Mention "lamb" to any crime writer and you will likely hear about one of the most memorable culinary mystery plotlines in popular culture: "Lamb to the Slaughter," an episode of the old Alfred Hitchcock Presents TV show, one that's been mentioned on this blog a time or two.
|Cleo Coyle, who never murdered|
anyone (with a leg of lamb), is author
of The Coffeehouse Mysteries.
Mary is devastated. In a zombie-like homemaker haze, she continues about her business, going to the deep freezer to fetch a frozen leg of lamb for dinner. Mary then carries the club-shaped meat to the kitchen, walks up behind her husband, and introduces the back of his head to nine pounds of uncooked meat.
By the time detectives show, Mary has hidden the murder weapon (in her pre-heated oven). Hours later, the policemen at the scene appear tired and hungry. Ever the gracious homemaker, Mary offers them dinner and voila the evidence disappears--into the stomachs of the investigating officers.
"Lamb to the Slaughter" was based
on a short story by the acclaimed
author of children's books Roald Dahl.
To learn more, including
where to read it, click here.
And now for this week's recipe...
|French Pressed: |
A Coffeehouse Mystery
Click here or on book cover
to learn more.
An esteemed panel had gathered to discuss New York City's restaurant scene. Among the members were Chef Jacques Pepin and legendary food writer Gael Greene.
One of the evening's discussion topics was "the forty dollar lamb chop," a half-joking example of the very high cost of operating a restaurant in NYC. How high?
According to the panel, it takes roughly $6 million to get a 200-seat restaurant off the ground in midtown Manhattan; and to maintain it, $500 to $800 per square foot, per month, just for rent.
Such high costs are, of course, passed on to the customer, which is why you see menus with a $40.00 lamb chop.
My husband and I write for a living, which is to say, there's no way in hell we can afford said chop on a regular basis, unless...we cook it ourselves!
Bottom line: We purchased the succulent rack of Australian lamb (you see in these photos) at Costco for about $20.00.
If you're a Costco member, keep your eyes open for these beauties because they are truly delicious and very easy to prepare. They're also quite nutritious. Australian lamb provides 2 times more iron than chicken or pork and 6 times more than fish. It's packed with B12 yet lower in cholesterol than other animal proteins. More info at this site.
If you're not a member of Costco, visit your local butcher or check out these other US retailers, listed state by state. Click here for the list.
Eat with joy!
~ Cleo Coyle, author of
The Coffeehouse Mysteries