herb crusted balsamic lamb chops with creamy polenta and garlic spinach

4 Dec

HUGE DISCLAIMER: I was very upset with my plating technique because the bone extending from these lamb chops was so long that it made them too off balance to lean against the polenta properly. the plate ended up looking a bit clumsier than i would have liked BUT if you use this plate presentation with smaller chops or with chops with a shorter exposed bone then you should have a beautiful plate.

This is obviously a fancy shmancy dinner, not just your average weeknight grub. It is extremely delicious and will make you and your dinner buddy(ies) feel like you’re doin some fiiiiine dining.

These lamb chops were a creation of mine before I even knew that I liked to cook back in eighth grade. I remember venturing into the kitchen and telling my Dad that I wanted to make lamb chops-oh and we were in luck because we had frozen lamb chops in the freezer! My parents went out to dinner and I invented this brag worthy, sweet, succulent and totally rockin’ chop recipe.

So let’s start with the main event, zeee lamb! You will Need:

2 rib lamb chops per person

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar per 2 chops

dried italian seasoning (using fresh rosemary, sage, thyme, and basil is obviously an option but to keep it budget friendly…err at least somewhat anyway, the dried herbs are just perfect!)

salt and pepper!

How it Happens:

marinate the lamb in the balsamic vinegar for about twenty minutes, while you prepare the rest of this dish which we will discuss in a bit.

Again, these stupid long bones got in my way as I didn’t have a container big enough to marinate them in but normally the lamb would be flat into the vinegar and there would be vinegar covering the lamb completely.  I had to bend this into a tupperware so the vinegar kept rolling off. Anyway, after they’ve been marinating for twenty minutes, heat a saute pan on medium-high heat. Take the lamb out of the vinegar, season it with salt and pepper liberally and cover with the dried herbs, patting down with your hand so the herbs adhere.

Once your pan is nice and HOT, add in enough olive oil  to coat the pan. Add in the chops, you should hear a very, very loud sizzzzzzzzle–this, is culinary magic. let the chops cook about 2-4 minutes on each side depending on how you like your lamb..I like mine very rare. a safe internal temp for lamb is 135. DO NOT CUT INTO YOUR LAMB TO CHECK IT BEFORE LETTING IT REST FOR 10 MINUTES. IT WILL BLEED OUT AND YOU WILL BE LEFT WITH AN HERB CRUSTED LEATHER BELT. USE A MEAT THERMOMETER, PLEASE, RESPECT THE LAMB!

sorry, obviously a heated issue for me. anyway, once your lamb registers at 135 (or 150 if you like them medium) remove them and tent them in tin foil to rest.

So you should put all of the following ingredients together while the lamb marinates so that while the lamb is resting you can cook the rest of the dish! The polenta and spinach only take ten minutes or less.

For 2 servings of the creamy polenta you need:

6 T quick cooking polenta

1 cup of water, cream, or milk (or a mixture of these is fine too) I use half water half cream

a large pinch of salt

parmesan or asiago cheese (optional, but yummmmmmy)

Da Stepz:

heat the milk/cream/water in a sauce pan bringing to a boil, add the salt.

Once boiling, slowly whisk in the polenta, it will IMMEDIATELY thicken. Whisk until it’s all combined and thickened. If it is too thick add a dash of cream (or water if we’r’e keepin it low cal, but don’t use water ) It should look a little thinner than this:

Taste it and add s+p as needed.

So, While the polenta liquid is coming to a boil, work on the spinach.

For the Speenach You Need:

…..Spinach.

2 smashed garlic cloves

1 T olive oil

salt

to do it:

Heat 1/2 T-1 T of olive oil in a skillet with 2 smashed garlic cloves over medium heat.

Add in a bag of spinach and use tongs to stir and coat.  Cover for 5 minutes and the spinach will wilt. Das All Folkz!

I also decorated my plate with a balsamic glaze which is optional but very pretty and its yummy to dip the polenta and lamb into. It is EXTREMELY easy to make. To make balsamic glaze all you need to do is reduce at least 1/2 cup of balsamic vinegar in a sauce pan over medium heat until it starts to bubble and thicken. It’s ready when it becomes syrupy and can coat the back of a spoon without dripping right off, but should still be drippy enough so that it’s not a hardened sticky mess. Think a sloooow drizzle of the spoon rather than an immediate drip.

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