Tuesday, March 2, 2010
I've started making my own yogurt each week, so I wanted to make a dinner that included a yogurt sauce of some sort. This one was really simple and yummy, and it allowed me to do a major harvest of the mint in my Aerogarden. Does anyone have a favorite sauce they make out of yogurt, perhaps for Indian or Greek style meals?
I think this was my first time cooking lamb chops. They were nice and tender, and I felt good about buying them because they were local, grass-fed, and free-range. I heart my Co-op! They even provided a brochure of the farm right by the meat case so I can verify for myself (dear Trader Joe's, as awesome as your prices are, you are lacking in that department! I am more than willing to pay more for local meat and shop at a grocer who freely discloses where and how it was raised!)
The main recipe for the lamb chop yogurt sauce was from Epicurious, but the rub and cooking method I used for the chops came from a comment that someone posted for that recipe. I liked how the cooling, tangy flavors of the yogurt mixed with the juices of the meat and the spices of the rub as I was eating it.
To go with the chops I made Robin Miller's Soy Sesame Green Beans with Ginger. In her cookbook (and TV show, if it's still on the Food Network? I don't have cable anymore) she focuses on prepping ingredients on the weekend when you might have more time, such as cooking all the pasta for the week or cooking enough pork tenderloin for several meals. There are a lot of helpful time-saving tips like that throughout the book, and she is very health conscious.
Anyway, in this recipe you can use fresh or frozen green beans, and it just so happened that we had one bag left of the beans we froze from our summer CSA! They were actually wax beans, which are yellow, but you treat them just like green beans and to me they taste the same.
We also made some super lazy and quick sourdough toast. While you toast the slices in the toaster, peel a clove of garlic and cut it in half. Rub the toasted bread with the garlic, then butter the toast as you normally would. Sprinkle with some grated Parmesan, and it will melt while you finish getting dinner together.
Lamb Chops with Yogurt Mint Sauce
adapted from Epicurious
Serves 2 (just double the recipe if cooking for more people)
1/2 cup fresh mint leaves, finely chopped
1/2 cup plain yogurt
1 garlic clove, minced
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
2-4 1-inch thick rib lamb chops (I say 2-4 in case they are small. The package I bought looked like two reasonably sized chops until I opened it, and it was actually 4 small ones)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 tablespoon each of Paprika, Cumin, Salt, and Pepper
Preheat oven to broil.
Combine the mint, yogurt, garlic, and lemon juice in a bowl. Taste and season as needed with salt and pepper. Set aside.
Combine the paprika, cumin, salt, and pepper in a bowl. Press the rub onto both sides of the chops. Drizzle a foil wrapped baking pan with the oil, and rub the chops with the oil on both sides.
Broil, about 3 minutes per side, until it's cooked to your liking. For us, it was done when our probe thermometer measured 160 F in the center. Just a touch of pink in the center and still nice and tender. Not that I've ever had lamb chops any other way, because like I said earlier, this is my first time cooking with lamb.
Let the chops rest for about 5 minutes before serving. Top with yogurt sauce, and pass the extra at the table.
Soy-Sesame Green Beans with Ginger
adapted from Robin Miller's Quick Fix Meals
2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil (or substitute sesame oil, canola, or vegetable oil if that's what you have, but toasted sesame oil is a good investment; buy the smallest amount you can so it doesn't spoil before you use it all)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon peeled and minced fresh ginger
2 cups fresh or one 10-ounce package frozen green beans (no need to thaw)
1 tablespoon sesame seeds
1/2 cup reduced sodium vegetable or chicken broth (I like to use bouillon cubes for making up small amounts of broth like this)
2 tablespoons soy sauce, reduced sodium if you like
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat. (Note: If using jarred ginger like we did, seriously consider patting it dry between paper towels if it looks very liquidy. We had a serious spatter problem when we added it to the pan) Add the garlic and ginger and cook for about a minute. Add the green beans and cook for about two minutes, stirring often. She has you add the sesame seeds here too, wanting them to toast, but our pan had a lot of liquid in it from the frozen beans and/or the ginger, so they didn't really toast at all. I think it would be better to toast the sesame seeds separately in a dry skillet and stir them in at the end.
Add the broth and soy sauce and cook for another couple of minutes, until the beans are crisp-tender. Stir in the sesame seeds, if you toasted them separately. Season with salt and pepper.