As we divvy up duties around the house, I’ve offered to retain my summer Tuesday slot for cooking dinner. One night a week isn’t going to get me past St. Peter, but Janet enjoys cooking immensely and my mother can pick up the slack one or two nights a week. Plus, if I’m only assigned the one night I’m far less likely to simply throw frozen Pogos in the oven. I might actually try do do something special for my brood.
Why not make it a regular feature here on PITF, methinks? I’m not afraid to cook, which I believe is the first big step. Once you get over a general fear of fire or belief that you’re just incapable – it’s really very fun. It doesn’t always turn out as you’d hoped, but several summers of my youth spent working in kitchens has left me fearless and in possession of a reasonable skill base – so I’m going to have a good time with it, make the family happy and expand my limited repertoire at the same time. That’s how it reads on paper, anyway.
I’ll get an idea, I’ll search for the
easiest best recipe I can find online and then I’ll just feckin’ give ‘er. Kind of like Jamie Oliver without all of the positive outlook on life.
As I venture into this new hobby-realm-pursuit, I’ll bring you right along with me via recipes I use, photos and maybe even the odd video. We’re debuting with a Greek Extravaganza because I just peeked inside the fridge and there’s a whack of lambchops thawed and ready to roll. I also noticed a tub of Costco feta and even a big tub of Tzatziki hanging around in there. I will be attempting the following:
The recipes I’m using are linked above if applicable, and I’ll be back to update you on the carnage later this evening. I have to marinate the chops for two hours so I’d best get a move on as it’s 4:30 and I don’t want any TV remotes thrown at my head this evening.
It’s now 9:30 in the pm and I’m happy to report that the meal went very well. Comments included “Wow, I’m impressed,” and even “This lamb is cooked perfectly“. For the loin chops I diced garlic and threw it in a big bowl with red wine, balsamic, olive oil, salt, pepper and oregano, tossed the chops and then put them and the rest of the tasty sludge into a Ziploc and they then marinated in the fridge for 3 hours. My handy T-Fal indoor grill was red hot when I threw them on, 5 minutes a side, and then flashed them in the oven for 2 minutes so that the feta cheese and diced Kalamaata I added after the second grill flip would melt and bind to the top.
The roast potatoes were sliced lengthwise into quarters, tossed in a mixture of lemon juice, salt, pepper olive oil, oregano and water before being baked for an hour on a deep broiler pan. 480 until the water boiled and then down to 350 for the rest of the time. They were tender and tasted almost exactly like the roast spuds you get at Greek restaurants. Tasty, buddy.
The salad was… a Greek salad. It was quite green. Nothing startling to report there. To round out the culinary delight about to befall my family I grilled a piece of flatbread in garlic butter, sliced it into narrow triangles and placed three on each plate with a nice dollop of store bought Tzatziki on top. The final ensemble looked something like this…
- When the smoke cleared, it was a very tasty dish, reasonably authentic with fresh ingredients and it pleased the crowd.
- The indoor grill continues to amaze me. It also has a griddle plate you can swap out which makes great grilled cheese and pancakes. Albeit rarely together.
- Greek food isn’t as hard to prepare as I thought it was. Lamb is a drop in the bucket, but that fear wall has been broken down and I’ll now be able to tackle something really tricky, like Mousakka.
- Because I needed red wine for the marinade it gave me an excuse to open some on a Tuesday night.
- From prep to cooking to cleanup this project took me over 3 hours. That’s three hours for a meal that was finished in about 20 minutes. Yes, I enjoyed it but I certainly wouldn’t want to do this more than once a week.
- The potatoes weren’t overcooked but stuck to the bottom of the pan and had to be carefully removed to keep them intact. I should have turned them more often.
- The little lamb loinlet thingys were very small and I’d like to try this with a proper chop next time around.
The mouthwatering lambchop photos are up for all to see, and again the recipes are linked further up the page. If you’ve ever tried to prepare this, or a similar, tasty treat please leave any additions or advice in the comments. And if you’ll excuse me I’m sure there are still 15 plates left to clean somewhere in this house.