Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Beary Had A Little Lamb - Spice-Rubbed Lamb Chops

I think I've come out of my Father's Day fog.  That day  is always emotionally overwhelming for me - not only am I grieving for my own father, but I am empathizing with all my Facebook friends and relatives who are also grieving for their lost fathers.  It was a particularly bad day to take on tamales.  But that mess is done and over with; it is Monday, the beginning of a new week with new goals.

Another time (but these were so good!)

Don't get me wrong, I've got other messes.  Once again, I am stuck, emotionally frozen, unable to move forward on several important tasks.  The new medications from the psychiatrist are not having the desired effect.  I am as depressed as always, and my mood is cycling like Lance Armstrong.

So I went to the therapist today, and then headed to "my" Publix, the one I shopped at for over 20 years.  I think I managed to leave my therapist feeling depressed, for which I apologize.   I really feel bad about it, because I felt somewhat better after today's appointment, but would not want to do that at the cost of another person's comfort, especially someone who has helped me so much for so long.

I am starting the lamb chops today; they will have to sit in the refrigerator overnight, but it will be time well spent.  I have also decided to prepare cazuela de tamal, tamale pie, using the red chile sauce that drove me insane yesterday.  Somehow it turned out delicious, especially with the pork roast added to it, and allowed to simmer in the oven at 300 degrees for a few hours.  I think I will be able to provide a cohesive recipe all of the elements for the tamale pie. Tomorrow.  Today is about the lamb chops.

This is a reboot of a recipe I prepared and printed back in May, 2011.  I grew up eating lamb chops, close to once a week.  My grandmother would buy shoulder chops, either long bone or round bone, and broil them. I love lamb, but apparently many people are either unfamiliar with it, or don't like it because it is too gamy for their tastes.  I think this dry rub takes care of the issue of gaminess, but I don't find lamb to be gamy, so what do I know?  

Try not to freak out at the list of ingredients for the dry rub.  How often do you get the chance to use that many types of spices and herbs at the same time?  Makes Colonel Sanders look like a piker. (Am I the only person who finds the new KFC ads, featuring a resurrected Colonel Sanders, to be incredibly annoying?  And speaking of annoying icons, whose idea was it to bring back that creepy Burger King?)

Spice-Rubbed Lamb Chops

6 shoulder lamb chops (round bone or long bone)

Lamb Chop Dry Rub:
1/4 cup paprika
1/4 cup garlic powder
2 tablespoons kosher salt
2 tablespoons black pepper
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 tablespoon celery seed
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
2 teaspoons dried oregano
2 teaspoons dried thyme
1 1/2 teaspoons cumin
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon cardamom
1 teaspoon dried Valencia orange peel
1 teaspoon dried California lemon peel
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Whisk the rub ingredients together until well combined.  Transfer to a large jar.  I think you can use this on any cut of lamb, as well as chicken or pork.

The night before you plan on serving the lamb chops, sprinkle them generously on both sides with the rub, and pat to rub them in slightly.  Store in the refrigerator. 

Set the oven on broil.  Place the chops on a rack over a baking dish, and broil lightly on both sides.  Leave the chops on the rack, and lower the oven temperature to 325 degrees.  Bake for another 30 minutes, or until the chops are done to your liking. 

Pork on the left, lamb on the right, delicious on both sides

I have a confession to make.

I grew up using ketchup with my steaks and lamb chops (my husband is shuddering as he is reading this).  Only Heinz ketchup; I do have my standards, you know.  

And then I discovered mint jelly.  Neon-green, high fructose corn syrup, artificial color, oil of spearmint, and nary a mint leaf.  I know, right?  It's freaking delicious!  I love lamb even more now that it's an excuse for eating mint jelly.  

If you need an excuse for eating mint jelly and don't have the patience nor the contents of my spice cabinet, just season the lamb chops with granulated garlic and broil them.  Lamb and garlic have a natural affinity that should be celebrated with frequency.  Throw in the mint jelly and you can have a party in your mouth.

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