We had a lot of chicken last week. And, don't get me wrong, we like chicken. It's quick to cook and delicious.
But I decided we need a stronger flavor in our meal plan this week, so on my weekly trip to the farmers market, I bought some lamb chops.
There are several lamb farmers throughout our south Louisiana region. If you don’t find one at your farmers market, a quick internet search should turn one up near you. Often, our local butcher also has lamb.
For the most juicy, tender lamb, serve it grilled, broiled or roasted until it is only slightly pink in color. Lamb should be cooked to an optimum internal temperature of 140 F. If you cook it well done, lamb will become tough and dry and take on a gamy flavor more like mutton, the meat of older sheep. Take care to trim the fat down to no more than ¼ inch on roasts and chops.
Cumin, chilies, rosemary, mint, oregano and feta cheese are among the many flavors that complement the distinctive flavor of lamb. To accompany it, I like crunchy cucumbers mixed in a yogurt sauce. This sauce is typically made with dill, but using mint gives it a brighter, cooler flavor.
There was also lots of varieties of eggplant at the farmers market. I bought a bunch of pretty little fairytale eggplants to roast. All they need are simple seasonings and a little time in the oven. They went just perfectly with our lamb supper.
As we get closer to the fall and its milder weather, I will be leaning on the bold flavors of lamb to warm up our meals even more. But today's lamb recipe paired with the cool cucumber sauce is a great match for the late summer heat.