Lamb sandwich impressive tailgating fare

The key to the perfect tailgating offering is impressing your fellow sports fans with foods that are flavorful and hearty.

When you're a gourmet chef like Cinghiale's Julian Marucci, using fresh ingredients helps give classics a fresh spin.

"You want to impress people by showing them different types of food that people wouldn't usually make," said Marucci, the 28-year-old executive chef for the Harbor East Italian restaurant. "It comes down to seasoning, execution and technique."

Marucci prefers to put an unconventional spin on classics. For example, serving a slow-roasted lamb sandwich. Marucci also said he would likely serve grilled head-on shrimp, and raw or grilled oysters.

"That would get their attention," he said.

Grilled Leg of Lamb Sandwich

Makes: 4 sandwiches

For lamb:

1 whole lamb leg- deboned and tied

2 sprigs of rosemary

Salt and pepper

For garlic mayo:

olive oil

1 head of garlic

1 egg yolk

1 lemon

1 1/2 cups canola oil

For rest of sandwich:

1 jar roasted sweet peppers

1 head of romaine lettuce, cleaned and chopped

2 loaves of Italian bread or baguette

1 red onion, sliced thin

1 cup of sliced Sicilian olives

3/4 pound of sliced aged Provolone cheese

To cook the leg of lamb, marinate the lamb overnight with chopped rosemary, salt, pepper, olive oil. Heat grill. Cook the lamb over medium heat for about 35-45 minutes. Rotate the meat, allowing the meat to caramelize on all sides. Meat should be medium in temperature. Let the lamb rest for 15-20 minutes after cooking. Remove the strings and slice as thin as possible.

To make garlic mayonnaise, toss the head of garlic with salt, pepper and a little olive oil. Just enough to coat. Wrap it in foil and roast in oven for 35 minutes at 350 degrees. Should be soft to the touch. Remove the shell of the garlic. Add to a food processor. Add the egg yolk, juice of one lemon. Slowly while machine is on add the canola oil. Should be thick and creamy. Season with salt and pepper. (Alternatively, use your favorite brand of mayo and add the garlic.)

To assemble the sandwich, slice bread. Coat it with the garlic mayonnaise. Next, place on roasted peppers, sliced lamb, olives, red onions, cheese, romaine lettuce.

Courtesy of Julian Marucci, executive chef at Cinghiale

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