Sunday, April 4, 2010
Lamb for meat
He is risen!
Althought I *heart* egg salad sandwiches, no hard-boiled egg recipes here . . . let's get straight to the main course. Lamb is a typical Easter dish (did you know that the Pope's Easter supper is a whole roasted lamb? Glad I'm not cooking for him). We didn't eat lamb growing up and I've only prepared it a handful of times but I've always had good luck with it when I have made it.
One of my most shocking food purchase moments was when I had the butcher trim a rack of lamb for me at Bristol Farms. After he did exactly what I wanted, wrapped it up, and handed it over, I realized it was going to set me back $75! Sure there were 6 of us and so it's way cheaper than 6 of us could order lamb at a restaurant, but I was shocked.
So, needless to say, lamb is a "special occasion" meat at our house. Then, recently I came across this recipe on Blue Kitchen for lamb loin chops. Trader Joe's had a package with 6 small chops for less than $9 and I tried them out. They were awesome . . . easy, delicious, quick, household ingredients - what more can you ask for? I followed the recipe exactly and my husband was impressed with our weeknight feast. I served it with a cous cous from the same blog (recipe below).
On a health note, lamb is a good source of protein, iron, selenium, zinc and B12. It has less saturated fat and less marbling than other red meats like beef.
Lamb Chops with Dijon Mustard and Thyme (Serves 2)
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1-1/2 teaspoons dried thyme
6 loin lamb chops about 3/4-inch thick (about 1 lb total)
salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
Preheat the oven to 375ºF. Mix Dijon mustard and thyme in a small bowl, stirring to combine. Set aside. Pat lamb chops dry with a paper towel and season generously with salt and pepper on both sides.
Heat an oven-proof nonstick skillet over high heat. Brush pan with canola oil and sear the chops, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer chops to a plate and remove the pan from the heat.
Brush chops on both sides with a generous coating of the mustard/thyme mixture. Return chops to pan and place in the oven to finish. Cook for just 4 to 5 minutes total, turning halfway through. Plate and serve.
Couscous with Raisins and Onions(serves 2)
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon canola oil
2/3 cup onion, chopped
1 cup Israeli couscous
1 1/2 cup boiling water
1/4 cups raisins
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Melt butter in a saucepan over low heat. Add oil and swirl pan to combine. Add onion. Cook, stir occasionally, until wilted but not brown, about 4 to 5 minutes. Add couscous and sauté for about 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add the boiling water, raisins, lemon juice, cumin and cayenne pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand for 5 minutes. Fluff couscous with a fork, season with salt and pepper and serve.