Sunday, April 18, 2010

Grilled Lamb Chops over Lemon Vinaigrette Arugula

This is hands down my favorite weeknight dinner...I adore lamb chops and my kids love these ....the marinade I use gets rid of any gaminess that lamb can tend to have and leaves you with this lick your fingers (and the bone for my fellow carnivores) yumminess!!! I love the simplicity of the ingredients, ease and again quickness of this healthful no carb meal....I promise you will be making this at least once a week. The arugula can be used as a base for any meat, steak, chicken cutlets or even salmon!

So pay attention because if you blink it will be over and done that is how easy it is!!

Lamb chops for 4

8 lamb chops, trimmed of excess fat

2 cloves garlic chopped

3 springs rosemary, leaves removed and chopped

1 tsp cayenne pepper (less if you do not like spicy)

1 tsp pepper

1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper

1/4 cup olive oil

Place all ingredients in a ziploc bag and marinate for at least an hour but upto 24 hours if you want to do it in advance. Prepare grill medium high heat, cook for 4 minutes each side for medium rare...presto lamb chops extraordinaire!!

Arugula in Lemon Vinaigrette

2 bags arugula (I love it when they call it rocket!)

1 lemon, juiced

1/4 cup good extra virgin olive oil

salt and pepper to taste

Parmigiano Reggiano (I use a vegetable peeler to peel the block of cheese or use a grater, the amount here is up to you!)

Place lemon juice in a bowl add salt and pepper to taste and then whisk in the olive oil to create a thickened sauce, pour over arugula, top with Parm and then lamb chops....

WOW, now you cannot say this isn’t insanely easy and so fancy looking!!!

Grilled Chicken Thighs with Roasted Vegetable Couscous

One of the best smells I know is the luscious, tantalizing smell of a grill. Whenever you smell it you think to yourself what are they grilling and immediately want to hunt the smell down, bring a bottle of wine and invite yourself in for dinner (don’t say you haven’t thought about it!!) I love to grill and we don’t just reserve this type of cuisine for the long as I arm my sexy grill man with a glass of vino I can talk him into throwing the winter parka on and even shovel snow off the grill to make this delicious meal.. The best thing about it is it is inexpensive, simple and super fast, so even a busy weeknight is no excuse for a little fanciness and good home cooking! Here we go....oh we have outside speakers as well so cue the Michael Buble for the grill man (in his case though definitely a little Mariah Carey if I want to sit inside and watch him shake his booty!)

Serves 4

Grilled Chicken Thighs ***marinate for at least an hour but longer is better!!

2 1/2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs (can substitute breasts)

1 lemon

2 sprigs fresh rosemary, chopped

1 tsp fresh thyme, chopped

1 red onion sliced

1/4 cup olive oil

1 tsp salt

1/4 tsp pepper

Place chicken thighs in a large ziploc bag, cut lemon in half, juice into bag and then throw juiced halves in as well. Add onion, thyme and rosemary, olive oil, salt and pepper. Seal bag and mix together so the chicken is evenly coated. Place in fridge for at least an hour but can also be done in the morning for the not do more than 24 hours in advance as the lemon juice breaks down the chicken.

Prepare the grill to medium high heat, grill chicken 7 minutes first side, 4 minutes second side or until juices run clear (less time for breasts, depending on thickness maybe 5 minutes first side then 3 second careful not to dry them out, thighs are a lot juicer and harder to overcook) and shake that booty!! Done and YUM!!

Grilled Vegetable Couscous

2 japanese eggplants, each sliced lengthwise in 3 equal slices

2 zucchini, sliced lengthwise in half

1 onion diced

1/2 lb fresh mozzerella

1/4 cup fresh basil sliced into strips

1 28 oz can diced tomatoes (I like Muir Glen)

1 cup chicken stock (can be substituted with vegetable stock for a vegetarian option)

2 cloves garlic chopped

1 cup couscous

3 Tbsp olive oil plus more for drizzling on the vegetables

crushed red pepper to taste (optional)

salt and pepper to taste

First start the sauce for the couscous, heat 3 tbsp olive oil in sauce pan. Add chopped onion and a pinch of salt, sprinkle of freshly ground pepper and cook until translucent about 5-7 minutes, add garlic and saute another minute. Add chicken broth and bring to a boil allow to reduce by half, add tomatoes and crushed red pepper (I add about a tsp) let simmer for about 15 minutes uncovered to thicken. In the meantime drizzle the sliced eggplant and zucchini with olive oil and salt and pepper and grill about 3-5 minutes each side on medium heat grill (can do at same time as chicken but should take less time than chicken) Cook until fork tender but not mush! In meantime I blend the sauce with a hand blender but a regular blender will work fine just watch the steam in a blender by giving it room to escape. Heat 1 cup of sauce with 1 tbsp olive oil to a boil and pour over couscous in serving bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let sit for 5 minutes to steam. Cut up grilled vegetables into bite sized pieces as well as mozzarella. Fluff couscous with a fork toss in vegetables, cheese and fresh basil. Serve with extra sauce and this time the sexy grill man has worked up an appetite from all the booty shaking and I have as well watching him!! Foods up, dig in!!