Tag Archives: Lamb

Birthday Round 2 & Labor Day: Mint and Cumin Spiced Lamb Chops

29 Aug

Happy Friday team! More importantly, happy LONG WEEKEND! Maybe the federal holiday will give you some extra time to allot to cooking up something incredible?! May I suggest these bad boys? Featured on the cover of the special grilling issue of Bon Appétit magazine, it was basically love at first sight.  I decided immediately these Mint and Cumin Spiced Lamb Chops should be the main feature of the birthday dinner I had last weekend.  Granted, depending on where you shop (ahem, Whole Foods) and how many people are included in the experience, these are not technicallyyyy nommin’ on a budget worthy.  BUT, I needed to present them to the blog world regardless.

Click on the above link for all necessary ingredients and instructions.  These need to be prepared at least 2-3 hours ahead of scheduled meal time so they can marinate in all the spicy goodness.

Magazine and some sunflowers to maintain a summery spirit:

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Fresh mint:

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The plethora of spices! Make sure to follow the measurements veryyyy carefully.  Pulse until finely chopped and well-mixed.   Food processing the mint leaves will actually make a sort of wet substance… have no fear as this allows you to spread on the lamb very easily.

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Rub like so:

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Ready to go in the fridge!

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After at least two hours, pop on the grill.  KEEP the layer of fat on the chops as it permeates the meat while cooking for an awesome flavor.  You will have to grill these bad boys for a bit longer than the directions say.  We grilled for about 10-15 minutes total, flipping over a few times, and then cut the chops apart at the end and continued cooking for 5 minutes to make sure they weren’t too rare (the goal was medium-rare).

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Success!

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And yes, the eight of us ate all five racks.  Enjoy!

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Carb-Free Cuisine: Mashed Cauliflower and Marinated Lamb

5 Aug

So as I noted in my previous post, August is birthday month!! I turn the ominous 25, and my roommate bestie turns the mature 26.  To ease the potentially anxiety-ridden stage of my quarterlife crisis, I have decided that August is going to be treat yo’self month.  I am going to be good to myself,  mind, body, and soul.  Plus I want to look kickass in my birthday outfit, obviously.  As a kickoff, I made a delicious carb-free dinner chalk full of protein and veggies.  The marinated lamb is a give-in favorite of mine, and I tricked my body into thinking it was consuming creamy mashed potatoes when in fact it was crazy-good mashed cauliflower! Tehe I’m so sneaky.

You can Google a decent Mashed Cauliflower recipe, but after making several variations, running out of ingredients, and having different flavor profiles, I think I’ve settled on my own fave version.  You’ll need:

  • Head of cauliflower
  • Two cloves of garlic
  • Olive oil
  • Low fat veggie cream cheese
  • Grated Parmesan cheese
  • Green onions or chives (optional)

Put a big pot of water on the stove to boil.  While it heats up, break up the cauliflower into smaller sections.  You can basically just tear off the little trees one by one, like so:

Cauliflower Trees

Once the water is boiling, put in cauliflower for 5-7 minutes or until soft.  In the meantime, start cooking up your pre-marinated lamb.  I had to go to Whole Foods to get my fix, but the lamb is super reasonably priced (proof below)

Whole Foods leg of lamb

TWO for $10.  Definitely beats the $28 that a restaurant would charge for an equally delectable lamb dish.  Buy the pre-marinated version to save yourself some time and money.  Throw into a pan that’s on high heat, coated with cooking spray and some melted butter.

Leg of Lamb

The butter will sear the lamb, sealing all the flavor into the meat.  Normally I would grill these, but alas, we have run out of propane. Be careful when you’re cooking in the pan, as the lamb can go from bloody to medium in a matter of minutes if left unsupervised.  It’s also super steamy so turn on your microwave fan or open a window.  Cook about five minutes on each side, and cut open to gauge the temperature.  Reduce heat if necessary.  If the meat is right on the brink of your desired done-ness, remove from heat immediately and cover with a lid, as the lamb will continue to cook internally for a few minutes.  Another option is to pan sear for a few minutes on each side, and then bake in the oven for the remainder.

Remember that while this is going on, you need to put your cauliflower into a food processor with the rest of the ingredients.  I would do this while the lamb’s first side is cooking.  Pile in the cauliflower with two garlic cloves (chopped), a heaping spoonful of the cream cheese, two tablespoons of Parmesan cheese, a tablespoon of olive oil, and your green onions/chives if you decided to go that route.

Blend until smooth, tasting along the way and adding more of any ingredient.  Hint: more cream cheese makes them more creamy!

Try not to let this process interfere with monitoring the lamb.  When lamb is done, scoop the mashed cauliflower onto your plate and sprinkle additional Parmesan cheese and some oregano for added flavah.

Done! And if you didn’t share, you’ll have plenty of leftovers.  The mashed cauliflower keeps surprisingly well for a day or two.  Enjoy!

More on the Grill: Lamb + Homemade Tzatziki

21 Apr

Give up red meat for Lent? Well, with the passing of Easter yesterday you can now thoroughly enjoy this recipe guilt-free.  I’m a huge lamb fan, and it’s surprisingly hard to come by in your average grocery store.  When the craving hit, I knew I was going to have to bite the bullet and walk to the Whole Foods meat department.  To my delight, they were having a sale and I bought a pound of butterflied lamb leg for $8.99 (Score!).

Beautiful, isn’t it?

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Set the oven to 350 degrees in preparation for the brussel sprouts.  Thoroughly season the lamb with salt, pepper, garlic, and any other grill seasoning mix you have on hand.  Throw on the grill on high heat.  While your lamb is sizzling, whip up this super easy tzatziki recipe.  I found this one in a recipe book given to me a while back. All you need is 1 single size 2% plain greek yogurt, a cucumber, minced garlic, lemon juice, and fresh mint.

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I’m anti-measuring and like to mix things to taste, adding here and there.  I started with half a cucumber (diced), a heaping spoonful of minced garlic, the juice from two lemon wedges, and probably 1.5 tablespoons of finely chopped mint.  Feel free to start with less, mix together and add as needed.  You want the resulting spoonful to have a cohesive flavor profile of all ingredients.  Set aside the tzatziki and bring out your brussel sprouts.  Slice in half, drizzle with olive oil, and bake for 15-20 minutes.  The first time I did this, I admittedly did NOT slice the sprouts in half and they didn’t cook all the way through #bummer.  But they sure do look nice and crispy on the outside!

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After your lamb has cooked to the temperature of your liking, assemble your plate and don the meat with a few heaping spoonfuls of tzatziki.  I like mine medium-rare and confess to being a huge snob about it.

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There you have it! A deliciously healthy way to enjoy your post-Lent dinners!

thewinelifestyle

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Madison Sheffer

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