Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Lamb Chops, French Country Potatoes & Greek Salad

I can not believe it's been a month since I blogged! How does the time get away from you like that? I suppose it's all the yard work we've been doing. Central Virginia has had a rough winter and a rainy spring, so when things finally cleared up there was a LOT of work to be done outside! On the plus side, my jonquils, phlox and azaleas have never looked healthier!
Grilled Lamb Chops, French Country Potatoes, Greek Salad 

This Easter was a first for us. There were only 2 of us present for dinner. This year marked the first time I haven't fixed an Easter basket in 28 years. Even though there were just the two of us, me and the hubby, we still marked the occasion with a special dinner. Early in the day I made these colored, deviled eggs. They are an absolute Easter tradition in our family. And they taste delicious, just an added bonus!
 HERE'S a post I wrote a few years ago about how to make these festive eggs. Keep them in mind for other holidays as well. How about red, white and blue ones for July 4th or Memorial Day?

The first thing I did was to get my French Country Potatoes ready. These potatoes are simply a lighter take on scalloped potatoes. They don't use any cream and the amount of cheese is a lot less than in traditional recipes. There are also mushrooms in this version, stretching the potatoes without adding much to the calorie count. I got the recipe from a Weight Watchers cookbook, but have made it my own.

This recipe will easily serve 4 adults. I used a wonderful clay dish from The Pampered Chef, but any round, heavy type baker will work. It needs to be at least 2 1/2" deep to hold the broth and potatoes.

French Country Potatoes
4 medium potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
1/2 c. minced onion
1 tsp. minced garlic
1 T. minced fresh rosemary
8 large mushrooms, sliced
3 oz. Swiss cheese
French Country Potatoes, ready to bake

1 T. butter, divided use
2/3 c.fat free, low sodium chicken broth
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

In a medium, non-stick skillet, heat 1/2 the butter and add the onions. Cook over medium heat until they are translucent. Add the garlic and mushrooms and cook about 5 more minutes, stirring gently to combine. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Rub the other 1/2 of your butter over the surface of the baking dish. Layer the potatoes in a single layer, slightly overlapping them. Pour the mushroom, onion, garlic mixture over the potatoes, distributing it evenly. Pour the chicken broth carefully over the vegetables in the dish. Sprinkle with the rosemary, a little salt and pepper and then dot the top with the cheese. You can grate it if you have a block, but I had slices so I just cut it into small pieces and scattered them on top. Bake uncovered for 35 minutes, until they are hot and bubbly, as shown below.

French Country Potatoes

Next get your lamb chops ready. I made 6 1.5 inch chops for 2 of us, but it was too much. No worries, my husband loves them and ate them for lunch the next day with leftover potatoes! 

To prep the lamb chops, drizzle them with garlic olive oil*, sprinkle with Kosher salt and fresh pepper and place a few pieces of fresh rosemary on top. (*To make your own garlic oil, heat 1/2 c. extra virgin olive oil over low heat and add 2 crushed garlic cloves. Steep this mixture for about 1/2 hour, never letting it get hot enough to sizzle or brown the garlic. You may need to turn it on and off to achieve this.) 
Leave the chops at room temperature for 20 minutes before grilling. Like this:

Lamb chops prepped with garlic olive oil, rosemary and salt and pepper. 
Get your grill nice and hot -- ours was at almost 500 degrees when we put them on. Lamb should be pink in the center, so they only need to cook about 5 - 6 minutes per side. Keep some rosemary on them. They should be lightly browned, and just firm to the touch when you press a finger in the middle of the chop. The firmer the meat, the more well done it is. 

Lamb Chops on the Grill

Greek Salad
First make the Salad Dressing
You'll need;
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Fresh garlic
1/2 of a lemon
Black or Kalamata Olives
1 anchovy (from a can or jar, packed in olive oil)
Dried Oregano
Wine Vinegar
Kosher Salt and Fresh Ground Pepper
Get out a trusty 1/2 quart jar. Add 1/2 c. extra virgin olive oil, 1/2 tsp. salt, 1/4 tsp. pepper, the juice of 1/2 large lemon, 1 tsp. dried oregano, 1 minced anchovy, 1 small clove minced garlic, 6 minced black olives, 1 T. water and 1/4 c. wine vinegar. Screw the top on tightly and SHAKE, SHAKE, Shake it until it is all blended together. This dressing will keep in your refrigerator for about 2 week. You can omit the anchovy, but I don't recommend it. Once you mince it finely and add it to the dressing, you really can't taste it, you just know the dressing is extra special good!!

Salad Ingredients
Mixture of Romaine and Iceberg Lettuce
A jar of Pepperoncinis
Red Onion
Cherry Tomatoes
Feta Cheese
Black or Kalamata Olives
To make a salad, tear up some washed Romaine lettuce and mix with a little washed iceberg lettuce. Slice some red onion and about 1/2 a cucumber, cut 6+ cherry tomatoes in half. Add those ingredients to the lettuce. Remove 2 or 3 pepperoncinis (small mild pickled peppers) from a jar and squeeze the juice out of them. Slice them, discarding the stem. Mix all the veg together and sprinkle with chunks of Feta Cheese and as many black olives as you like. Dress the salad with a little homemade Greek Dressing. Delicious!!


Christina said...

Looks delicious. Who does not love the scent of lamb on the grill - always brings back memories when my Papu grilled a whole lamb Easter Saturday.

Midlo Mom said...

Thanks, Christina! Do you like "more pictures"?