Wednesday, November 12, 2008

My Deviant Lamb Chops

Last night I was having a night where I wanted to do something nice for Sir Pickypants. I have been rather out of it in the past few days, feeling tired and run down. Cooking a meal that takes any effort felt like just that - too much effort. Monday night all I did was defrost the leftover sauce from the baked ziti and serve it over spaghetti with a promise to make a better dinner later in the week. Then I made him eat the leftovers the next night. I was determined to make him a better meal last night. I was even going to make him some fish.

I had the good fortune of finding the perfect fish recipe when I went to Kalofagas (the blog that's the closest thing I may ever have to an actual trip to Greece) and found Peter's simple Oven Baked Sole and Baked Chickpeas recipes. They were simple, had good flavors, and consisted of things Sir Pickypants likes, but with a few different twists. I had my promised meal for the night.

Oh wait. What about me? I don't eat fish.

I decided that lamb was the best meat to serve with this meal, but I didn't want to buy a lot of extra ingredients. I tend to make lamb the same way all of the time. It's usually mint, rosemary, and garlic with occasional additions of nuts or red wine. Today I realized I had never really changed my lamb recipe. I just tweaked it from time to time (some tweaks have been bigger than others).

I was standing there in the store with more dill weed than I would need for the fish and no particular desire to buy any rosemary (because the rosemary plant on my balcony has given up the ghost now that we have had a few frosty nights). I was going to do a radical change and use dill on my lamb chops and give them a new marinade, a new flavor, and a new attitude! I was going to be totally deviant with my lamb chops.

I got really experimental. Along with the dill weed I also used oregano and cumin. This was mixed with lemon juice and yogurt. This is already getting interesting.

In the bag, ready to hit the fridge and marinate away.

Cook up in a cast iron pan. I thought about using my grill pan, but it makes too much smoke and it was too cold to open the windows.

My finished chop with the chick peas and a little sauteed spinach (because the vegetable guilt demands that there always has to be something green on the plate).
The fish looks pretty good too - for fish anyway. Kevin really liked it a lot.
Chickpeas have never topped my list of favored legumes, but this recipe was really good. I'm glad I tried it.

The lamb? Well, I liked the flavor combo, but it didn't come through enough. I think these chops were in the marinade about 90 minutes. They needed to go in there for much longer for the full effect of the flavor.

Deviant Lamb Chops
2 lamb loin chops
3/4 cup Greek yogurt
Juice of 1 lemon
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp dried oregano
1 Tbl chopped fresh dill
2 cloves minced garlic

Combine all ingredients except for chops and place along with the chops in a plastic bag. Let sit in the refrigerator for at least a good two hours, but preferably a lot more.

Cook on the stove top for about 5 minutes per side. Then place in a 400 degree oven for about 10 minutes for medium depending on the thickness of your chops (mine were really thick).


Darius T. Williams said...

veggie guilt? Hilarious!

And I'm loving the marination on these - looks great! I bet these were good!


Peter M said...

LOL @ Sir Pickypants...glad you both enjoyed the side of chickpeas. Halve the cherry tomatoes and you'll get even more flavour!

Cheers and see ya soon!

Lo said...

Can't argue with that! The idea of dill with lamb chops doesn't sound too flaky to me -- though I can see how it might need a bit longer in the marinade. And, as I once heard a Norwegian chef say, you can never use too much dill.

The Short (dis)Order Cook said...

Darius - Yes. I do get this crazy sense of guilt if I don't feel there are enough vegetables on my plate.

Peter - Good point. Looking forward to Thursday.

Lo - That's funny. I'd like to meet that chef. So many chefs say to go easy on the dill because it's so strong flavored. I don't use it all that often, so I'll have to use it more and see if there is such a thin as too much. ;-)

Susan from Food Blogga said...

You forgot that you don't eat fish. Love it. :)

PS-I'm so sorry to hear about your loss. You are in my thoughts.

Sue said...

Really nice recipes. The lamb sounded so good. Great name too.

Stacey Snacks said...

How funny!
I made the chickpeas and sole on Thurs night!
Loved the baked ceci, they were excellent. I quartered the cherry tomatoes and forgot to add water, but they were still a delicious side! Your lamb looks good!
Stacey Snacks

noble pig said...

Deviant, I love the it! I love chickpeas!

Bellini Valli said...

Dill is the way to go with lamb & yogurt...very reminiscent of a favourite Greek dip:D

Emily said...

Lately, for some reason, I'm always a few days behind on your blog. I can never get here on the day you post. :/

There's something about your writing that makes me stop and listen. Does that make sense? I can't put my finger on it...
Anyway, the dinner looks great.

The Short (dis)Order Cook said...

FB Susan - Thanks for the condolences. Yes, I do sometimes get so wrapped up in new recipes for my husband I do forget what I'm cooking for myself!

Sue - Thanks.

Stacey and Cathy - I think I may be giving chickpeas a closer look in the future. I tend to prefer softer beans, but I guess it's all in the prep.

Val - That was kind of what I was going for. If only I had marinated them longer.

Em - YOu are too sweet (in more ways than one). Don't worry if you dont post right away. We all have lives.

The Blonde Duck said...

I love the name Deviant lamb chops. I've actually never had lamp chops. Can you believe it?

Lore said...

I always spend serious time planning a marinade but I have such a hard time leaving the meat marinate as long as it needs to. I love tzatziki so your lamb marinade got my mouth watering in no time :D

Maria said...

I am loving the chickpeas on the side!

Tamara said...

I'll follow your recipe to the last detail and hopefully i can have it done perfectly. 'll try it and share with my family.