Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Mongolian Barbecued Lamb Chops with Chinese Mustard Sauce

Ah, LOST. Last Sunday marked the end of six seasons filled with mystery and adventure, sometimes confusion, dare I say a bit of frustration but mostly amazement and real attachment thanks in large part to the incredible characters that made up the heart of the show. I’ve watched LOST since day one and have grown to love Jack, Sawyer, Kate, Charlie, Faraday, Hugo, Juliet, Desmond, Jin…even Vincent, Walt’s loyal dog. Speaking of Vincent….when he laid next to Jack……..oh…my….tears.

Anyway, sorry to anyone who doesn’t watch LOST, but let’s face it- even non-fans of the show knew last Sunday’s finale was a major event in television history. J and I had been anticipating it and planned to watch it in the comfort of our living room. Such a momentous occasion called for a special meal, so I flipped through my new cookbook (I know, I know... I bought another one!) called Big Small Plates, by Napa chef Cindy Pawlcyn. If you’ve been reading this blog for awhile you know of my love for tapas- small plates- so the minute I saw this book showcasing appetizer-portioned food packed with tons of flavor, I knew I had to pick it up. There are so many wonderful recipes, but the Mongolian Barbecued Lamb Chops with Chinese Mustard Sauce caught my eye…and I knew just the place to get my lamb- McCall’s!

I called to see if McCall’s had lamb, and they mentioned they had a nice, California baby lamb rack- perfect. I know I’ve been posting quite a bit about this place but it’s really a cook’s dream. Beautiful meat and seafood carefully chosen by two food-loving chefs who are passionate about what they do. They always ask what you plan on making, remember you from the last visit and ask how your dish turned out, and often have suggestions on what to cook with your purchase if you’re in need of some inspiration. I never thought that going to a butcher shop would be fun, but any visit to McCall’s is not only pleasant, it's educational to boot.

The recipe was pretty simple and I had almost all of the ingredients necessary. I didn’t marinate the chops overnight since I didn’t have that much time- next time I’ll start the day before. I also used a grill pan since my grill still hasn’t gotten a nice, spring cleaning quite yet.

The chops were beautiful, tender, succulent….there’s something about eating meat right off the bone that is so satisfying. J and I polished off the whole thing, and we’re not embarrassed to admit it!

For sides, I had an idea to make green chile mashed potatoes, so I just whizzed some diced green chiles with a few cloves of roasted garlic and butter. These were seriously incredible- since the chiles are broken down to a liquid puree, you don’t really even milk to get a nice, smooth consistency. They were slightly tangy, smokey and had just a small kick which went well with the sweet Mongolian BBQ sauce on the chops.

Green salad with Japanese sweet onion dressing:

Roasted asparagus with salt & pepper- simple but delicious.

My plate:

J and I sat through the entire 2 hour retrospective, then watched the 2 ½ finale….I know there were mixed reaction to the way LOST ended but I, for one, thought it was a beautiful tribute to a show I’ll miss very much.

In 24 hours, we're off to visit my sister in Ireland and also hop over to Portugal for a few days! If you have any Lisbon or Porto recommendations please post them in the comments!

Bon Voyage!


Unknown said...

Thanks for your recommendation for Picchu in Sapporo! We loved it there. We are off to Porto next week and are looking forward to trying Pedro Lemos. Thanks!

Anne said...

Laurence: Really? Wow so glad to went to Picchu- we still talk about it...it was definitely one of the best meals we've had. Did you have the tasting menu? When you go to Pedro Lemos please make sure you talk with the chef!