We had a great time and Chef Eric did a great job with the recipe in 5 minutes on TV.
The whole trick to making restaurant-quality, Pistachio Crusted Lamb Chops in under 10 minutes was using the “Four Levers of Cooking™.” Chef Eric, or SK Chef as we call him at Smart Kitchen, had thought about the First Lever, Organizing, and the Second Lever, Preparation, in advance so that he could focus on levers 3 & 4 (“Controlling the Cooking Processes and “Flair”) when he was with Andi. He pulled off a complex, but not complicated dish, in a few minutes by completing ahead of time all that could be completed early and focusing on only Finish Cooking on site the critical Lamb and Wilted Red Swiss Chard. TV magic made it look like 5 minutes but in actuality it was really all done in about 8 minutes.
One of the preparation tricks is getting the pistachio butter’s consistency down so that it bakes into a nice crust instead of a “melt.” Holding it on ice makes it easier to manipulate.
Another is to Par Cook the lamb before the TV appearance, though that is not necessary or recommended at home. We gained a few minutes for TV by pre-searing the final cooked lamb (the TV Magic portion) and Holding it out of The Food Danger Zone until ready to go back into the TV Station’s oven. A last trick was using a very hot pan on High Heat for searing the raw lamb on television. SK Chef took a chance heating the pan dry and then used an Avocado Oil (with the highest Smoke Point) to quickly sear the meat.
In the run up to the appearance, we also had a lot of fun (and snacks) practicing cooking lamb TV Style.
Practicing, Chef Eric explained, over and over again on our own cameras, “Why Smart Kitchen is Different than YouTube.” Essentially he said, “You can use YouTube, but you don’t always know what you will get. With Smart Kitchen you have a professionally designed curriculum that moves you, progressively, from hand washing (for beginners) all the way to carving ice sculptures (for the more advanced). Smart Kitchen is Culinary School in a box, with all the techniques, tricks and flavors of a $30-$40,000 Culinary School but self-paced for only $9.99/month. We must have gotten it by the 4th take. Smart Kitchen is “The Smartest Way to Learn to Cook.™” We hope you give it a try. By the way the new Free Trial is live on the homepage.
We also got to eat about 4 racks of lamb done up with a nice pistachio crust over two weeks. We were driven by a variation of Richard Marchinko’s (former Seal Team 6 Commander) motto that “the more you bleed in training, the less you will bleed in combat.” Our codicil is ”the more you cook in practice, the better you will cook on TV (and eat in the weeks leading up to the appearance).”
Another trick is that American Racks of Lamb (and the resultant chops) are a bit larger than Australian/New Zealand Racks of Lamb. We’d rather eat the American Chop but cook the smaller Australian/New Zealand Chop on T.V. Note to reader, both can be tricky to find on short notice. It feels like we cleaned out our local zip code of rack of lamb prepping for the appearance. If planning to cook lamb make sure to shop ahead of time to ensure a good quality piece of meat.