Perfect Spring Dinner
Grilled Scallion Lamb Skewers
1 ½ lbs. well-trimmed boneless top round lamb
3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 tbsp grated ginger
1 tsp Chinese five-spice powder
1 tsp ground cumin
¼ tsp ground black pepper
¼ tsp salt, or to taste
1 tbsp Vietnamese fish sauce
1 tbsp soy sauce
3 bunches scallions
1. Cut lamb in 2-inch chunks; you should have about 20 pieces. In a bowl, combine 2 tablespoons oil with ginger, five-spice, cumin, pepper, salt, fish sauce, soy sauce and juice of 2 limes. Add lamb, mix to coat well and set aside at room temperature 3 hours. Add remaining 1 Tbsp. oil to the skillet. Add steak. Cook 12 to 15 minutes or until medium-rare (145 degrees F), turning once halfway through. Transfer steak to a cutting board. Cover; let stand 5 minutes.
2. Trim scallions of roots and outer layer of white and cut back green so scallions are 6 to 8 inches long. Coat with remaining oil and set aside. Light grill. Thread meat on long skewers, alternating each chunk of meat with a scallion by running skewers through the center of the scallions crosswise so the scallions stick out on either side of the skewer. Brush meat and scallions with some of remaining marinade.
3. Grill skewers of meat and scallions close to your source of heat, basting occasionally with marinade. Turn skewers once or twice, about 5 minutes per side, depending on the heat of the grill, until lamb is medium-rare and scallions are lightly charred. Arrange skewers on a platter and serve with wedges of remaining lime.
10 ears fresh corn
1 cup whole milk, optional
½ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
Kosher salt, to taste
1. Build a fire in your grill, leaving one side free of coals. When coals are covered with gray ash and the temperature is medium (you can hold your hand 5 inches above the coals for 5 to 7 seconds), you are ready to cook. (For a gas grill, turn all burners to high, lower cover and heat for 15 minutes, then turn burners to medium.)To color white sanding sugar, if using: Place a few tablespoons in a small bowl. Mix in petal dust with a toothpick, a bit at a time, until desired shade is reached. Colored sanding sugar will last indefinitely.
2. Meanwhile, shuck the corn, removing both husks and silks.
3. Fill a large pot halfway with water and set over high heat to come to a simmer. Add the milk, if using.
4. Blanch the corn in the pot for about 3 minutes, then stack on a platter.
5. Apply just a little butter to each ear of corn, then place on grill. Cook, turning often, until the corn is tender and some of the kernels are beginning to darken, about 5 minutes. Serve immediately with remaining butter and salt.