Saturday, December 17, 2005

And the Lamb Cried Rosemary

Wandering around Costco, I came across a saucy little six pack of lamb loin chops, tightly packaged, impatient to come home with me. I had homey visions of quickly searing them, then cooking 'em slowly for hours, much in the manner of beef short ribs.

Obviously, I'd never cooked a lamb loin chop. It seems the preferred method of cookery involves the hot flame of the grill. Not exactly what I'd had in mind for a chilly evening.

Lightbulb. I suddenly remembered the cast-iron stove-top grill plate I'd gotten for DucCat last Christmas.

Epicurious, as ever, proved a great source of inspiration. I finally settled upon Grilled Rosemary Lamb Chops - with so many glowing reviews, what could go wrong?


Well, it's as simple as not reading the instructions precisely through from start to finish. I could've sworn I did, but had apparently missed the portion that read, "place on grill, then cover".

Ooops. DucCat did his best, and boy did they look great sitting up there in all their rosemary-drenched glory.

The cats began to circle, and even Shishi, our little lacto-ovo vegetarian feline, began sniffing with a curious nose.

Meanwhile, I pulled out my secret stash of brussles sprouts from the fridge, and set to cooking them up. The recipe was simple enough, and taken from Mark Bittman's "How To Cook Everything" (aka, My Bible).

These were quickly boiled until just tender, then pan-fried in butter with garlic and breadcrumbs. Once removed, they're doused with lemon juice and parsley, and ready to visit the table. In retrospect, I would have followed his suggestion for varying the recipe by topping this with some freshly grated Parmesan, but it was still quite good.

The red potatoes finished roasting just as the lamb was done resting. We sat down with great anticipation.

I sliced into the lamb, and took a bite.

The marinade had perfectly penetrated the lamb with just the right amount of rosemary and garlic.

Even better, DucCat had cooked it perfectly rare, just the way I like.

I dug in with gusto.

Moments later, I noticed that DucCat had sliced through all of his lamb, but hadn't taken more than a bite. He prefers his meat just a little more cooked through, and it was obvious that not a single piece had reached that stage.

Guess that would be due to not having covered them as they cooked away on our impromptu grill...

Luckily, we had a stash of Stouffer's products in the freezer, and the night ended well.

But, let this be yet another lesson to me-


Simmered Brussels Sprouts

1- 1/2 pounds Brussels sprouts, trimmed
2 Tablespoons butter
1 clove garlic, smashed
1 Tablespoon plain bread crumbs
1 Tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 Tablespoon minced fresh parsley leaves
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Bring large pot of water to boil and salt it. Add sprouts, and keeping high heat, boil until just tender, about 1o minutes.
Drain and refresh in cold water.
(can prepare up to this point; refrigerate wrapped well, for up to 2 days before preceedingl.)
Place butter in a large deep skillet over medium heat and add garlic.
When butter foam subsides, add sprouts and breadcrumbs. Stir until hot, about 3 minutes.
Remove garlic, toss sprouts with lemon juice and parsley, season to taste and serve.

Note: to vary this recipe, top sprouts with one-quarter cup freshly grated Parmesan just before serving.


Blogger Mona said...

OH my god I want a bite of that right now. Rare is just how I like it:) So good!! And I love the brussels sprout touch, though I'd be the only one in my family who 'd be able to take the smell in the kitchen.

December 17, 2005 5:16 PM  
Blogger ilva said...

Sounds great though! And the sprouts seems to be worth trying!

December 18, 2005 2:38 AM  
Blogger Melissa said...

mmmmmm......those sprouts look great!

December 18, 2005 9:56 AM  
Blogger vlb5757 said...

The lamb looks fabulous! I wish we had gas in my neighborhood. I guess I could use my cast iron skillet but boy does it ever smoke up the house!

I didn't make it to TJ's this weekend but will go after all the Christmas vacationers go back home. I am really excited about going and have a list a mile long!! you think that if I wrote a letter begging and promising my undying loyality, TJs would come to my side of the pond?? Do you Santa could grant that Christmas wish??

December 18, 2005 4:27 PM  
Blogger MeBeth said...

S'kat - you got me interested in the brussels sprouts with those cute photos a few posts back. I made them the other night (with shallot butter) and they were great! I'd love to give this recipe a try too, especially right now while brussels sprouts are so abundent at the grocery store.

December 19, 2005 12:15 AM  
Blogger s'kat said...

Mona, is there any other way to eat such beautiful pink meat?

ilva- suck it up, and just do it!

melissa and vicki, thanks so much! vicki, keep your fingers crossed, you never know what could sprout up.

mebeth, I'm so happy- another convert!! USE THE PARMESAN!

December 19, 2005 9:07 AM  
Blogger Molly said...

Look at you, whipping out those Brussels sprouts at every chance! Hot damn! I am very, very impressed.

December 19, 2005 9:50 PM  
Anonymous Dave said...

After you get lamb from COSTCO (which is the best deal around) go next door to World Market and buy a tin of Tulocay & Co Pork & Lamb Rub. Make a paste with the Rub and EVOO and rub into lamb before grilling. Great taste!

December 22, 2005 11:36 PM  

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