Lamb Chop brain fart (for my anniversary dinner)
My and my wife's anniversary is tomorrow (4 years) and I read somewhere that the 4 year anniversary gift is lamb (okay, so it's not, but lamb chops were on sale today and I figured that it would be better than nylon or silk).
So I have the lamb, however that's about all I got.
I have spent an hour or so looking through chowhound and epicurious for good side ideas for starch/veg, but haven't found anything.
I was originally thinking that I'd saute (I wish I had a grill, but I don't) double boned chops and then deglaze the pan and serve over roasted pimentone roasted sweet potatoes (or vanilla sweet mashers) with the jus.
I got nothin' for the sauce or the veg, and am not really stoked on the starch, but will do it in a pinch if we can't come up with something better.
Not gonna do mint (never understood that combination).
Help me chowhound, you are my only hope.
PS: our grocery stores suck here (we don't have any specialty markets like wholefoods, or even co-ops) so while I'd love to get something like figs, I'm not gonna be able to. Would love to do a roasted fig demi glace, but it's not gonna happen.
Also, if you have the best idea for an anniversary/sexy dessert, please HELP!
It does involve mint, but I really liked this recipe and the mint is a fresh mint in combination with a number of other flavors, not a sweet mint jelly sort of thing at all (although I apologize if it has ingredients beyond the scope of your not very good grocery stores...).
My default with lamb is salt, pepper, dijon mustard, fresh garlic, lemon zest, a drop or honey to help with caramelization, and whatever fresh herb catches my eye (thyme, rosemary, oregano, marjoram, plain old parsley and yes, fresh mint.- they're are all great alone or in combination). You might not even want a sauce, but should you opt for one, a simple pan sauce that uses red wine for deglazing, shallots or leeks, garlic and a little demiglace/concentrated stock is fantastic.
For dessert, how about a billowy chocolate mousse, or a smooth vanilla panna cotta- either one with macerated, ripe berries.....
Or, if you have access to phyllo dough, these desserts (chocolate napoleons, and "fetuccine" ice cream sandwiches from Gale Gand on Baking with Julia) have been stuck in my brain as desserts to make the next time I need to pull out all the stops.... though my preference might be to keep the layering on both desserts minimal, to avoid sweets overload at the end of the meal:
To see them made: http://video.pbs.org/video/1174139138/
Ice cream sandwich recipe: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ga...
Chocolate Napoleon Recipe: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ga...
I am a major sucker for Julia Child's garlic mashed potatoes. It's a classic, and goes great with lamb. For the lamb chops I would just make a little sauce from the pan juices, shallots, a bit of wine, some fresh rosemary, and a dollop of butter -- something simple like that. Vegetables? Green beans are in season where I live, and I always go for whatever's the freshest.
I like fruit desserts and would personally choose a lighter dessert in the summer, rather than chocolate, even though I adore chocolate. I would think a nice fresh raspberry tart or something of that ilk would be lovely.
I hope you and your wife have a wonderful dinner and anniversary.
Our standard accompaniments are rice/vermicelli pilaf and broiled tomatoes.
2 Tbs butter, or 1 ea of butter and olive oil
1 cup broken up vermicelli
1 cup uncooked rice
1 tsp salt
2 cups chicken broth
Melt butter in a heavy 2-qt. saucepan over med-high heat. When it foams, stir in vermicelli, add a dash or two of cayenne, and keep stirring until it turns golden brown. Stir in rice, add salt, keep stirring until the grains turn chalky white. Dump in chicken broth ALL AT ONCE (this cools the mixture enough so it'll fizzle like crazy but it won't boil over). When it comes to a good boil, turn the flame to very low and cover tightly. Simmer gently for 20 minutes, or until rice is cooked and all liquid is absorbed. Taste for seasoning, fluff with fork and serve. This reheats better than plain rice does.
I nice ripe tomato per person
dried herb(s) of choice*
Slice top off each tomato. If bottom is too pointy to let it sit up, trim that too. If tomato is firm, stab around the cut top with a sharp fork to make the surface porous. Sprinkle on salt and pepper; with a garlic press squeeze on about a clove atop each tomato, or mince it and spread on. Drizzle on olive oil and sprinkle on herbs. Set under broiler (or in toaster oven) for about 20 minutes, or until just about to collapse.
*Our preference is Herbes de Provence.