Why we started this idea????

A passion for food, wine, friends and entertaining is a big part of our life. This is a way for us to document our experiences, passion for food & life and also share it with others.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Grilled Mint Marinated Lamb chops with Mashed Cauliflower

We can't quite explain why with as much as we both love lamb how few and far between our lamb based meals are made around here. 

Lamb is relatively easily to find for us. Costco, which is a weekly stop for us, actually has delicious and inexpensive racks of lamb chops that make the the best grilled lamb lollipops. We give up? We just don't know why we don't make lamb enough. But we do know that when we do make it we enjoy it greatly. 

This recipe was one where after several weeks of strict Paleo eating we were a bit ready to change it up in order to keep on track. And these lamb chops and some much needed blue sky helped us get out there and get them on the grill. (And grilled lamb chops is by far our most fav way of cooking lamb.)

We adapted an epicurious recipe for grilled lemongrass marinated lamb chops. Mint is one of our preferred herbs with lamb so we made adjustments to the recipe. Switching out mint for the lemongrass was one of the main tweaks.

The lamb chops were perfect. It's important to not overcook lamb chops are they are thin and just don't taste nearly as scrumptious when not cooked medium rare. 

As we were following strict Paleo while making this recipe we made some mashed cauliflower with coconut milk and grilled asparagus to round out the meal. It was a flavor filled and delightful change up to our 30 day Whole Menu plan whether we were following Paleo or not.


Grilled Mint Marinate Lamb Chops with Mashed Cauliflower

1 1/2 teaspoons cumin seeds, toasted and cooled
1-2 Cups fresh mint leaves 
1 large shallots, chopped (or 1/2 cup)
4 garlic cloves, chopped
1 1/2 tablespoons chopped peeled fresh ginger
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
3 tablespoons water
1/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
8 thin lamb chops cut into lollipops
1/4 teaspoon finely grated fresh lime zest
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1/2 cup small fresh basil leaves
1/4 cup small fresh mint leaves
1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves

Finely grind cumin seeds in an electric coffee/spice grinder or with a mortar and pestle.
Roughly chop fresh mint leaves. Purée mint, shallots, garlic, ginger, cumin, sugar, salt, turmeric, cayenne, and water in a food processor, scraping down side occasionally, until as smooth as possible, about 2 minutes. (Paste will not be completely smooth.)

Pat lamb chops dry and rub mint paste all over them, then arrange in 1 layer in a 13- by 9-inch dish. Marinate, covered and chilled, at least 6 hours and up to 24 hours.

Prepare grill for cooking over direct heat with over gas or charcoal grill. Loosening lamb from grill with a metal spatula, turning over occasionally, and moving around on grill when flare-ups occur, 9 to 11 minutes total for medium-rare. (Some of mint paste will fall off.) Transfer chops to a platter and let stand, loosely covered with foil, 10 minutes. 

Whisk together lime zest and juice, remaining 1/4 cup oil, and salt and pepper to taste. Spoon over chops and sprinkle with herbs.

Mashed Cauliflower:
Steam 1 head cauliflower until cooked. Transfer cauliflower to blender or food processor. Add 1/2 - 3/4 Cup coconut milk to blender. Generously season with salt & pepper. Blend until smooth. 

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

White Pizza with Baked Eggs & Arugula Salad

Do you like eggs on your pizza? We definitely have become fans. We started first with our grilled pizzas and little baby quail eggs. It's a bit easier to control the temperature of your egg when they are smaller.

Our early version of Mole' Salami, Spinach and Quail Egg Pizza from a July 2011 post 

But over time we've obviously embraced the large chicken egg on our pizzas.

This recipe is actually a Blue Apron meal. We started having this meal service delivered over a year ago now. G had started graduate school commuting up to Seattle 2 nights a week and I had just taken over a new middle school principalship. We were in need with some dinner and grocery shopping help during the work week. Don't be confused clearly WE LOVE COOKING. Love spending hours researching the recipe we'll make and finding the ingredients to make it. But that's weekend cooking. Monday through Friday we are pretty much spent by the time we get home. So Blue Apron really met our needs. Not having to make decisions when we get home after making what feels like thousands of decisions a day is like a luxury during the week for us.

Each Saturday we have 3 meals delivered with fresh produce and meats and a very detailed recipe plan. We immediately put the meats in the freezer and the produce in the fridge's crisper bin. And then we are set for meals for most of the week. It works great for us. 

This recipe was right up G's alley with the baked eggs and the arugula salad.


White Pizza with Baked Eggs and Arugula Salad
2 large eggs
Extra virgin olive oil
1 pound fresh plain pizza dough (found in most grocery stores now)
1/2 lb. fresh Mozzarella cheese -sliced
3 oz. Brussels Sprouts - ends cut off, and leaves pealed
2 cloves garlic, sliced
2 oz. arugula
1 lemon, zested, sliced in 1/2
1 red onion, thinly sliced (we only used 1/4 of the red onion for this)
1/2 C. ricotta cheese
1/2 Tsp red pepper flake (we used a bit more)

Preheat oven to 475 degrees. Lightly oil a pizza stone or sheet pan. Gently stretch the room temperature pizza dough onto the pizza stone or pan to 1/4 inch thick. Combine the ricotta cheese, lemon zest, the juice of 1/2 lemon and drizzle of olive oil and season with salt & pepper.

Spread the ricotta mixture onto the dough leaving a 1 inch border of dough. Top with the mozzarella cheese, garlic and sliced red onion sprinkled with red pepper flake. Bake 10-12 minutes or until cheese is slightly browned. Remove from the oven.

Create 2 wells in the center of the baked pizza and crack each egg into a well. Season eggs with salt & pepper. Bake the pizza again 5-7 minutes until the egg whites are set and yolks cooked to your preference. Remove from oven and let stand at least 2-3 minutes.

Mix the arugula with Brussels sprouts leaves with the other half of lemon squeezed , drizzle of olive oil and salt and pepper. Spread the arugula salad over the pizza. Top with red pepper flake.