Corpus Christi is a South Texas gem loaded with potential. From concert venues, like Concrete Street Amphitheater, to one of the largest aquariums in Texas, and home to the USS Lexington, it’s full of opportunities as a local travel destination.

One thing I don’t hear a lot about are the culinary accomplishments in the area. For 2023, I’m going to be exploring this region for inspiring dishes giving you the chance to “Cook it or Book it.”

This brings us to our first destination dinner, the fine dining establishment, Katz 21. Upon your arrival through the double doors, Katz had an immaculate glass enclosed wine collection and swanky vibes with craft cocktails to appease the poshest of customers.

This steakhouse and nightclub-inspired restaurant checks all the boxes.

Their menu boasts several steak and seafood options as well as some amazing appetizers and sides. I highly recommend the creamed spinach with any dish on their menu.

One of the best dishes they served was their rack of lamb — Something I don’t feel gets a lot of attention at home.

While we often shy away from more difficult dishes, I wanted to simplify it so any at-home chef can serve this gorgeous dish with confidence.

Today we will be making rack of lamb with a creamy risotto and broccoli.

Frenched Rack of lamb

(2 per person)

  • Fresh garlic, thyme, parsley, tarragon
  • 1-2 Tbls. of Mayonnaise
  • 2 stick of softened butter
  • Dash of Worcestershire
  • Salt, pepper, granulated onion, granulated garlic (measurements to your liking)
  • Sliced lemons for garnish

Risotto

  • 1 1/2 cups Arborio Rice
  • Chopped Shallots (I like quite a lot so I can usually do 2)
  • 2 Tbsp. fresh garlic
  • 1/2 stick high quality butter
  • 2 cups dry white wine (Sauv Blanc)
  • 3-4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1 1/2 heaping cups fresh grated parmigiana Reggiano
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Chopped parsley

Broccolini

  • Fresh broccolini
  • A douse of olive oil
  • A squeeze of lemon juice
  • Salt and pepper

For the lamb: Begin by combining your softened butter, fresh chopped herbs, garlic, mayonnaise and Worcestershire and seasoning in separate bowl.

Generously coat the frenched lamb with this marinade and let sit until the meat has reached room temp (30- 45 minutes).

Turn your skillet up to medium high heat, and sear each side of the lamb for about 4-5 minutes per side for a nice medium rare.

Place on rack to cool and use leftover butter mixture to melt on top after.

For the risotto: Take shallots, garlic and butter to a sauce pan and sauté until nice and translucent.

Add wine and reduce

Add rinsed rice to a medium low heat and begin ladling in broth and stir until absorbed, repeat this process until your broth is gone and the risotto is creamy. If it’s going to be sitting out for a bit while you finish lamb, go ahead and give it extra broth so it doesn’t dry. Risotto is meant to be eaten upon being made because it dries quickly.

Stir in your fresh Parmesan, and top with parsley. Salt and pepper to taste.

For the broccolini: Simply sauté broccoli in olive oil with a squeeze of lemon. Until desired tenderness is reached

Plating: In a wide bowl, plate a bed of risotto and top with your lamb crossed and broccoli to the side. Garnish with parsley and lemon.

Lily Patterson is a Victoria business owner. You can follow her food adventures via @texastruffles or @lilympatterson on Instagram.