: Kerry Saretsky]

The one thing (among several others) that's great about planning a wedding in Paris is getting to go there because you "have" to.

We "had" to go down a few weeks ago to administrate our wedding planning, and as such, we "had" to eat. To keep our energy up, you know.

There's this great thing about Paris restaurants: copycatting. I think it comes down to the French insistence on seasonality, but if you see a special in one restaurant, you'll see it in every restaurant. A few years ago in May, there was tomato tartare with fresh anchovies and white asparagus vinaigrette on every menu. It was remarkable. And this time, the plat du jour partout was lamb brochettes with thyme and haricots verts. Skewers of tender medium rare seared lamb in a thyme and lamb jus with simple steamed French green beans. The perfect union of light, lean substance and fresh, bright flavors.

I don't do knock-offs in most things, but when it comes to French food, well, I've made it my raison d'être. I bought simple lamb loin at the supermarket, cut it into disks, and skewered it. I seared it simply in very hot olive oil until it had a crust on the outside and a blush on the inside. I deglazed the pan with some beef stock, and swirled in fresh thyme and a lump of cold butter for the perfect cross between a jus and a gravy. And alongside: simple French green beans, which never fail to be just the right accessory.

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Tender Lamb Brochettes with Thyme and Haricots Verts »