I haven’t had much inclination to cook anything interesting for a while—or the energy to write about it when some free time presents itself. We’re trying to transition Nolan from co-sleeping in our bedroom to sleeping in his very own crib in his very own room. That has been upsetting everyone’s sleep patterns, so I feel zombie-fied half the day, and am getting behind even in finishing off posts that were already photographed and half-written. I’m tired of seeing them in the Draft queue, though, so that’s my goal for the week.
To start things off, here is a quick recipe for lamb chops. I chose it to use up the last of my apricot preserves from last month’s filbert gateau, but it was so easy and flavorful that I think I’m going to go buy more preserves, especially since I have an inkling that the glaze would also beautifully suit pork chops or even a larger loin roast or leg of lamb. Heck, even using chicken might work. I served these chops with Jaden’s saffron rice and some green beans on a day that topped 101F degrees, and it didn’t even overheat the kitchen too much.
The original recipe called for 1/2 C of apricot preserves, but I had just over 1/4 C in the jar and wasn’t about to go buy more. The finished chops were certainly sweet and fruity enough, so I would caution against using the full 1/2 C unless you really love apricots. I’m not huge on the whole meat-fruit pairing, and I thought my version was just about right. I also cooked the lamb in a large cast-iron skillet. Because I was concerned about the apricot glaze burning and ruining the pan’s seasoning, I warmed it in the microwave separately and brushed it on both sides of the chops after they were done cooking—then promptly got paranoid about having undercooked the chops and put them right back in the hot skillet (with the burner off) for another minute or two. The skillet survived to fry another day. 🙂
Apricot Lamb Chops
1/4 C apricot preserves
2 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp bottled minced garlic
1 tsp low-sodium soy sauce
1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp black pepper
8 (4-ounce) lamb loin chops, trimmed
Combine first 5 ingredients in a small bowl; set aside. Combine salt, cinnamon, and pepper, and sprinkle over both sides of lamb. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add lamb to pan; cook 5 minutes on each side or until desired degree of doneness. Remove skillet from heat; add apricot mixture, turning lamb to coat. Place 2 chops on each of 4 dinner plates; spoon remaining apricot mixture evenly over chops.
Source: Slightly adapted from Cooking Light
Zesty White Wine Green Beans
I just use this recipe as a guideline. I generally use frozen green beans for this because I have stopped buying canned ones; I thaw them in some hot water first. For two servings, I use closer to 1/3 C of wine, and I let it reduce almost entirely.
2 T olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
salt and ground black pepper to taste
2 (14.5 ounce) cans French-style green beans, drained
1 C white wine
Heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat; brown the garlic in the oil; season with salt and pepper. Add the green beans and toss to coat. Pour the white wine over the green beans; simmer until the wine reduces in volume by half, stirring occasionally, about 15 minutes.
Update 4/18/11: An update on the green beans—I made these without consulting the recipe, using frozen beans, a splash of olive oil and a pat of butter, a sliced clove of garlic and several scallions, and finished with a pinch of frozen lemon zest. They were delicious, easy to make, and well received.