It is hard to believe that this entire meal for 6 can be prepared in under an hour. The ingredients in this main course and side dishes are completely Canadian (including the Canola oil), but just like our country's unique cultural mosaic -- they have been flavoured with exotic spices and other wonderful additions which highlight Canada's tolerance and respect for people of other lands. The lamb was reared in Ontario and the eggplant can be grown in almost any Canadian garden. I sometimes serve the lamb with chick pea fries and chuckle when I remind my Indian in-laws that Canada and Australia are now growing garbanzo beans, too.
- Portion size 6 servings
- Credits : papashl
- 1 1/2 k lamb loin cut into 10, 3/4 inch thick steaks (ask butcher to do this for you)
Dressing over cooked lamb:
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 lemon juiced
- 1 teaspoon rosemary finely chopped
- 4 large cloves garlic grated
- 2 tablespoons sea salt
- pepper to taste
Minted Sour Baby Eggplant:
- 2 eggplants
- 8 baby eggplants
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 2 large cloves garlic crushed with the side of a knife
- 1/2 cup sultana raisin (can substitute dried cranberries)
- 1/2 cup golden raisins (can substitute dried cranberries)
- 1 large clove garlic grated
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon enough to dust, or more to taste
- 1/2 cup pitted black Calamata olive or Niagara de-seeded black grapes
- 1/2 cup fresh coriander leaf plus more for garnish, well-washed and chopped
- 1 pinch white sugar
- 1 cup slivered almonds
- 1 cup pine nut
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon red wine or more to taste
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar or more to taste
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon roasted cumin powder
- 1 pinch allspice no more than 1/8 tsp
- 2 teaspoons roasted fennel seed powder
- 1 tablespoon crushed red pepper
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- 2 tablespoons buckwheat honey
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon coarse sea salt
- 2 tablespoons olive oil for marinade, plus extra for pan frying
- 2 tablespoons canola oil for marinade, plus extra for pan frying
- splash liqueur such as Ouzo (optional)
1. Place the oil marinade ingredients in the bottom of a large rectangular glass dish. Place the pieces of lamb in the marinade and leave in a cool place for one hour.
2. In the meantime, prepare your dressing to drizzle over your lamb after it has cooked (these ingredients may be placed in a jar with a tight lid so that you can shake them later).
3. Start prepping your side dishes (recipes for 'agro-dolce' eggplant follows the lamb recipe. You will need to start cleaning, chopping and pan-frying the eggplant dish).
4. Remove lamb from oil marinade after 1 hour and pat away any moisture with paper towels. Discard the oil marinade.
5. Preheat a large heavy non-stick frying pan over high heat. Test heat by adding 1 tbsp of water to pan.
6. When the pan is hot enough to evaporate the water, carefully add 1 tbsp olive or canola oil to the pan.
7. Add half the lamb chops to the pan. You should hear them sizzle. If they don't sizzle, then your pan is not hot enough and you need to remove them from the pan and wait. They must sizzle.
8. Cook 3 1/4 to 4 minutes on first side. After that, flip using tongs and continue to cook another 3 1/2 to 4 minutes on the other side.
9. Place the first batch of chops a serving platter and cover loosely with foil.
10. Pour out any juices from the pan into a sauce pan, scraping out and saving any caramelized bits. Wipe out the pan with paper towel.
11. Start heating up the pan and cooking the rest of the chops in the same manner described in steps 1-7.
12. Shake the jar containing the lemon, olive oil and rosemary dressing. Pour carefully over the cooked chops. Pour any accumulated juices from the cooked lamb over this. Sprinkle dish with freshly ground black pepper and sea salt.
13. Garnish with lemon slices, and freshly chopped herbs (mint, parsley oregano or all three).
Note: The finished platter looks very colourful - you have the deep purple of the stuffed baby eggplant and the deep green of the herbed eggplant filling. For dessert, something simple is suggested - caramelized nectarine halves spiked with ouzo and poured over any one of the following: thick plain yoghurt, vanilla bean ice cream or very creamy rice pudding.
1. With the aid of a small knife and a large metal spoon, scoop out the flesh of the 8 baby eggplants, being careful to keep the shells intact. Set the shells aside. You will use them for holding the cooked filling.
2. Peel the 2 large eggplants. Discard skin.
3. In a large non-stick fry-pan over medium-high heat, fry the eggplant flesh with 1/2 a cup olive oil or canola oil, with 2 cloves crushed garlic. Make sure your heat remains constant. Cool oil means the eggplant will absorb too much oil and be soggy.
4. When eggplant pieces are cooked and lightly coloured, add a handful of sultanas or golden raisins. Cool on a platter.
5. To finish: Mix in a raw grated clove of garlic, a sprinkle of cinnamon, a large handful of pitted Calamata olives and cup chopped coriander leaves.
6. Add a generous drizzle each of fruity extra virgin olive oil, and red wine vinegar (or red balsamic vinegar). Add a pinch of sugar.
7. At the last minute, fry 1 cup slivered almonds or, preferably, pine nuts until golden. Sprinkle liberally over top. Cool slightly and top with more fresh coriander. Best made early in the day.