Reader recipe Cinnamon Lamb Chops with Agro-Dolce Eggplant
NOTE: This recipe has not been checked or tested by The Canadian Living Test Kitchen.

Cinnamon Lamb Chops with Agro-Dolce Eggplant

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.

By papashl

Source: papashl

  • rating starrating starrating starrating starrating star
  • Prep time 1 hour
  • Cook time 1 hour
  • Portion size 6

Ingredients

  • 1-1/2 k 1-1/2kOntario lamb loin, cut into 10, 3/4 inch thick steaks (ask butcher to do this for you)

Oil Marinade

  • 1 tbsp 1tbspground cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp 1tbsproasted cumin powder
  • 1 pinch 1pinchallspice, no more than 1/8 tsp
  • 2 tsp 2tsproasted fennel seed powder
  • 1 tbsp 1tbspcrushed red pepper
  • 1 tbsp 1tbspdried oregano
  • 2 tbsp 2tbspbuckwheat honey or maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp 1tbspcoarse sea salt
  • 2 tbsp 2tbspolive oil or canola oil, for marinade, plus extra for pan frying
  • splash splashof liqueur, such as Ouzo (optional)

Dressing over cooked lamb

  • 2 tbsp 2tbspextra virgin olive oil
  • 1 1large lemonlemons, juiced
  • 1 tsp 1tsprosemary, finely chopped
  • 4 large cloves 4large clovesgarlic, grated
  • 2 tbsp 2tbspsea salt
  • freshly ground pepper, to taste

Minted Sour Baby Eggplant

  • 2 2large eggplants
  • 8 8baby eggplantbaby eggplants
  • 1/2 cup 1/2cupextra virgin olive oil or olive oil
  • 2 large cloves 2large clovesgarlic, crushed with the side of a knife
  • 1/2 cup 1/2cupsultana raisinsultana raisins or golden raisins, (can substitute dried cranberries)
  • 1 large clove 1large clovegarlic, grated
  • 1/2 tsp 1/2tspground cinnamon, enough to dust, or more to taste
  • 1/2 cup 1/2cuppitted black Calamata oliveolives, or Niagara de-seeded black grapes
  • 1/2 cup 1/2cupfresh coriander leaffresh coriander leaves, plus more for garnish, well-washed and chopped
  • 1 pinch 1pinchwhite sugar
  • 1 cup 1cupslivered almonds or pine nuts
  • 2 tbsp 2tbspextra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp 1tbspred wine or balsamic vinegar, or more to taste
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Preparation

Cinnamon-Scented Lamb
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.

Agro-Dolce Eggplant

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.

Additional information : Contest recipe category: Meat and Game

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