Lamb Blade Chops with Green Sauce (and a recipe for Lamb Sandwich with Greens and Green Sauce)

I have many cookbook ideas, and the ladies from Food52 just wrote one of them. 

Okay, before we go too far down the path of this cookbook and this week's recipes, let's just review what Food52 is and then let's sally forth.

Food52 was begun only about 3 years ago in 2013 as a gathering place for cooks, foodies, novices, the curious to come together to talk about food every week of the year (hence the 52). From seersucker tablecloths to quince paste, soup ladles to fennel pollen, russet potatoes to food mills, this website talks about, sells, makes it all. And they're growing.  But be careful. Should you click on any of those links, I will see you in about an hour, for you will undoubtably (as I just did) find yourself going down the rabbit hole of website browsing and mouth watering. 

Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs, Food52's founders, have put out four cookbooks, and this one--A New Way to Dinner--is the latest. As many of you know, I have been greatly inspired by Tamar Adler's The Everlasting Meal (which is still my go-to gift for foodie friends). Adler argues food begets food, and one should not throw out food. With a frugal sensibility, she takes tonight's dinner and then makes broth from the chicken carcass, pot pie from the leftover meat, and minestrone from leftover veggies. Nothing goes to waste. 

A New Way to Dinner has a similar premise: spend 3-4 hours cooking on Sunday and then remix your Sunday victories until they're Monday's dinner, Tuesday's lunch, and Wednesday's late-night snack. 

I spent Sunday cooking for only about two hours. Why? Because I had to scale back. Because this is what the Food52-proposed week entails:

  • Lamb-Blade Chops
  • Roasted Brussels Sprouts
  • Shaved Brussels Sprouts with Pine Nuts and Raisins
  • All-in-One Lamb Salad with Horseradish, Watercress, and Celery and Creamy Mustard Vinaigrette
  • Green Sauce
  • Lamb Sandwich with Kale and Green Sauce
  • Creamed Kale
  • Gnocchi with Creamed Kale
  • Ricotta Gnocchi
  • Gnocchi with Brown Butter, Sage, Shaved Brussels Sprouts, and Pine Nuts
  • Stuck-Pot Rice
  • Stuck-Pot Rice with Creamed Kale and a Fried Egg
  • Chewy Vanilla Spice Cookies with Chocolate Chunks
  • Coffee Ice Cream with Toasted Marshmallows
Hoo boy.  

We nixed the desserts, the gnocchi, and the brussels sprouts (and anything connected to them), so we ended up with this (I'll post links once I put them up):
It seems like a lot, but really, there were only three main recipes and then lots of leftovers. Clearly a week's worth of meals for two.

What we were left with was the simply cooked lamb blade chops (also known as lamb shoulder chops that are so much easier on the wallet than loin chops) with a bright and fresh green sauce (perfect for late fall), creamed kale and broccoli rabe (quite simply divine) and stuck pot rice. That meant meat, a veggie, and a starch for dinner number one. And the husband and I both wanted to lick our plates. 

Okay, we did. We licked them. I am not going to lie.

The lamb is as simple as can be. In the time it takes to fire up the grill, you can rest the lamb with seasonings. In the time it takes to grill the lamb, you can reheat the kale and rice. This is a Monday-night dinner for sure.  And then there's plenty left over for Tuesday night Lamb Sandwiches.

I do have one note to keep the theme of frugality and everlasting meals going a little further: The lamb sandwiches call for a ciabatta roll (see below). The lamb and watercress salad (to be posted soon) nudges you toward rye bread. I just used levain for the sandwiches and would have used levain for the salad, but I wasn't hungry for bread.

And so, I challenge you to make this week an everlasting meal. A new way to dinner. A feast of really good, sensible, frugal food. 

And now I need to get thinking of a premise for another cookbook, because Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs have knocked this one out of the ballpark.

Lamb Blade Chops with Green Sauce

Adapted from Food 52's A New Way to Dinner

Serves 4, plus leftovers for salad and sandwiches

8 lamb blade (shoulder) chops, about 3/4 inch thick
Salt and freshly ground pepper
3 cups packed flat-leaf parsley leaves
1 1/2 cups packed basil leaves
3 anchovy fillets
1 Tbsp capers
1 large clove garlic (optional)
Pinch of red pepper flakes (generous)
3/4 to 1 cup of olive oil
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1 lemon, cut into wedges

1. About 30 minutes before serving, season each lamb chop with salt and pepper and allow to rest at room temperature. Heat your grill--get the coals so hot that you'll get a good sear. So hot that you're probably using more coal (or gas or whatever powers your grill) than you anticipated. 

2.  Make the green sauce (you can do this ahead over the weekend): In a food processor or blender, combine parsley, basil, anchovy fillets, capers, garlic (if using), and crushed red pepper flakes, and a pinch of salt until the leaves are chopped up. Add the oil in a slow, steady stream until you achieve the consistency you like. Add lemon juice, and then adjust seasoning to taste.

3.  Once the grill is super hot, grill the lamb for about 2 minutes per side for medium rare. Remove from the grill and let rest beneath foil for about 5 minutes.  Top 4 of the chops with a a spoonful of the green sauce and serve with a lemon wedge. 

4.  Put the remaining chops in a container and store in the fridge for up to 5 days.  You've got sandwiches to make (see below) and a salad to serve (recipe forthcoming).  That's two more nights of dinner.

Lamb Sandwich with Greens and Green Sauce 

Adapted from Food 52's A New Way to Dinner

Serves 4, plus leftovers for salad and sandwiches

Green Sauce
1 ciabatta role or 2 slices of your favorite bread (I used levain)
Thinly sliced leftover lamb
Torn greens (arugula, kale, romaine)
Potato Chips

1. Mix up some green sauce and mayonnaise. As much as you want, but mix them together in a small bowl because they make a pretty little spread.

2.  Spread this mixture over your favorite roll or bread (toasted if you prefer). Top with leftover lamb and greens. Serve with potato chips.


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