Grilled Lamb Chops with Za’Atar and Pomegranate Molasses

With only five ingredients (plus salt and pepper) this dish is simple but delicious. To eliminate smoke and grease in the house, I grill these in a Staub grill pan on an induction burner on the screened porch. Cooking takes only about 10 minutes so outdoor cooking is possible, even in January. Both Za’Atar and Pomegranate Molasses are available online or from Middle Eastern markets. I enjoy shopping in the grocery section of Olive Branch Gourmet Foods in East Ridge, TN. 

Serve this with grilled asparagus and minted rice.

3/4 lb loin lamb chops (2-3 chops)
1 tbsp pomegranate molasses
1-2 tsp Za’Atar seasoning
1 tbsp extra virgin olive-oil
2 tbsp pomegranate seeds

1. In a quart size ziplock bag, combine the Za-atar spice, pomegranate molasses, olive oil.

2. Add the lambchops, seal and turn several times to cover the chops. Marinate about 2 hours (or overnight) turning occasionally.

za'atar marinade

3. Heat your grill or grill pan until very hot. (too hot to hold your hand over for more than a second or two.)

4. Cook the chops about 3-4 minutes per side for medium rare. Set aside to rest for five minutes.

5. Sprinkle with pomegranate seeds and serve.

Servings: 2

Cooking Times
Preparation Time: 5 minutes
Cooking Time: 10 minutes
Inactive Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours and 15 minutes

Nutrition Facts
Serving size: 1/2 of a recipe (6.3 ounces).
Percent daily values based on the Reference Daily Intake (RDI) for a 2000 calorie diet.

Nutrition information calculated from recipe ingredients. 2 of the recipe’s ingredients were not linked. These ingredients are not included in the recipe nutrition data.


Nutrition za'atar lamb chops

Recipe Type: Low-Carb, Main Dish, Meat

King Cake For Epiphany

It’s an all day recipe, but it makes enough pastry and filling to freeze for later use.

King Cake For EpiphanyDOING IT THE HARD WAY.

Today, for the Feast of the Epiphany, I’m going to make a Gallette de Rois (King Cake). I’ll be using my vintage copy of Larousse Gastronomique for the puff paste recipe.

KING CAKE FOR EPIPHANY: STEP ONE
Step One Completed: mix 3 3/4 cups flour, 1 1/2 tsp salt and 1 cup water. Knead until smooth and elastic. Let rest 25 minutes (while I start packing up the Creche and some of the Santas).

KING CAKE FOR EPIPHANY: STEP TWO
Roll the dough into a large even rectangle. Place the pound (yes, pound!) of softened butter in the center. Fold to enclose. Chill for 30 minutes. (The recipe calls for a 10 minute chill, but I know from experience that’s for a French kitchen, not an American one, especially not in Chattanooga!)

King Cake 2

KING CAKE FOR EPIPHANY: STEPS THREE TO EIGHT
This step is repeated six times with a 30 minute rest between steps. A good time to read a book or catch up on the laundry. Roll dough into a long rectangle. Fold in thirds onto itself. Turn folded side down and chill for 30 minutes. Repeat for six turns.

King Cake 7

KING CAKE FOR EPIPHANY: STEP NINE
Make and chill the filling. You’ll need 3/4 cup almond meal ( I ground my own in the food processor.) 6 tbsp softened butter. 3/4 cup confectioners sugar. 2 eggs (reserve one of the yolks for the glaze. 2 tsp corn starch. 1 tsp.vanilla extract and 1/2 tsp almond extract.

Cream together the butter and sugar. Stir in the remaining ingredients and chill for one hour. Keep the remaining egg yolk in the fridge till needed.

KING CAKE FOR EPIPHANY: STEP TEN
Roll out 1/4 of the puff paste to make two circles. (Freeze the rest for another time). Spread about 1/2 of the filling to within an inch of one circle. (Freeze the rest of the filling for later use.) Moisten the edge. Place second circle on top. Press edge to seal. Using the back of a spoon, scallop the edge. Refrigerate one hour.

King Cake 13

KING CAKE FOR EPIPHANY: STEP ELEVEN
Preheat oven to 375. Remove cake from refrigerator. Combine reserved egg yolk with a tsp milk. Brush this mixture over the top but do not let it drip over the edge. Use a knife to lightly score a decorative design. Bake at 375 for 30 minutes, or until golden brown.

King Cake 14

And 9 hours later: C’est Fini

Braised Lamb Shoulder Blade Chops Provencal

Braised Lamb Shoulder Blad (2)

I can’t always find lamb at the nearest grocery store, so when it’s in stock I make sure to get it. These lamb shoulder blade chops are perfect for a braise with onions, celery, garlic, red wine and herbs de Provence. The temperatures are dropping once again and this will make for a very pleasant dinner.

1 lbs thick lamb should blade chops
1 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped celery
1 tbsp chopped garlic
2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup dry red wine
2 medium carrots peeled and cut in 2″ pieces
1 large potato, peeled and cut in thick slices
2 tsp dried herbs de Provence
onion powder, garlic powder, salt, and pepper to taste

1. Preheat the oven to 275. Pat the chops dry and season with salt, pepper, powdered onion, powdered garlic and some of the herbs de Provence. Set aside

2. In the oil in an oven proof casserole, saute the onion, garlic and celery until golden. Remove to a bowl or plate.

3. Increase the heat till nearly smoking and sear the chops on both sides,

4. Quickly return the sauted vegetables to the pan. Add the carrots and potatoes. Sprinkle on the remaining herbs de Provence.

5. Pour the wine over all, cover, and place in the preheated oven, Cook, covered, 1 1/2 hours.

Servings: 2

Cooking Times
Preparation Time: 30 minutes
Cooking Time: 1 hour and 30 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours

Oven Temperature: 275°F

Nutrition Facts
Serving size: 1/2 of a recipe (20.8 ounces).
Percent daily values based on the Reference Daily Intake (RDI) for a 2000 calorie diet.
Nutrition information calculated from recipe ingredients. 2 of the recipe’s ingredients were not linked. These ingredients are not included in the recipe nutrition data.

Amount Per Serving

nutrition braised lamb shoulder blade chop

Recipe Type: Gluten-Free, Main Dish, Meat

Winter Pork Ragout with Polenta

Pork Ragout1

It’s late afternoon on cold, gray, very rainy January 2nd afternoon. We appear to be the only family in the neighborhood whose holiday lights are still on (we keep them up through the 12 Days of Christmas) and I am especially grateful for their effectiveness in challenging the advancing dark. I’m still, slowly, recovering from a December chest cold and a lingering cough, but I’m snug and warm inside; and after having spent the day reading, am preparing a hearty, warming, supper from ingredients I have on hand.

3 tbsp olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup chopped carrot
1/4 cup chopped celery
1 tsp chopped garlic
1 lb boneless pork ribs, cut in half inch pieces
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp ground sage
1/2 tsp dried savory
1/4 tsp dried rosemary
1/4 tsp dried thyme
1 cup halved cherry tomatoes
1/2 cup dry red wine
1 1/3 cup dried instant polenta
2 tbsp butter (for the polenta)
4 1/2 cup water

1. In a heavy, lidded casserole, saute the chopped vegetables in the olive oil until crisp and lightly browned.

2. Remove the vegetables to a plant and in the same oil, saute the pork till lightly browned.

3. Stir in the salt, pepper, and spices. Return the veggies to the pan. Add the halved tomatoes.

4. Increase the heat and bring all to sizzle. Pour in the wine. Cover and reduce heat to low.

5. Let simmer/braise for up to 90 minutes. Remove lid and, if necessary reduce the liquid. Adjust the seasoning.

6. Prepare the polenta according to the package directions, and serve topped with the ragu.

Servings: 4

Cooking Times
Preparation Time: 30 minutes
Cooking Time: 1 hour and 30 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours

Nutrition Facts
Serving size: 1/4 of a recipe (20.2 ounces).
Percent daily values based on the Reference Daily Intake (RDI) for a 2000 calorie diet.
Nutrition information calculated from recipe ingredients.

nutrition pork ragout
Recipe Type: Main Dish, Meat

Spiced Lamb Meatballs with Mirepoix and Lentils

Lentil Lamb Meatballs3

Despite my best efforts I caught a cold over the holidays and am now barking like a seal. On the mend, my body now wants something spicy, earthy and warm.

This recipe calls for several unusual ingredients: ras el hanout spice mix, maqluba, and aleppo pepper. Don’t worry if you don’t have them. While they are all very reasonably priced and available at middle eastern markets or online, you may also substitute a mixture of curry powder, cumin, allspice, cardamom, cayenne and cinnamon (among others). there is no set recipe for these spice blends. The point is to find one that you enjoy, so don’t be afraid to experiment.

1 lb ground lamb
1 tsp dried mint
2 tsp ras el hanout, maqluba sice blend or curry powder
1/4 tsp dried aleppo pepper
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup finely diced carrot
1/2 cup finely diced potatoes
1/2 cup finely diced celery
1/2 cup finely diced onion
2 tbsp extra virgin olive-oil
2 tbsp golden raisins
1/2 cup dried lentils
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
1 cup long grain white rice (steamed)

1. Partially cook the lentils in the chicken broth. (I do 10 minutes in an instant pot). Do not drain.

2. Combine the lamb with the spices. Form into medium sized meatballs and set aside.

3. In the olive oil, in a sturdy stove-top-to-oven lidded casserole, sauté the onion, potato, celery, carrot and raisins.

4. Nestle the meatballs in among the mirepoix veggies and brown lightly, turning once.

5. Top with the lentils and any remaining chicken broth.

6. Cover tightly and cook in a slow (350 degree oven) for up to 90 minutes.

7. Stir, adjust seasoning and serve over steamed rice.

Servings: 6

Cooking Times
Preparation Time: 30 minutes
Cooking Time: 1 hour and 30 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours

Oven Temperature: 300°F

Nutrition Facts
Serving size: 1/6 of a recipe (8.4 ounces).
Percent daily values based on the Reference Daily Intake (RDI) for a 2000 calorie diet.

Nutrition information calculated from recipe ingredients. One of the recipe’s ingredients was not linked. This ingredient is not included in the recipe nutrition data.

Nutrition lentils lamb meatballs

Recipe Type: Gluten-Free, Main Dish

Walnut Sage Tortellini

Walnut Sage Tortellini3

Super easy and quick. A filling winter supper dish, especially good for those evenings when you are already cooking for the holidays and don’t have the time or the energy for lots of preparation. Great with a dry white wine.

6 oz dried cheese tortellini
1 tsp chopped garlic
1/4 cup olive oil
1 cup mushrooms, sliced
1/2 cup walnut halves
1/2 tsp dried sage
1/4 cup shaved parmesan cheese
1/8 tsp red pepper flakes
salt to taste

1. Boil the tortellini according to the package directions.

2. Meanwhile, heat the oil to medium in a skillet, Don’t let it smoke.

3. Lightly brown the mushrooms and walnuts. Add the garlic last and don’t let it burn.

4. Season with the sage, cayenne flakes and salt to taste.

5. Toss with the drained pasta, adding a few tablespoons of the cooking liquid, if desired.

6. Serve in shallow bowls, topped with the shaved parmesan.

Servings: 2

Cooking Times
Preparation Time: 5 minutes
Cooking Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes

Nutrition Facts
Serving size: 1/2 of a recipe (7.2 ounces).
Percent daily values based on the Reference Daily Intake (RDI) for a 2000 calorie diet.
Nutrition information calculated from recipe ingredients. One of the recipe’s ingredients was not linked. This ingredient is not included in the recipe nutrition data.

Amount Per Serving
Nutrition Walnut Sage Tortellini

Recipe Type: Main Dish, Pasta

Lamb Meatballs in Lemon Sauce

Lamb Meatballs Lemon Sauce3
We’ve had a 40 degree temperature drop in the past 24 hours, and it’s time for something warming and comforting, but not heavy or starchy. These meatballs are gluten-free and low-carb, and have a rich and creamy sauce; but for those whose meal is not complete without a grain of some sort, try them with rice.

For the Meatballs
1 lb ground lamb (grass fed is best)
1/4 cup ground nuts (I prefer pistachio, but use what you have)
1 small onion finely chopped
1 tsp garlic, finely minced
1 egg
1 tsp dried mint
1 tsp dried dill
1/4 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
salt and red pepper to taste
For the Sauce
3 eggs
3 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 quart chicken broth

1. Combine the first 10 ingredients and mix thoroughly. Chill for 1-3 hours.

2. When lamb is chilled, form the meat mixture into small to medium meatballs.

3. Meanwhile, heat the chicken broth to a slow boil.

4. Gently place the meatballs into the broth and cook till 10-12 minutes. Drain and keep warm.

5. Beat the three additional eggs in a medium bowl and add the lemon juice.

6. Temper the mixture with about a cup of the chicken broth.

7. Stir the lemon egg mixture back into the remainder of the chicken broth and heat gently to thicken the sauce.

8. Return the meatballs to the sauce and warm through. Serve at once.

Lamb Meatballs Lemon Sauce1

Servings: 4

Cooking Times
Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 15 minutes
Inactive Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours and 30 minutes

Nutrition Facts
Serving size: 1/4 of a recipe (15.7 ounces).
Percent daily values based on the Reference Daily Intake (RDI) for a 2000 calorie diet.
Nutrition information calculated from recipe ingredients. One of the recipe’s ingredients was not linked. This ingredient is not included in the recipe nutrition data.

Amount Per Serving
nutrition Lamb Meatballs in Lemon Sauce

Recipe Type: Gluten-Free, Low-Carb, Main Dish

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