Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Delightful Dinner

Sometimes, a light meal is all you need.

Especially, if you want your 10:30 p.m. fix of a bowl of ice cream while watching the DVR version of “General Hospital” following that night’s Phillies game.

These Lamb Chops with Mint and Mustard Dipping Sauce along with Grilled Vegetables with Lemon-Parsley Vinaigrette are the perfect combo of healthiness.

The chops are a Rachael Ray recipe from the first cookbook of hers that I ever purchased, “30 Minute Meals 2.” This was Rachael Ray before she really hit the big time. Before she was Oprah-fied and uber famous with a talk show. Before she had pots and pans in her name and hosted 20 different Food Network programs. I like this Rachael Ray. Honestly, if you are a beginning cook, I strongly recommend the cookbook. It has some great, easy recipes.

The sauce can be made ahead, and the lamb chops cook in just a few minutes. This is a fantastic recipe for a dinner party because it’s easy, breezy but comes off super special. My motto is: The less stress for the hostess; the better the party.

With the chops, I served a fabulous array of grilled veggies and a simple lemon parsley vinaigrette.

Because we are currently grill-less in my household, I grilled my zucchini, red bell peppers and scallions on my Le Creuset grill pan. This forced me to cook the veggies in batches which is fine because different vegetables require different cooking times.

The vegetables can totally be served at room temp, so no worries. This recipe comes from yours truly, but it’s really just a guide. You can shake up your vegetables, or change up the herbs in the vinaigrette. Basil or mint would totally rock in it.

I must advise all of you fabulous readers to try grilled scallions, because they really are heavenly. In its raw state, a scallion is just an onion; but after grilling it for a few minutes it is SO much more.

Lamb Chops with Mint and Mustard Dipping Sauce
From “30 Minutes Meals 2”
By Rachael Ray

2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil, eyeball it

2 cloves smashed garlic
12 loin lamb chops, 1/2 to 3/4-inch thick each
Salt and pepper
3 rounded tablespoons prepared grain mustard
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar, 2 splashes
1 tablespoon honey, a good drizzle
1/4 cup mint leaves, a couple of handfuls of sprigs, reserve 4 leaves for garnish
4 leaves radicchio lettuce

Preheat broiler to high. Place garlic in a small saucepan and add 2/3 cup oil, to cover. Heat oil and garlic over low heat for 5 minutes. Remove oil from heat. Arrange lamb chops on broiler pan. Drizzle 3 teaspoonfuls of the garlic oil over the lamb and spread the oil over the chops with a brush to coat evenly. Season chops with salt and pepper, to taste. Set aside.

To a food processor or blender, add mustard, vinegar, honey. Turn processor or blender on and stream in remaining garlic and oil. Turn the processor or blender off and add mint to the container. Pulse and grind the dipping sauce to incorporate the leaves.

Broil chops 3 minutes on each side, then let them rest up to 10 minutes for the juices to distribute. The lamb will be cooked to medium. Serve 3 chops per person with dipping sauce portioned in radicchio leaves along side the chops. Garnish with sprigs of mint.

Please note: The raddicchio leaves are optional. The Jersey Girl does not use them.

Grilled Vegetables with Lemon-Parsley Vinaigrette
(Makes 4 servings)

1 red bell pepper, in ½ inch slices
1 large zucchini, in ½ inch vertical slices
1 bunch of scallions (6-10), ends trimmed
3 Tbsp. olive oil, plus a drizzle for grill pan
Salt and pepper

Toss each type of vegetable with 1 Tbsp. of olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.

Using a paper towel, lightly grease grill pan with a drizzle of olive oil

In batches, grill vegetables in a grill pan over medium heat. Grill bell peppers for about 10 to 12 minutes; zucchini for about 7 to 10 minutes and scallions for about 5 minutes. Flip vegetables halfway through so that both sides are grilled. Remove vegetables from pan and place on serving platter. Top with lemon-parsley vinaigrette. (Recipe is below.)

Lemon-Parsley Vinaigrette
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
½ cup flat-leaf parsley, chopped
1/4 extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients in a small mixing bowl. Whisk together. Pour over grilled vegetables.

Serve warm or at room temperature.


  1. Totally healthy! Today I was reading on food & my blood type, which says I should have lamb. I think I've had it once so I'll have to consider it again. Your post is timely :-)

  2. Awesome, Gigi!

    I read a book that I took out from the library (yes, I use the library) on diet and blood type when I first got prego. But, it was kind of overwhelming, and it goes against my philosphy of just eating what I want/crave. But, many peeps live by the system. I hope it works for you.

    I can't wait to buy non-maternity clothes!

  3. Great blog, I just started following! I'm always looking for new recipes.

  4. Thanks for stopping by, Miranda. I will check out your blog!

  5. What a great blog!

    This looks so delicious!

    Have a nice time!