Saturday, February 15, 2014

Love On A Plate--Lamb Chops With a Pomegranate Glaze

 I can see myself some thirty odd years in the past, sitting at my desk, tracing hearts. Cutting several thick sheets of construction paper to make a Valentine card for Glenn. He is in a distant land, away from me, waiting for my paper declaration of love. Seventeen, a magazine I giddily follow, gives me detailed instructions which I faithfully transcribe. Surrounded by hearts of many dimensions, I put together a layered card. It is a paper version of nesting Russian dolls. Within each heart lies another and another until he opens the inner most one with its romantic message. I make a sturdy envelope to carry the card overseas. At eighteen your sensibilities are blatantly different. Then it is food for the heart and soul. V Day gifts are still hand-crafted as I have move from the realm of paper to perishables!!. Today I make hearts though they are toasted..French toasted.

Today is love day. A day I never take for granted! A day granted by the grace of God for those we love. And to me the day is a food fest. A paean to our love for all things edible. Breakfast is heartfelt affair. Lunch is fire-roasted tomato and tortilla soup paired with caramelized onion and goat cheese tarts. The tarts are surprisingly scrumptious, two bite delights. I will definitely post this one !!

A year ago we clink glasses in a small apartment. Under what seem insurmountable odds. The spirit triumphs over both mind and a ridiculously tiny stove. Together we dine in dimunitive splendor. A year later the day dawns inordinately bright. The florescent white reflected glare of the sun bathes the kitchen in a happy aura. What is it about abundant sunshine that put you in a happy frame of mind and makes the heart sing??

Dinner prep beckons as I trim racks of lamb into single chops. Zucchini gets grated into goat cheese. And the ubiquitous potato makes a requisite appearance. Dessert is an old favorite..trifle with custard..assembled and hidden away from fridge predators. Chocolate melts over simmering water. Strawberries patiently await their dunk. Sunshine gives way to a dusky sky. Lights twinkle. The wind whooshes through spectral branches. Music sets the mood. 

Serves 4

2 racks of Lamb or 16 single Lamb Chops
6 tablespoons Pomegranate Molasses
1 teaspoon Chile powder
2 teaspoons dried Oregano
1 tablespoon Garlic Paste
1 tablespoon roasted Cumin powder
1 tablespoon Olive oil
1 heaping teaspoon Kosher salt
1 teaspoon ground Black pepper

If you have a rack of lamb, start by carving single chops. Trim the fat near the bone.

Combine pomegranate molasses, chile powder, oregano, garlic paste,cumin powder, olive oil,salt and pepper in a non-reactive bowl. 

Add chops to bowl. Mix well. Keep aside for a few hours.

Heat an indoor grill pan over a high flame. Alternatively light up the grill. 

Lightly oil the pan and place chops on hot pan. They should sizzle as you place them.

Cook for 2 minutes on each side for medium-rare chops. 3 minutes on each side for a medium-well chop. 

Plate chops with vegetables of your choice. Mine are herbed potatoes and zucchini pancakes.


If you do use an outdoor grill, cook lamb a minute on each side for medium rare chops.

Pomegranate molasses is available at Middle Eastern grocery stores or on Amazom. I dont know of any adequate substitute.

A year ago it was lamb chops of a different kind.  Appropriately this year my lamb chop gets another spin on one of his favorite dinners. Rehan has chocolate strawberries and Shauna has turned into Liz Lemmon!