Posted on | February 15, 2012 | 4 Comments |
Another Valentine’s Day has come and gone! It is pretty much like any other day, except for the fact that it is the only day of the year when Siv sends me flowers. I really don’t care much for flowers, but still it is kind of nice to get some roses once a year. I don’t remember when this started, but now it has become a tradition. We used to go out for dinner on V-day up until a few years ago; but after going through a few overprized, mass produced dinners served with zero customer service – even at some of the best restaurants in town- we have given up on Valentine’s Day dinners out. It is so much better to get some take out and eat in front of the TV or make a quick meal at home.
This year we had decided to cook for each other, we were planning a four-course small plate meal. But we got lazy after work and decided to cut a couple of courses and make an entrée and a salad instead. After all who wants to slave away in the kitchen on Valentine’s Day, when there is much more romantic things to do outside the kitchen! I meant watching our favorite show together of course! Anyway, we chose two of the easiest dishes we could think of, he made a quick spicy lamb chops and I put together a salad to go with it.
The lamb is marinated in Siv’s not-so-secret roasted spice rub that he uses on everything which is oh-so-delicious! A quick sear on the stove and 25 minutes in the oven, the chops were ready. Salad took even less time. Peeling the grapefruit and making the spice rub are the hardest chores to prep this meal. No fuss, not much mess – perfect V-day dinner!
Arugula – Grapefruit Salad
- 4 cups arugula
- 1 small grapefruit
- A few roasted walnuts
- 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 1 tsp mint jelly
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
Rinse the arugula and use a salad spinner to get rid of all the moisture.
Peel the grapefruit, making sure to remove all the white pith and slice into thin rounds.
To make the dressing, mix the balsamic vinegar and mint jelly in a bowl and whisk well to combine. When the two are combined, add the oil while continuing to whisk till the liquid emulsifies.
Place the arugula in a salad bowl and pour the dressing over and toss well. Season with salt and pepper. Add the grapefruit slices and give it a light toss. Sprinkle the roasted walnuts over after serving.
Roasted Spice Rub
- 10 Red Chilies
- 5 cardamom pods
- 4 cloves
- 2″ piece of cinnamon
- 2 tbsp fennel seeds
- 1.5 tbsp black pepper
Toast all the above ingredients in a small, heavy skillet on the stove over medium high heat. Toss the ingredients frequently so that they don’t burn, remove the pan from the stove as soon as the spices start to smoke. Quickly transfer to a cold bowl.
Once the spices have cooled down a bit, transfer to a spice grinder or a coffee grinder and process to form a smooth powder.
Spicy Lamb Chops
- 1 Frenched rack of lamb (8 ribs – ~1.5 lbs.)
- 4 tbsp roasted spice rub(recipe above)
- Salt to taste
- 2 tbsp vinegar
- 6 large cloves garlic with skin on
- 6 fresh bay leaves
- 1 cup red wine
- 4 tbsp olive oil
Pre-heat the oven to 375F.
Trim the excess fat from the lamb, wash and pat dry with paper towels. Rub the rack with the vinegar and marinate well with the spice rub and salt. Keep aside for 30 minutes.
Heat the oil in a large oven proof pan and when the oil starts to glisten, add the whole garlic cloves and the bay leaves to the oil and sauté for a minute. Now place the rack of lamb the meat side down and sear for 2 minutes.
Turn the rack on its side like below and sear for 2 more minutes.
Now turn it to the third side, and press down with a heavy spatula to make sure the surface is touching the bottom of the pan, sear this side for 2 minutes as well.
Now pour the red wine into the pan over the ribs.
Let the wine boil a bit.
Now turn the ribs on its other side, and place the pan in the pre-heated oven and cook for 20 minutes for rare, 25 minutes for medium.
After it is done, remove the pan from the oven and cut one of the ribs to make sure it is cooked to the desired done-ness.
If everything looks good, carve the rack into chops in the pan itself, so that the chops are well immersed in the wine sauce.
Serve the chops with the salad, and spoon some of the wine sauce over.
Alternate Serving Suggestion
The sauce remaining in the pan is full of melted fat and flavors. You can sauté some spinach or other greens in this sauce and serve the lamb chops over them. In fact that is what I did with the leftover chops tonight, I sautéed some Kale in the leftover sauce and squeezed a lemon over it at the end. It went perfect with the leftover chops.
More like this
Recently someone commented on one of my Mutton dishes that "Mutton is NOT goat meat. Mutton is an [...]
This is one of those recipes that was conceived quite by accident. All I wanted was a quick mutton[...]