May be a stupid question

Discussion in 'Food & Cooking' started by allie, Dec 7, 2010.

  1. allie

    allie

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    Hi all!   I bought some lamb blade chops at the store and have never cooked lamb.  To my knowledge I have never even tried it.  I want to cook it for my son and my dinner tonight.  A recipe I found calls for rosemary, thyme, and lavendar.  Is the lavendar supposed to be the leaves or the blooms?  I have rosemary and lavendar growing outside.  There were only a couple of blooms on it early this fall but there are plenty of leaves.  I've never cooked with lavendar.  I am open to suggestions here.  Thanks!!
     
  2. chefedb

    chefedb

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    No question is stupid, better safe then sorry. You don't need lavander. put some s and p rosemary, garlic and thyme in a plastic bag, put some olive oil then put chops. Let marinate in this solution overnight if possible then grill , broil or pan fry pink, serve with mint jelly.
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2010
  3. koukouvagia

    koukouvagia

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    Mint jelly? There must be a better way Ed, that is sooooooooo 1979!!  How about minted peas instead?  Yum.

    Allie, welcome to the world of lamb.  You will find it very rewarding cooking with lamb, at first it feels very exotic and strong, but indeed as gratifying as all red meat is.  I find the blade chops to be especially gamey in flavor, but not all lamb meat is so gamey.  The rib chops for example are much milder in flavor and my favorite so do try those next time if you can find them!

    When it comes to lamb, greeks have a way with it that is indisputably delicious.  First of all, lamb is loaded with fat, much much more fat than beef.  To cut through the fat and gamey flavor the greeks traditionally use loads of lemon and garlic.  The acid in the lemon cuts through the fattiness of the lamb, and the garlic counteracts the gameyness.  I like to marinate the lamb for a few hours in a mixture of olive oil, greek yogurt, lemon, garlic, shallots, thyme, bay leaf, and saffron.  Then pat it dry, season, and sear on both sides, cook until desired doneness.  Serve with your choice of vegetables and sides and you're good to go.  Rosemary is very good also, I love it with lamb, however it's not used traditionally in too many greek lamb dishes, but it really does lend a gorgeous flavor.
     
  4. chefedb

    chefedb

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    Down here in Florida I am dealing with elderly, mostly upscale clientel Mint Jelly is what they ask for.
     
  5. allie

    allie

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    Ed, I don't have mint jelly but have everything else you mentioned.  I do have loads of fresh mint, both an orange mint and a chocolate mint.  Landlady planted it in the flowerbed and now it's taking over the yard!  Thanks for the suggestions!

    Koukouvagia,  thank you!  I have had goat before so wondered if it would be similar.  I recall the goat meat had a very strong smell and flavor but I loved it.  I haven't had any since I was a child or pre-teen and my great-grandmother cooked it.  Unfortunately, I ate the last of my Greek yogurt yesterday and have no shallots here but I have everything else you listed.  I have a feeling the yogurt for sure is an important ingredient here. 
     
  6. ishbel

    ishbel

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    Traditionally in the UK we serve roast lamb with a mint sauce (not the neon green, manufactured mint jelly that is often seen!). But, I don't think a chocolate or orange flavoured mint would do the job!
     
  7. koukouvagia

    koukouvagia

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    I have made it without the yogurt before.  The important ingredient is lemon.  If you just have lemon, olive oil and garlic and thyme you're totally set for a marinade. 

    Ed, I don't mean to knock mint jelly, I've actually never tried before but only because it looks so unappetizing.  I should be more open minded but it's not in the nature of greek to be /img/vbsmilies/smilies/smoking.gif   I guess we all stick to what we know.

    Allie, goat and lamb are similar.  I don't like goat much but I have heard lots of people describe goat as being less gamey than lamb. 
     
  8. allie

    allie

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    Thanks!  I'm going to go put together the marinade now so it will be ready in time to cook this evening.  I'll let you know how it goes!
     
  9. chrisbelgium

    chrisbelgium

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    KKV, maybe I'm oldfashioned too, but lamb and rosemary are a perfect match in any contemporary kitchen. No bad word about thyme either, but I never heard of saffron to be used in lamb; interesting but odd. The lemon is used to temper the "sweet-ish" taste of lamb.

    @Allie; please, do forget lavendar in cooking in general. It's disgusting, even in the tiniest doses. Best use for the flowers is to perfume bedlinnen.
     
  10. koukouvagia

    koukouvagia

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    Chris, I agree, rosemary and lamb are perfect together, I was just stating that in giving a greek recipe I technically cannot add rosemary to the list of ingredients.  I have used it often.

    I urge you to try to the full force marinade in my first post Chris, saffron and all.  You'll be quite surprised at how tasty it is, as long as you use a conservative amount of saffron of course, otherwise it will taste like soap.
     
  11. redzuk

    redzuk

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    Lavender in the mint jelly or a mint sauce might be good.   Depends on the type of lavender and mint I would guess.   

    Mint, lavender, sugar, vinegar, might work, never tried it.   
     
  12. tylerm713

    tylerm713

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    I experimented with a couple of different ways to cook lamb, and one that I really liked used powdered harissa. Just salt the chops, then add a sprinkle (a little goes a long way) of the harissa powder, then sear and baste with butter until they reach medium rare/medium, depending on how you like it.

    I typically stick with very simple preparations for tender meats like lamb. I don't bother with marinating.
     
  13. chefedb

    chefedb

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    Orange mint leave may work bring them to a boil stems and all, a sprig of  thyme in a little drippings from lamb and add some water or chick stock, strain season salt and pepper.Use as lamb Au Jus or thicken with cornstarch for a lite sauce. Yogurt is used for Greek style cooking  not American style. Saffron I never heard of in lamb. Lavender I use in the pastry shop only.
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2010
  14. koukouvagia

    koukouvagia

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    Just because nobody has ever heard of saffron being used in lamb doesn't mean it's not a valid ingredient.  I got the marinade by the way in a Steve Reichlin book.  He used it for lamb kabobs and I find it really works well for chops too.  Nothing wrong with greek-style cooking, if you came to my house or Nicko's house for easter you'd see the greeks know what they're doing with lamb.  Also mediterranean style cooking in greece and italy lamb is prefered to be well done rather than served pink.

    All this talk about lamb, I went out and got me some lamb chops.  I'm making for dinner tonight though using the simple lemon/garlic/thyme marinade. 
     
  15. chrisbelgium

    chrisbelgium

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    I'm perfectly willing to try out a little saffron in a marinade, why on earth not. The only way to discover something new is to be open to and to try something new, isn't it? However, a reference like "Steve Reichlin" does totally nothing for me, I don't know the guy. Sounds as much Greek as my own name. I would however not use lemon in a marinade. The acid in it may have a strange effect on meat, it litterally gets cold-cooked in the acid. Some lemon squeezed on, after frying the lamb is however quite delicious!

    Please, dear KKV, don't get me started about the Greek way of  cooking meat well done. I asked around and heared from a greek lady restaurateur in Belgium, that even ancient greeks considered bloody meat (we call it pink now) food for barbarians... so it's been around since forever in Greece, a cultural thing so to speak. I'm not surprised this also counts for a lot of other hot southern Mediterranean and north-African countries. It's all about health and bacteria, from the era where people didn't have refrigerators.
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2010
  16. french fries

    french fries

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    Many Indian recipes contain lamb and saffron. I looove saffron.

    Rosemary and lamb, yes, delicious. Thyme as well, of course. Parsley works great: I stuffed a butterflied leg of lamb with garlic and parsley once, it was delicious.

    Lamb and mint, I never understood. Personally I don't get it, and I have tried it a bunch of time in various ways - I just don't like them together. I know it's a classic pairing, it just doesn't work for me.

    Oh and Steve Reichlin... I don't think I've ever tried a recipe of his I didn't like. My favorite is his Vietnamese baby back pork ribs with lemongrass, cilantro, fish sauce, peanuts, lime etc.... absolute heaven. /img/vbsmilies/smilies/smile.gif

    KouKouv', do you sometimes cook lamb with oregano? A Greek friend of mine recently made BBQ lamb chops marinated with oregano, lemon and olive oil and it was absolutely fantastic.
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2010
  17. chefedb

    chefedb

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    If we want to go via the way of ethnics and habits, Most med. regions, Including but not limited to Spain, Italy,  Greece, Portugal, Turkey,Gibraltar. The residents do not order rare or pink meat. Afro American people in general the same. When we do parties and know in advance the ethnic background we cook accordingly. Irish,Scotch and most native US eat meat pink. To each his own.  Bloody meat and pink meat are two different stages. The wackiest thing is when med well is ordered.To me, no such animal. Once the pink is gone in the meat it is Well Done
     
  18. ishbel

    ishbel

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    Ed, whilst I am often delighted by your knowledge - please, PLEASE don't call us Scots.... SCOTCH....  we only use that for food and drink, like Scotch eggs, Scotch beef etc.  We are either... Scots or Scottish.  (I know that many Americans of Scottish descent use the Scotch term... we in Scotland DON'T!)
     
  19. koukouvagia

    koukouvagia

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    FF, there isn't a single dish I have not doused with oregano at one point or another.  For a greek, when in doubt, use oregano.  So yes I have made lamb with oregano many times but then again I've made everything with oregano many times so that's not saying much.  Does it work?  Yes, quite well.

    Steve Reichlin is an american cook, he is actually a reigning grill master.  He is genius when it comes to grilling and bbq and in his books and shows you learn that everything can be cooked on a grill or in a pit from meats, to fruits, to bread, to pies, anything at all.  He's well known in the US and I was pointing out to Ed that it was one of his recipes that called for lemon and yogurt and he's american. 

    Yogurt is not just used in greek style cooking, yogurt is an important component in lots of ethnic cuisines including north african, middle eastern, and even Indian.

    Ishbel I'm sure no harm was meant.  You think that was bad, when I moved to the states from Greece the kids called me the Greecy girl (pronounced "greasy").  People also ask me all the time if I speak "grecian" which annoys me to no end lol!!
     
  20. ishbel

    ishbel

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    Koukouvagia

    That must have really irritated you - someone from such an old civilisation - being slagged off by kids who barely knew where you came from....  But there's no excuse for adults asking you whether or not you have the same language as the name for a male hair dye!

    I just get mildly exacerbated at the use of Scotch.....  and as for calling our native drink (whisky) Scotch..... ?  PSHAWWW!