Sunday, August 24, 2008

Dinner In Under 30 Minutes? Sure! Why not?

I'm no Rachael Ray, but I do love it when I can find something to make for dinner that's (mostly) homemade AND takes less than a half an hour to finish. There are a lot of great cookbooks on my shelf full of easy, quick recipes. Sometimes, I get in a rut and make the same things a couple of times a month because I know my hubby and son will eat them. However, there are also those times when we all just want something new and different. Finding new recipes usually requires a search through my many cookbooks and then, questions to Hubby regarding what sounds good. I submit the following dinner recipe, which was utilized to great success last night. We don't eat a lot of lamb, mind you, due to cost and the novelty of the meat to our family. However, when a great lamb recipe comes my way, I really can't pass it up.

Apple-Glazed Lamb Chops
found in the Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book
Prep: 10 minutes
Broil: 7 minutes

1/2 cup apple jelly
2 teaspoons prepared mustard or Dijon-style mustard
8 lamb loin chops, cut 1 inch thick
1/2 cup chopped apple (1/2 of a small)

1. For glaze, in a saucepan heat and stir jelly, mustard, 1/8 teaspoon salt, and dash pepper.
2. Trim fat from meat. Place chops on the unheated rack of a broiler pan. Broil 3 to 4 inches from heat for 7 to 11 minutes for medium doneness, turning and brushing with some jelly mixture once.
3. Stir chopped apple into remaining jelly mixture. Bring to boiling. Reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, for 1 minute. Serve with chops. Makes 4 servings.

Some notes on the recipe:
-I used 2 large shoulder chops instead of loin chops, since that's what I could find at the store. I cut each chop into thirds, and though they were a little on the small size, they worked out fine for us and became very tender after 10 minutes under the broiler.
-Apple jelly can be found in the jam/jelly aisle of the grocery store. I always knew there was something called apple butter, but never knew they made apple JELLY.
-I used Dijon mustard and a Red Delicious apple for the sauce, and I sprinkled the Red Delicious with fresh lemon juice to keep it from turning brown after it was chopped. Both worked extremely well.

For the side dishes, as the chops were broiling, I whipped up some Parmesan couscous, thanks to the quick cooking variety provided by Near East. It's like quick cooking rice, where you boil water with the accompanying spice mix, add the couscous, cover, and let it sit for 5 minutes. Also, a bag of Cascadian Farm organic frozen broccoli cuts was thrown into the microwave for four minutes, a little salt and pepper was added, and voila! Dinner was served. There were rave reviews from Hubby and, silently, from our son, who actually ate his meat along with everything else, something that rarely happens. (I noticed him eating the apples from the glaze first and thought he was going to skip the meat altogether. However, once one bite of lamb made it into his mouth, he quickly cleaned his plate. Yay!)

Hope this helps give you another answer to the question "What's for dinner, tonight?" I'll add more useful recipes to my blog as I come to them, later.
Have a great Sunday everyone, and I'll see ya when I see ya!

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