15,000-19,999 SparkPoints 18,425

Lamb Chops and Rice Pilaf

Monday, April 18, 2011

Time for another food blog!

One of the hardest things to learn when starting to cook is how to time your dinner so everything is ready at the same time. The only thing you can do is practice, practice, practice. In time, you'll know roughly how long it takes to steam brussel sprouts (about 10-15 minutes) or sear a 1" steak (about 7 minutes per side). This also varies by your stovetop and pans, so your cooking time may be different than mine.

Practice, practice, practice.

I also recommend watching copious episodes of Iron Chef or Chopped.

Tonight I made lamb chops and rice for dinner. Using my practice, practice, practice for multi tasking dinner, I got everything together at roughly the same time in about 25 minutes.

While not practical for every meal, when you have a very fast cooking meal, I recommend having all your ingredients pre rinsed, chopped, and ready to go in bowls. Professional chefs call this "mise en place". It is French meaning, "everything in place". My lamb chops will take a mere 10 minutes to cook, so it's important that I have all my ingredients ready. I will not have time to chop and drop, or things will burn or get overcooked.

- Lamb chops seasoned with herbes de provence, salt, pepper, and a dash of olive oil.
- A bottle of my favorite wine for drinking, Chateau Ste Michelle Indian Wells Merlot. I'll use a tiny bit for a red wine sauce at the end.
- Fresh brussel sprouts, cleaned and cut.
- Seasoned pilaf rice package, where I will add chopped onions and bell peppers, frozen peas, and chicken stock. Normally I make my own seasoned rice, but tonight I am tired and need something quick, so a packaged rice will do.
- Sliced bell peppers and tomatoes for a salad. A red wine vinegrette salad dressing. Not show is the lettuce, which is already washed and in a salad spinner.

Remarkably, I am only going to be using two pans for this. My saute pan, and a steamer pot. The rice will cook in the lower half, and the brussel sprouts will steam above in the steamer section. Nice, eh?

Brussel sprouts are placed in the steamer.

I turn my stove on. Medium high for the lamb chops, and medium for the steamer pan. While my pans are heating, I make my salads.

When steamer pan is hot, I add bell peppers and onions and saute. When they have softened slightly, I add the chicken stock, rice, and seasoning. Peas do not go in yet.

Brussel sprouts are added to the top of the rice to be steamed - about 15 minutes on the clock.

By now, my saute pan is ready for the lamb chops.

While lamb chops are sizzling, rice is simmering, and brussels are steaming, I start loading up the dishwasher and wiping down counters.

5 minutes left on the clock, I add the frozen peas.

I take the lamb chops out of the pan and on a warm dish to rest. To the pan that has a lovely brown frond from the searing lamb chops, I add about 1/4 cup red wine, and couple tablespoons of chicken stock. When that starts to simmer, I add 1 teaspoon cornstarch dissolved in cold chicken stock to thicken the sauce slightly. I whisk it until the sauce thickens.

Everything is ready! Time to plate!

Scoop of rice pilaf, steamed brussel sprouts, and seared lamb chops with a red wine sauce.

Served with salad and a glass of wine.

Over half of this meal is veggies. The lamb portion is small faction of this meal, but very, very flavorful. Believe me, we have very full, happy bellies.

Total Calories: 623
Carbohydrates: 65g (48.3%)
Fat: 19g (31.1%)
Protein: 28g (20.6%)

I could have had a Whopper Jr and small fries for dinner for 600 calories, or I could have my salad, lamb chops with red wine sauce, rice pilaf, brussel sprouts, and a glass of wine.

How much would you pay for this in a restaurant? $25-30? Would you believe this meal cost me less than $10?

2 lamb chops, 3oz total: $2.60
Glass of Wine: $3 ($12 for the bottle, about 4 glasses total)
Brussel Sprouts: $1.50
Salad: $0.75
Rice: $0.65
Total: ~ $8.50
Share This Post With Others
Member Comments About This Blog Post
    I love it!
    2620 days ago
    What a gorgeous plate of food! I love your play by play! I also am so impressed that you are able to take meaningful pictures along the way. Sometimes I think I should blog about food but then I never really remember to take all of the pictures that I should. And the pictures that you take make everything look so good!
    2620 days ago
    YUM !!! Your dinner looks wonderful !! I haven't had a nice lamb chop in years. Too expensive. At least, the prices around here aren't cheap. Thus the reason I eat more chicken or pork.

    Although, I splurged. I added some nice Italian hot sausage to my sauce this week. There's nothing like the flavor of a good Italian sausage.

    2620 days ago
    2620 days ago
  • Add Your Comment to the Blog Post

    Log in to post a comment

    Disclaimer: Weight loss results will vary from person to person. No individual result should be seen as a typical result of following the SparkPeople program.