Sunday, April 24, 2011

Happy Easter! (Don't call it a comeback)

Roasted sweet potatoes; garlic, lemon, herb lamb chop; roasted asparagus with parmigiano reggiano

Every so often it's fun to cook a special meal, and Easter is the perfect occasion for such an endeavor. Some of you are probably surprised to see lamb chops were on the menu, but I DO eat meat. One of my coworkers asked me if I even eat meat and just last week my best friend requested that we eat meat when she comes to visit! Actually, I love meat! Which is why my vegetarian stint lasted just a little over 1 month...

Lamb chops browning up in the pan.

Now, it is true that I tend to cook vegetarian at home. It's a nice way to eat more vegetables. But I saw a recipe for lamb chops in last month's Bon Appetit mag, which inspired this meal. I headed down to my local Whole Foods and got some nice grassfed lambchops. I riffed on the recipe and put together a rosemary, thyme, lemon zest, garlic, olive oil marinade. The nice thing about this marinade is that the meat only needs to marinate 30-60 minutes at room temperature.

While the lamb chops were bathing in their herby blanket, I got started on the sides - roasted sweet potato wedges with rosemary and roasted asparagus. The sweet potatoes get cut into nice wedges and tossed with olive oil, salt, and fresh rosemary and roasted at 400 F for 30 minutes (tossed halfway through). In retrospect, I would turn up the temperature to 425 F for a crispier exterior. The asparagus got the same treatment minus the rosemary which I cooked in my toaster oven to make room for the lamb chops.

Browning on the other side!

The cooking method I employed is really an easy one that will give you perfect results every time. You get a little oil in a saute pan and heat it up until its practically screaming. You want that heat high to get a nice brown crust. This will ensure that the juices stay in! You brown the chops for 2 min on each side and then pop 'em into the oven for 8-10 minutes (8 for rare).

Sweet pots.

Asparagus children who are insecure about the smell of their pee (anyone get that movie reference?)

Final product!

These lamb chops were perfectly cooked if I do say so myself. Nice and tender with great flavor from the herb crust. The asparagus were topped off with some nice parm and the sweet potatoes rounded out the meal. A lovely Easter meal that made me feel a little closer to my family (even though I'm 3,000 miles away). Happy Easter everyone!

That's some tasty meat.