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Zox Kitchen

Zox Kitchen: March 22, 2013

Frank Sinatra’s Recipe 1915-1998

Celebrity cookbooks are less common these days than they used to be. Recently a friend recommended Frank DeCaro’s The Dead Celebrity Cookbook. This book resurrects recipes from more than 145 stars of stage and screen. Don’t let the book’s title, or its unfortunate skull and crossbones cover, scare you away.

Given my interest in music, I found myself drawn to artists like Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Sammy Davis Jr. Others you might enjoy reading about in this book are Lucille Ball, Johnny Carson, Eartha Kitt, Michael Jackson and John Wayne, among others. The recipes are accompanied by interesting short bios of the stars.

As I read through the book, I reminisced about Sinatra’s songbook which is played on WNYC 93.9 FM every Saturday evening and Sunday afternoon by former rock and roll DJ, Jonathan Schwartz. I can only imagine the Chairman of the Board’s lifestyle back in the day. His favorite outdoor activity was barbecuing beside the pool at his Palm Springs home with Rat Pack pals Martin and Davis Jr.

I am somewhat star-struck when I read about Sinatra’s life and the body of work he left us. He won an Oscar for his performance in From Here to Eternity and played memorable roles in On the Town and Guys and Dolls. And his music endures thanks to classic albums like Come Fly With Me, Frank Sinatra Sings for Only the Lonely and September of My Years.

The lamb recipe shared here by DeCaro helps all of us to get a bit more personal with Frank Sinatra. Following the lamb recipe is Dean Martin’s favorite meal, which requires much less cooking and much more alcohol.

Frank Sinatra’s BBQ Lamb

Serves 6-8

• 1 (5 - 6 pound) leg of lamb, boned and butterflied (Ask your butcher to do this)
• 1/2 cup of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
• 4 tablespoons red wine vinegar
• 2 cloves crushed garlic
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 1/2 cup Dijon mustard

Combine oil, vinegar, garlic and salt to make a marinade. Place lamb skin side up in a shallow pan and pour the marinade over it. Slather mustard on skin side. Cover and let marinate overnight. To cook, place lamb, mustard side down on a very hot grill, five inches from the flame or under a broiler but not too close if it’s not outdoor weather. When brown on one side, turn. Cook about one hour total, checking for doneness at 15-20 minutes. I like my lamb pink. Slice thinly to serve.

Dean Martin’s Recipe For Burger And Bourbon

Serves One

Rather than eating lamb, here’s Dean Martin’s favorite. Preheat a heavy skillet and sprinkle with salt. Shape about half a pound of (chopped) beef lightly seasoned with black pepper. Cook over medium-high heat for about four minutes. Flip and cook another four minutes. (Roll is optional.) Pour two ounces of bourbon in each of four shot glasses. Drink with burger.
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