February 4-ingredient Challenge

by zydecopaws on February 21, 2011

Another month, another four ingredients that don’t really go together to deal with… This month’s challenge was to come up with a meal that included lamb chops, elbow macaroni, napa cabbage, and blood oranges. Without further adieu, I present to you a marriage of Rosemary-Dijon Lamb Chops and Brown Rice Macaroni Salad with Napa Cabbage and Blood Orange Supremes.

Let me go on record as saying that my family wasn’t very fond of the lamb tonight. This particular rack was very fatty, and on top of that wasn’t cooked nearly enough to make the wife happy. They did like the seasoning, so much so that I will likely use it the next time I cook a leg of lamb. Maybe this is what I get for pushing the limits of the recipe and cooking this as a rack instead of carving it into chops before throwing it on the grill…

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The lamb chops in rack form were smothered in a rosemary-dijon paste (recipe below). The lamb was cooked indirectly on the BS Keg at 400°F until it was 135-140°F internally (about 40 minutes). In my mind, this guaranteed it would be juicy and tender, but apparently the pinkness of the meat kept my wife and daughter from eating more than a bite or two each. The seasoning was declared a hit, and will likely be used in the future for some other lamb dish, or possibly a pork tenderloin.

The pasta salad was declared very good, but it was clear it was better without the blood orange supremes than with them. They were too sweet and overpowered the flavor of the rest of the pasta, which is a pretty strong statement when you consider it had feta cheese in it. I will likely make this again, as the brown rice macaroni was flavorful and combined well with the other ingredients.

Rosemary-Dijon Paste

  • 1 tsp. sea salt
  • 2 tbs. fresh rosemary (minced finely)
  • 3 tbs. minced garlic
  • 1/3 cup dijon mustard
  • 1 tbs. balsamic vinegar
  • Fresh Ground pepper to taste

Finely mince the fresh rosemary (use a spice mill or grinder if you have one) and put in a blender with the other ingredients. Blend well (about a minute or two) until all ingredients are well mixed.

Spread thinly on lamb or pork prior to roasting.

Brown Rice Macaroni Salad

  • 1 – 12 oz. package of brown rice elbow macaroni
  • 1 cup shredded Napa cabbage
  • 1/4 cup shredded feta cheese
  • 1/4 cup sliced almonds
  • Juice from 1 blood orange
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 tbs. honey
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. fresh ground pepper
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

Cook macaroni per instructions on the package.

While macaroni is cooking, make the dressing by combining the wine vinegar, juice from one blood orange, honey, salt and pepper. Stir well, then slowly whisk in the olive oil.

Drain the macaroni and stir in the Napa cabbage, feta cheese, and sliced almonds. Pour the dressing over the top and mix well. Serve on a Napa cabbage leaf.

Don’t forget to check out what my fellow bloggers did with this month’s ingredient list. It ought to be interesting to see what they came up for this latest challenge.

About this month’s “On Our Grills” 4 Ingredient Challenge Bloggers

The BBQ Grail
The BBQ Grail website was created in 2007, initially to document the author’s quest to find the perfect backyard BBQ experience. Since that time The BBQ Grail has become one of the more popular BBQ blogs on the internet and is listed on Alltop.com as one of the top BBQ blogs.

Nibble Me This
Nibble Me This is Chris Grove’s blog about his misadventures in live fire cooking. ”I have no culinary training….I’m just entertaining myself with fire and food”.

Bob’s Brew and ‘Que
Bob started Bob’s Brew and ‘Que in August of 2009 with the intent of sharing his views on food and drink. Originally focused on BBQ and Homebrew, it was inevitable that the influences of his upbringing in the San Francisco Bay Area and it’s wealth of ingredients as well as his heritage as an American of Japanese ancestry would help focus his blog, as it has his approach to food and drink.

Grill Adventures by Broadcast Marc
Grill Adventures by broadcastmarc was started in March of 2010. According to the author, he started the BBQ thing when he was 30, before that they ate a lot outside and had fun, but when kids came into their life they started serious cooking. Most of it is really healthy. The grill has a special place in his heart because they love to do things outside. Everything he makes is an adventure, and sometimes they use the books. They try to grill as much as they can year round.

Grilling with Rich
Rich is a young person breaking into the great world of barbecue. He enjoys everything about barbecue from the culture to the food. He is just a regular guy trying to have fun and enjoy the food and the process of cooking the food on the grill. Grilling with Rich.com goes beyond just the normal cooking adventures and dig deeper into the large world of BBQ’ing, both professionally and for amateurs. Grilling with Rich focuses on the adventures of a regular guy and his quest to understand and learn as much as possible about the BBQ world.

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