Previously, on tastingmenu.wordpress.com –
So my wife asked if I could do another lamb dinner since we hadn’t done one since last Sept 2011. I thought I’d do Chef Tsai’s Garlic Marinated Lamb Chops (Blue Ginger: East Meets West Cooking, p. 157). It’s a fairly straightforward recipe. By his own admission, Chef Tsai indicates the dish is more West than East-meets-West; and I thought I’d make it East-meets-West by swapping the specified garlic mashers for his shiitake scallion sauce (see http://ming.com/foodandwine/recipes/season-1/shiitake-scallion-pan-sauce.htm).
The key thing I needed to do right away was make the marinade for the chops. The 1/3 cup specification in the recipe translated to 2 oz+1 tablespoon+1 teaspoon (or 5 tablespoons+1 teaspoon). The marinade for the 6 lamb loin chops was –
2 oz+1 Tablespoon+1 teaspoon finely chopped garlic
2 oz+1 Tablespoon+1 teaspoon grapeseed oil
4 oz dry red wine (I chose a 2009 J Lohr Cabernet Sauvignon)
So I made an oopsie – I accidentally used 1 cup instead of 1/2 cup of the J Lohr in the marinade but I
decided to press on to see how things would turn out.
So I got the lamb chops into the marinade and the refridgerator and let them sit for a full day before I was going to use them (Chef Tsai suggests at least 4 hours and preferably overnight).
The next evening, I got the lamb out of the refridgerator. As is my usual want, I wiped the lamb loin chops of the marinade and seasoned the chops with 4:1
salt/pepper mix and then pan seared them before moving the cops to a non-stick foil lined pan for
roasting in the counter top oven at 400 degrees F. Now admittedly, the original directions said to grill the chops for about 4 minutes a side, but I’d pretty much gotten used to cooking the lamb much as Matsuhisa-sama does at his restaurant. Besides, I’d need the pan and it’s cooked bits and drippings to make the sauce!
So in addition to doing the pairing the lamb with beans (I chose edamame), I thought it might be nice to do the shiitake scallion sauce using chinese superior broth and more of the same cabernet sauvignon that was used in the marinade. So I got together 10 oz of sliced shiitake’s and cut up some scallions and quickly stir fried them in a hot wok with some grapeseed oilfor about 2-3 minutes.
This time, instead of making a ‘white’ version of the sauce, I went ahead and poured in 1 cup of the J Lohr cabernet sauvignon and continued cooking until there was (by eyeball) about 1/4 cup of liquid left in the pan. At this point, I went ahead and added the specified 3 cups of chinese superior broth to the pan.
I cooked that down for about another 5 minutes and then added a 1 tablespoon starch+2 tablespoons of water slurry to help thicken the sauce and let the whole thing cook for about 3 minutes more. While the original instructions mentioned to add additional salt/pepper, I chose to omit this because I felt the chinese superior broth had enough salt in it, not to mention essences of the ginger and scallion that was used to make the broth.
While all that activity was going on, I had also been blanching ~16 oz of edamame; when the edamame were done after about 5-minutes, I shocked the beans in cold water. The beans were transferred to the plates, taking about half the space; I’d reserved the other half of the plate space for the shiitake scallion sauce.
I must say, I was relieved when I took that first bite of lamb. I was really worried that the lamb might be too winey because of the extra half cup of wine I mistakenly added to the marinade. The dish turned out quite well and both my wife and I were quite pleased with the results.