Italian in Avalon: Balsamic Lamb Lollipops with Twice Baked Spinach Almond Spaghetti Squash

After leaving Los Angeles, we spend a lovely day of mostly motoring (:/) to Catalina Island. In all honesty, we spent the afternoon playing Cards Against Humanity℠. There were some doozies in that game. Although not even I would expose the public the to sick and twisted minds that exist on this boat of lost and tormented souls. Then Daniel and I watched “Get Smart,” which was a pretty terribly entertaining movie. It reminded me of my brother.

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Daniel is enjoy life
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Catalina

My brother, Justin, is a social worker back in the Bay Area. His days off are Sunday and Monday. Every Sunday night for a long time now, he head over to KFJC at Foothill College and work his segment on the radio. His radio name is Abicus Finch and his show is called Legal Council, on which listeners enjoy an eclectic mix of everything from political speeches played over ambient drones to Finnish death metal to dissonant noisy hip hop.

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Mark, Justin and I enjoying our own made up holiday, 3.6 day!

My favorite story is when my Dad came to the station to watch the magic happen. The previous night, my dad and brother had been out for beers at the family bar, The Rose and Crown in Palo Alto. The two are sitting in the bar sipping on what I can only assume is some style of west coast Indian Pale Ale, Etta James’ At Last came on the jukebox. My father, who is more of a man of classic tastes, turned to my brother and say, “This is what you should play on the radio. This is real music!” The next evening, my father joins my brother at the station. My brother turns to my Dad with the Etta James vinyl in his hand. “You wanted me to play this? Here it is.” On goes the record and the needle drops. Mellifluous notes begin to fill the tiny room. At laaaaaaaassssljkbjba;jlnfv;ajhueroginaerhgviajkvlkajnvoaebvlanegr;ba. My brother starts to play with the record backwards, then changes the pitch, speeds it up, slows it down. On goes another record to overlay his Etta James distortion with even more noise. Never again can my father listen to that song.

After long nights at the radio station, Justin would sleep at the house since we were so close to the station. We’d wake up and marathon bad media. For a long time, we watched a show on Fox called Sleepy Hollow, truly one of the worst show in existence. We would make fun of everything. I mean, not just the show’s content and dialogue. Although, that was often enough of a laugh riot to nearly make me pee my pants on multiple occasions. We would make fun of the formulaic organization, the costumes (why must women always wear high heals and corsets to fight scenes?!?!), the unintended political undertones. The commercials were the best. When we ran out of shows, we’d watch really bad movies, like Wolf Cop.

IMG_2973Watching movies on the boat while cruising over an open ocean, I can’t help but think, damn, my brother would have loved this. After spending a long day of droning out in the middle of the ocean, the island was beautiful. These great big mounds of green appeared from of nowhere through the hazy oceanic mist. As we came closer to shore, the water crept into a state of crystal clear blue. There is something wonderful about Italian food, the delectable simplicity. It felt right to cook up my attempt at Italian.

Balsamic Lamb Lollipops

2 lbs rack of lamb, cut individual ribs

3 tbsp really good balsamic

6 cloves garlic, roughly chopped

3 tbsp olive oil

1 tsp salt

1 tsp freshly ground pepper

2 tbsp oil for searing

Place all ingredients in a Ziploc bag. Allow to sit for 5-7 hours in refrigerator. Heat 1- 2 tbsp of oil in pan over high heat, then I wipe excess oil with paper towl. I usually wait until the oil is just about to smoke, then I reduce heat to medium high. Sear lamb for 3 minutes on each side. Allow to rest for a few minutes on a plate covered with foil.

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Twice Baked Spinach Almond Spaghetti Squash

Roast at 350 degrees for 30-45 minutes in a roasting pan with less than an inch of water at the bottom of the pan. Take out and, using a fork, lift out the individual strand of squash the resemble spaghetti. Keep in squash shells though. These will be your serving dish.

2 Spaghetti Squash, cut in half, seeds scoop out

In a food processor, blend:

1 c chopped spinach

1/3 c blanched almonds

¼ c marinara sauce

¼ c good parmesan shaved

Pour over squash halves equally. Mix well with the strands. Add some extra parmesan cheese on top and throw back in the oven for 10 minutes. Broil for 2 minutes.

EAT YOUR HEART OUT

Bon appétit!

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