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Kerrville: Lakehouse Restaurant Review

The Lakehouse Restaurant

Looks can be deceiving.

Ahhh, beautiful Kerrville, Texas…  (Cue Grieg’s Morning Music)

The beautiful, spring-fed waters of the Guadalupe rush quietly through the small town with large swaths of beautiful cypress trees and carefully tended parks.  The area is quiet, but for a few slow-moving cars and birds singing in the distance.  With settings like this, how can one have a bad day?  Deep in the heart of the city, there is something, well not insidious, but distasteful.

I did everything I could to have a good, anniversary dinner.  Researched on Google, compared those reviews with those of other restaurants, even scoped out the place using Google’s Street View.  With all of that research behind me, I knew that The Lakehouse was the best place in town for a good meal.

The Lakehouse Restaurant

The Lakehouse Restaurant

Considering the humble, but beautiful surroundings, I was expecting some really decent diner-style food.  They’re famous for their catfish, but I didn’t order that.  My first mistake…  I’m not a huge catfish fan, mostly because I’ve had it too many times where the breading is soggy and under-salted on a fish that is already barely palatable.  My husband also passed on the catfish.  My husband and I both ordered the 10 oz sirloin, but first – salad and an entire basket of miscellaneous condiments!

The Lakehouse Restaurant

The Lakehouse Restaurant

In case you’re wondering, yes, that picture above is “salad”.  Pre-bagged iceberg and romaine with one tomato slice and pre-mixed ranch dressing.   I have no problem with the typical American house salad, but usually, it at least comes with a generous sprinkling of neon orange cheese, overly garlicked croutons and a cucumber slice, but I wasn’t so lucky with this salad.  The condiment basket was a great idea!  Give the customer everything their little heart could desire.   Okay, this is just a salad, right?  Not a harbinger of what is to come, right?

The Lakehouse Restaurant

Lakehouse Restaurant Texas

Well, everything looks picture perfect!  Except for the steak, and the sauteed mushrooms and onions, the coleslaw and even the beans.  The first cut into my 1/3 inch thick steak revealed a center that was barely pink.  Which is disappointing because I never order steaks warmer than medium-rare.  (I ordered this one rare.)  But to be fair, I don’t think it’s possible to cook a steak rare when it’s that thin.

I took a bite and was stunned by the absolute lack of flavor, even with fresh mushrooms and onions!  There was NO SALT on my steak.  None!  No salt on my husband’s steak.  Needless to say, after that first mouthful, I asked for a bottle of A1.  Almost everything else was pre-made, frozen grossness; detailing every side dish is not necessary (however the fried shrimp were decent).  This terrible meal would have been easier to swallow had the price of my steak been somewhere around Waffle House prices, but my steak cost a hefty $18.99.  WTF!  I can get a a T-bone steak at Waffle House cooked correctly for only $10.00.

The Lakehouse Restaurant

People of Kerrville – you deserve better, cheaper food.  Please go to Bill’s BBQ, where I had the best buttermilk pie ever and melt-in-your-mouth fatty brisket for about the same price.

Texas Style Chile-Honey Lamb with Fixin’s

Cascarones and rack of lamb make for very Texas Easter.

Cascarones (confetti eggs) and rack of lamb make for a very Texas Easter.

While most of America happily dyes and hides eggs in quaint backyards for children in adorable pastel church clothes, Texas does Easter a bit different.  Sure, we dye and hide eggs, but then the celebration gets a little more chaotic.  Someone decided a long time ago that hiding and finding eggs was just too passé.  Why don’t we fill emptied eggs with tons of confetti, then smash them on people’s heads?  What better way to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus can there be?

Oh ya. Come to mama.

Oh ya. Come to mama.

Much like cascarones (confetti eggs), a rub is Texas’ answer to the boring dish of lamb with mint jelly.  There’s no way Texans are passing mint jelly around the Easter table.  We love heat and lamb is an excellent foil for an earthy, spicy rub.  But man cannot live on lamb alone, so I included a delicately sweet parsnip purée and some peas quickly sautéed in brown butter.

Texas Style Chile-Honey Lamb with Parsnip Purée and Brown Butter Peas

Servings: 6-8    Prep Time: 1 hour    Cook Time: Combined 1 hour 15 minutes    Total Time:  2 hours 15 minutes

Ingredients:

Chile-Honey Lamb

2      racks of lamb, dried then generously salted and peppered  (trimmed to 1/8 inch fat, silverskin removed)*
2      Tbsp ground ancho chile powder
1      tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp fresh ground black pepper
1/8 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp ground cayenne pepper (optional)
1/4 cup mesquite honey (clover honey is fine)
2      Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1      Tbsp canola oil

Parsnip Purée

1      lb parsnips, peeled, halved and cut into 2 inch pieces
3/4 cup half and half
2    Tbsp unsalted butter
Salt

Brown Butter Peas

1     shallot, minced
1     tsp fresh minced thyme (do not substitute with dried thyme)
2     Tbsp unsalted butter
3     cups frozen peas (do not thaw)

Instructions (in order of when you should start):

Parsnip Purée

  1. Place the cut parsnips in a Dutch oven or rondeau.  Fill to cold water to one inch above the parsnips.  Bring to a boil.
  2. Boil until the parsnips yield easily to a fork.  About 15-25 minutes.
  3. Drain in a colander and immediately add to a blender or food processor along with the butter and 1/2 cup of the half and half.
  4. Blend until smooth.  The consistency should be a little thinner than whipped cream cheese.  If the mixture is too thick, at more of the half and half.

Chile-Honey Lamb

  1. Place a roasting pan or jellyroll pan in the oven.  Move the oven rack to the lower-middle level.  Preheat oven to 425°.
  2. Mix dry ingredients together and toast in a dry 12 inch skillet over medium-high heat.  About 30 seconds.  Put in bowl to the side.
  3. In the now empty skillet, heat the canola oil over medium-high heat until shimmering.   Place the lamb racks, fat side down until well browned.  5-7 minutes.  Flip and brown the other side, about 3-5 minutes.  Now place the racks with bones intertwined, so you can brown the very bottom of the meat, about 3 minutes.
  4. Pull skillet off the heat and brush all over the meat with half of the marinade.  Working quickly, place each rack fat side down in the roasting pan and return to the oven.
  5. After 6 minutes, pull the racks out and rebaste with the rest of the marinade.  Return to oven for another 6 minutes.
  6. At a total time of 12 minutes, test with a meat thermometer to see that the lamb has reached 135°.  If not, then continue roasting another 3 minutes.
  7. When the roasting is completed, immediately pull the racks out of the oven and tent with foil.  Let rest for 10 minutes.
  8. Once the lamb has rested, slice just after every bone.  You should have 6-8 individual ribs per rack.

Brown Butter Peas

  1. Melt the butter in a 12 inch skillet (non-stick or regular) over medium-high heat.  Watch and swirl almost constantly and as soon as the milk solids turn a golden brown and you smell a nutty aroma, add the shallots and minced thyme.
  2. Continue to cook on medium-high heat until the shallots have softened and the edges turn translucent.
  3. Add the frozen peas.  Cover with a lid and cook, stirring once or twice until the peas are warm, about 5 minutes.

*I like to leave the silverskin on because it helps keep the lamb from tearing or falling apart.  Totally a personal preference.

Happy cooking!

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