City Gay and Country Gay

Monday, December 31, 2007

R.I.P. Lambchop

Dear City Gay:

Happy New Year's Eve!

I know you are basking in the glow of sunny Hawaii right now, while I am basking in the reflection of snow and a temperature of about 25 degrees. Not that I'm jealous or anything. (Maybe the locale for a future Gayest Trip Ever should be Hawaii...)

I decided to put the America's Test Kitchen cookbook you gave me to use and made the following meal centered around lamb chops.

Not that lamb chop...

Two parts of the meal were pretty basic.

The mashed potatoes, which you will notice look runny in the picture of the complete meal, were easy. (I used half and half and butter, which made them kind of rich, but I wasn't paying attention and put in too much half and half. They still tasted okay, though.)

The salad was inspired by a suggestion in the cookbook: romaine hearts, balsamic vinaigrette, chickpeas (garbanzo beans), and feta cheese. The recipe called for radicchio, but I left it out to avoid the bitter flavor. I mixed everything together (except for the cheese) and refrigerated until right before the meal. I tossed the cheese with the salad right before we ate. I think what really makes the salad good are the chickpeas, but the combination of ingredients gives the salad a simple but great taste.

The lamb was pretty easy to make, but it took longer than I thought. I only have a few pictures because I forgot to document some of the recipe. Bill acted as photographer for the meal, lest you think I have constructed some impressive set up that allows me to take pictures of myself cooking.

The recipe for the lamb chops follows the pictures.

After preparing and frying the lamb chops, the chops rest under a foil tent for five minutes.

A red wine sauce is made with any browned bits after frying the lamb, red wine, chicken broth, shallots, butter, and rosemary. The sauce is pretty mild tasting, and the rosemary keeps the sauce from tasting too sweet.

Note the subtle gay images in the background: magnets with a near-naked man, a butch-femme magnet, Brad on the bar. Just keeping it gay real, City Gay.

The meal was satisfying, but it's probably not something I would make often for the basic reason that lamb chops are kind of expensive. However, when I do get a craving for lamb, this will be a recipe I know I can make easily. Out of the three parts of the meal, the salad will be thing I probably come back to in the future.

So, City Gay, while you are drinking fancy drinks out of pineapples and eating poi, I am making my way through the cookbook. Only a kabillion recipes to go.

May the new year bring you plenty of good eats!
Country Gay

Pan-seared Lamb Chops with Red Wine Rosemary Sauce
Serves 4
Start to Finish: 30 minutes

8 lamb loin or rib chops (4 oz each), 3/4 to 1 inch thick, trimmed
salt and pepper
1 tablespoon vegetable oil

Red Wine Sauce:
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 shallots, minced
1 cup dry red wine
3/4 cup low-sodium chicken broth
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into three pieces and chilled
2 1/2 teaspoons minced fresh rosemary or 1/2 teaspoon dried
salt and pepper

1. For the chops: Pat the chops dry with paper towels, then season with salt and pepper. Heat the oil in a 12 inch skillet over medium-high heat until just smoking. Brown the chops on the first side, about 4 minutes.

2. Flip the chops over and continue to cook until the desired doneness, 4-6 minutes. Transfer the chops to a clean plate, tent with foil, and let rest for 5 minutes.

3. For the sauce: Meanwhile, add the oil to the skillet and return to medium heat until shimmering. Add the shallots and cook until softened, about 2 minutes. Stir in the wine and broth, scraping up any browned bits, and simmer until thickened, about 5 minutes.

4. Stir in any accumulated meat juice. Turn the heat to low and which in the butter, one piece at a time. Off the heat, stir in the rosemary and season with salt and pepper to taste. Spoon the sauce over the chops before serving.

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