Saturday, November 10, 2007

Lamb chops with Balsamic Reduction and Lemon Pepper Green Beans with Slivered Almonds

For the lamb chops-

2 Lamb shoulder chops
2 Tbsp Chopped fresh rosemary
1 Tbsp Herbs de Provence
1 Tbsp Olive oil
1/4 C Minced shallots
1/3 C Balsamic vinegar
3/4 C Chicken broth
1 Tbsp Butter

Rub the lamb chops with the chopped rosemary, S&P and other herbs. Let the chops absorb the flavors of the herbs for 15 min.

Heat oil in a skillet over M/H heat. Cook the chops 4 minutes per side for medium, at little shorter for medium-rare. Set a side on a warm plate.

Add the shallots into the pan and let them brown up for a few seconds. Stir in the balsamic and scrape up the lamb bits on the bottom of the pan. Stir in the chicken broth. Let the sauce cook for about 5-7 minutes, until it reduces by half. Turn off the heat and a little butter. Spoon the sauce over the chops and serve.

The recipe I used was written for 4 lamb rib chops. It also called for dried rosemary, basil and thyme, but anything fresh is better.

For the green beans, I really eye balled this one, so these are estimates-

1/2 Lb Green beans, rinsed and trimmed
1/4 C Slivered almonds
1 tsp Olive oil
Juice of 1/2 lemon

Heat oil in pan on M/H heat. Sauté beans for 5-6 minutes until crispy but tender. Taste one, you'll know when. Toss in the almonds and let them get a little toasty. Season with S&P and squeeze in the lemon juice. Toss them around a little more and serve.

The only thing missing was a starch. Some mashed potatoes would've been great, especially with the leftover sauce from the chops.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Australian Empanadas

This week's post is brought to you by special guest blogger, Jessica. We made these empanadas a few weeks ago and they were delicious!

Here's what Jessica has to say about them-

Before you can appreciate these, you need to know from whence the name originates. In Australia we have sausage rolls, in Argentina, empanadas. These are the closest thing to Australian sausage rolls that can be made with ingredients commonly found in an Argentine supermarket (and also Rodmans in Friendship Heights). Hence the name Australian empanadas.

You need:
Empanada pastry, preferably a moderately flaky kind (the best is masa hojaldre, and for a brand, I like La Salteña)
Argentine Chorizo (not Spanish – instead it’s a light pink colour and stays that colour when cooked)
Grated Cheese (mozzarella or cheddar or a mixed bag is good)

I don’t do well with quantities so this is all a bit of a guessing game. Preheat the over to moderate to high heat. Slice the sausage casings lengthwise and extract the meat. In a bowl, mix with an egg or two, some chopped onion, breadcrumbs and cheese. The mixture should be wet-ish but should easily retain its shape. Once mixed, place the mixture in the round pastries sheets, doubling them over to make a half moon. Seal the edges using a fork and brush them with egg. Place the half moons on a greased baking tray and bake until golden brown. I like them with Tomato Sauce/Ketchup but that’s up to your tastes…