Sunday, December 13, 2009

Broiled Lamb And Greek Village Bean Salad

The hardest part about cooking lamb right is that you seldom get lamb. What you get is "martini", something between lamb and mutton. Trust me, I know. I spent a lot of summers on a mountainside turning lambs into martinis and driving them to market when school started. Now if you're grilling that's no problem, but if you're broiling in your oven it is.

So, you take your rack of lamb and cut it into chops. A cutting board and a slicing knife are good enough. A little olive oil to lubricate your baking pan, sprinkle some salt, pepper and oregano on the chops. Broil until you like the color on that side. Turn them over and broil until you like the color on the other side.

Now, you have a pan of lamb chops and maybe a pint of stuff they exuded. Take pan out of the oven. Take chops out of the pan. Wash away the gucky stuff in the pan. Put the chops back in the pan. Put the pan back in the oven. Broil for maybe five minutes. Now they should be nice and crispy and no liquid or other gucky stuff. Take them out and squeeze some lemon on them. Done. Don't forget to turn off the oven.

The cold bean salad I made tonight is likely more complicated than Greek villagers had time for but it adheres to the same principle. One large white onion chopped. One pint each of boiled red kidney beans, white kidney beans, and garbanzo beans. (They sell those in cans at your grocery store but be sure to rinse them and drain them in a colander.) In largish bowl, mix onion, beans, salt, generous squeezings of lemon, chopped olives, generous pouring of olive oil, pinch of crushed red pepper. Toss/mix well with two spoons.

Good with crusty bread and feta cheese.

4 Comments:

Anonymous DRJ said...

Yum. I can't decide which sounds better but I can taste the lamb and I can't wait to try the bean salad.

Tue Dec 15, 11:06:00 PM  
Blogger nk said...

Hey, DRJ. Sometimes, instead of the chopped olives and crushed red pepper, I just throw in a couple of tablespoonfuls of mild giardiniera.

Wed Dec 16, 06:57:00 AM  
Anonymous DRJ said...

I tried this tonight and it was delicious. But I have no idea what giardiniera is.

Sat Dec 19, 12:53:00 AM  
Blogger nk said...

Giardiniera is an Italian or Italian-American relish of pickled vegetables in vinegar or oil. Giardiniera is available as either mild or hot. Hot giardiniera is often referred to as "Hot G".

Common vegetables in the Italian version, also called sotto aceti, include onions, celery, zucchini, carrots and cauliflower, pickled vegetables in red- or white-wine vinegar. It is typically eaten as an antipasto, or with salads.

However, in Chicago, giardiniera is a condiment, typically used as a topping on Italian beef sandwiches. Giardiniera is commonly made with sport peppers and some combination of other assorted vegetables, such as bell peppers, olives, celery, pimentos, carrots and cauliflower and sometimes crushed red pepper flakes, all marinated in vegetable oil, olive oil, soybean oil or any combination of the three oils.

A 1964 advertisement in the Chicago Tribune offered "Dell'Alpe Imported Italian Giardiniera," consisting of "peppers, celery, onions, capers, pimento in vegetable oil and wine vinegar," three 8-ounce jars for $1.[1]

The word giardiniera in Italian literally translates to "female gardener

Sat Dec 19, 02:51:00 AM  

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