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We’ve been on a bit of a meat frenzy for the past couple of days.  The changeover from fresh fish to pure unadulterated red meat happened so quickly – hubby went shopping hungry and returned home with one pork tenderloin, one beef fillet, and four boneless lamb chops.  I hold no discrimination against protein and excitedly cheered as he hauled his proud purchase into the kitchen.  The low resonance of a countertop thud nearly brought a joyous tear to my eye.

That very same day, we devoured the pork for lunch, after a brief marinade and an oven roast.  Late afternoon, I prepped the chops for a grilled dinner.  However, the sun set too soon and the evening became much too cold way too fast.  We boycotted the grilling and went straight to a quick oven roast of the beef fillet.  Immediately.  Inhaled.

And so the lamb sat quietly in the refrigerator, overnight and mostly through the next day.  It turned out to be a very good thing that gluttony didn’t win out, as I had missed the part of the recipe that said marinate and “refrigerate overnight.”  Ultimately, all the extra hours unknowingly dedicated made for some super flavorful chops.  We still never got around to lighting any charcoal, but a pan placed over high heat more than sufficed.

Persillade Topped Lamb Chops (adapted from Anthony Bourdain’s “Grilled Lamb Steaks,” Les Halles Cookbook: Strategies, Recipes, and Techniques of Classic Bistro Cooking)

Ingredients: (serves 2)

Marinated Lamb Chops 

  • 4 boneless lamb chops
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons herbs de Provence
  • 4 tablespoons good olive oil
  • sea salt and freshly ground pepper

Persillade

  • 4 sprigs parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • sea salt and freshly ground pepper

To begin, place the lamb in a non-reactive casserole dish.  Add garlic, spices, and olive oil (no salt and pepper yet).  Coat each chop well, cover, and refrigerate overnight.

In a small bowl, mix the ingredients for the persillade together and set aside.

Remove the chops from the refrigerator about 20 minutes prior to cooking.  Brush off excess oil, garlic and herbs, and season the chops with salt and pepper.  Preheat either a  skillet, grill pan, or outdoor grill to high heat.  Cook lamb, ~3 minutes on each side.  Once the chops are finished, top with a bit of the persillade and serve immediately.

Oven Roasted Flat Beans

Ingredients: (serves 2)

  • 1 kg (~2 lbs) judias verde (flat green beans)
  • 2-3 tablespoons good olive oil
  • sea salt and fresh ground black pepper

Though this roast uses the Spanish judia verde – long, flat green beans – the recipe can be applied to any type of green bean, snow peas, or sugar snap peas.  Oven roasting gives a completely different flavor to boiling and/or stir frying; the slow bake allows the beans to caramelize and sweeten.

judia verde, or flat green bean

Preheat oven to 200 degrees C (~390 degrees F).  Trim green beans and cut into 3 inch long pieces.  Line a rectangular casserole or baking dish with aluminum foil and place beans inside.  Add olive oil, salt, pepper.  Using hands, mix to coat, spreading beans into a single layer in the dish.  Bake for 15-20 minutes, stirring once half way through.

The beans added a nice sweetness and warmth to dinner, while the persillade gave freshness.  And, admittedly, both made a carnivorous dinner just a tiny bit more guilt free.

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