Walnut Room this way

Walnut Room this way

Saturday, December 21, 2013

North African spiced lamb with pesto fettuccine

Lamb shoulder chop with North African spices, basil fettuccine, chickpeas and tomatoes.
I have been in the mood for lamb chops lately.  I generally prepare them with some type of spiced rub of cumin and chipotle and oregano.  I decided to use the "North African" spices called for in my seared steak recipe, which includes coriander seeds, red pepper, and paprika, along with the cumin and oregano, and salt, of course.  I use freshly ground sea salt, and a little cracked black pepper.  Sear the lamb chops in olive oil (just enough oil to coat the bottom of the skillet), cover, and simmer on low for 30-45 minutes.  The juices will simmer the chops and infuse them with the wonderful flavor.  Uncover, turn the heat to high until the juices are cooked down, flip the chops once to coat both sides.  Serve with basil fettuccine.
 I have never thought I was a fan of pesto based on the few times I had tried it.  When I was thinking of what to serve with the chops that my finicky husband might eat, the package of chops suggested pesto fettuccine.  We eat fettuccine.  We eat basil.  We eat olive oil.  What could go wrong?  I selected the Dalallo traditional pesto in the tiny little Italian section of Kroger's.  I have used this brand in other jarred Italian before, and it looked pretty in the jar, and contained just simple ingredients: olive oil, basil.  It was an excellent choice!  Per the instructions, I just tossed about half of the jar with the hot fettuccine, and voila! A beautiful minty green fettuccine that was the perfect accompaniment to the spicy lamb chops.  I added a simple side of chickpeas and tomatoes, with cracked black pepper, and of course, some rustic bread, hot, with a good dose of real butter.
I like lamb with syrah (or shiraz, depending on the country of origin), and an amazing secret available in Oxford is Boekenhoustskloof The Wolftrap.  This gem is priced at $11, and it delivers the perfect accompaniment to the peppery spices in the lamb, with its own peppery syrah blend.
Boekenhoutskloof was established in 1776. Located in the furthest corner of the beautiful Franschhoek valley, the farm's name means "ravine of the Boekenhout" (pronounced Book-n-Howed). Boekenhout is an indigenous Cape Beech tree greatly prized for furniture making.

In 1993 the farm and homestead was bought and restored and a new vineyard planting programme was established that now includes Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Grenache, Semillon and Viognier.
Sometimes when I am eating something simple I have prepared, I just hug myself in joy that food can taste so good.  I hugged myself several times last night with dinner.  Note, there were no leftovers to box up--J loves my lamb chops, too.


Lana Pugh said...

I'm not even a fan of lamb but that looks GOOD. I'm going to have to get over myself and try cooking some. The hubby loves lamb chops and could certainly appreciate this.

Suzassippi said...

I was never a fan of lamb either, until the first time I had it with cumin-chipotle rub.