Tuesday, April 22, 2014

OhFeelYa's Easy...Dinners--Lamb Chops and Sauteed Bok Choy, Cabbage, and Leeks

OhFeelYa's still here, and still easy (just kidding, Mom!). Still full of easy dinner ideas. Now that we've made it through the great winter of pork and potatoes, I'm trying to get more veggies in around here. My silly husband, who would attend the Church of Bacon if such a thing existed, is also a great lover of lamb. I got these pretty little chops last Saturday from a vendor at the Chestnut Square Farmer's Market in McKinney, Texas, but you could use beef fillet or pork chops or something similar . Btw, the farmer's markets are open again! Please go support your local farmers and meat producers! (Just make sure you ask each vendor where the produce comes from and if chemicals are used.)

Anyway, I was in a hurry this week, so the lamb just got sprinkled with a little salt, a lot of pepper, and allowed to sit out for a minute to take the chill off.

While the lamb was warming up a little bit (I think it browns more evenly when it's closer to room temp), I hunted around in the veggie drawer to see what needed to be used. I had a leek and three perfect little bok choy as well as the heel of a head of purple cabbage (the rest was sacrificed to the fish taco gods a couple of days ago). I chopped it all up, along with a couple of cloves of garlic, and put the leek and cabbage into some bacon grease with salt and pepper to cook down a bit. I waited to add the bok choy because I just wanted it wilt a bit, not turn into mush.

So here's another something I learned in the last six months or so about searing meat especially: let your pan get HOT. I've always been a bit scared of overheating the pan, and because of that, I never really got a good sear on anything, much to my husband's chagrin (he enjoys his meat blackened on the exterior and basically raw on the interior). Don't fear the hot pan. It's your friend. I put the pan over medium heat, let it get good and hot, and then I added ghee for the lamb to cook in. As soon as the ghee melted, I tossed in the lamb chops. Since my espoused likes his lamb with a dark sear but still quite rare, so I keep my heat in the medium/medium-high range. Flip the lamb when it's brown enough, and keep a close eye on it. If you want to cook it a bit, turn the heat down when you flip it.

While the lamb rested, I added a bit less than 1/4 cup of cider vinegar to the cabbage mix, tossed in the bok choy, and put a lid on that pan. The great thing about this veggie recipe is that it's good with cabbage and onion, brussel sprouts, and other greens. A tiny bit of bacon grease does add great flavor, but you could easily use your favorite oil or shortening and a sprinkle of smoked salt to get the desired effect. (Go easy on the smoked salt. It's potent stuff.)

Attempted pretty picture (I'm not awesome at plating).

I try to take pretty pictures for you all. Really. Sometimes it works out, sometimes not so much. I thought I'd try to take a pic of a normal portion, and it's so-so. However, the picture below, of what my husband actually ate, actually turned out better.
What this basketball-sized plate really looked like just before my hubby ran off with it.
If I could just get him to let me leave out the bacon grease, this is a reasonably decent meal, health-wise (if you only eat half of the amount in this picture). So it's easy to do something different for dinner, get your veggies in, and clean out that veggie drawer. 

Recipe is after the break...

Lamb Chops and Bok Choy, Cabbage, and Leeks
  • lamb chops
  • 1/2 head of cabbage, shredded
  • One leek, sliced and cleaned
  • 3 small heads of bok choy
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 T. bacon grease (or sub oil and a pinch of smoked salt)
  • 2 cloves garlic
Set lamb out to take off the fridge chill. Sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper. Chop your veggies. Combine all but the bok choy. Melt the bacon grease or oil into a med-low pan. Add cabbage, garlic, and leeks (or brussel sprouts or green cabbage and onion) to the pan and stir occasionally. When the cabbage and leek begin to soften, add the vinegar.

Heat your lamb pan to medium-high heat (or medium if your stove runs hot). Let it heat for a few minutes. When it's hot, add your ghee or other shortening. It will sizzle and melt. Add your lamb as soon as your shortening melts.

Add the bok choy to the cabbage pan, stir, turn heat to low, and put a lid on it.

Check your lamb frequently, and turn it when the first side gets a good sear on it. You may need to turn the heat down a bit at this point. Make sure that you let your lamb rest at least 4 or 6 minutes before you cut into it.