As I mentioned, I’ve started work on a new series here on the blog. And last night, I chose to cook a meal inspired by one that Iron Chef Michael Symon cooked on his first episode of “Cook Like An Iron Chef” on the Cooking Channel: Grilled T-Bone Lamb Chops with Fava Bean and Feta Salad.
I knew I wouldn’t be cooking this exact meal. That’s not the point of this exercise. The point is to give myself an idea, an inspiration, and totally roll with it, Jill-style. And that’s exactly what I did. I stuck with the lamb chops (which were, by the way, incredible) but if you think I can find fava beans in Southwest Michigan, you are clearly reading something else.
I wanted to be able to impart the acid that his fava/feta salad had, to cut through the innate fatty goodness of the chops, and so I lightly dressed an arugula and parsley salad with heavy lemon juice, olive oil, sliced shallot, garlic, salt and pepper. Piled that right on top of those gorgeously grilled chops, which were very simply seasoned with a ton of kosher salt and black pepper.
I made a simple “tzatziki” (in quotes, because I refuse to believe any well-versed Greek person would agree) of greek yogurt, diced cucumber, herbs, lemon, and salt and pepper. I put a drizzle of that between the chops and the arugula, and it hit all the right notes of spice, salt, richness, and bite.
I still wanted to incorporate feta, though, but wanted to leave the chops simple. So I put together my 2nd summer favorite, watermelon-feta salad, which I told J last night I’m fairly certain I could eat every day, substituting in my mozzarella and tomato salad when I need a change, all summer long. Anyway. I have amended that particular salad with one new ingredient that makes all the difference. Serrano chile, sliced (shaved really) thinly, and added to the simple combination of super summer fresh watermelon and salty feta, dressed lightly with olive oil, white wine vinegar, salt pepper, mint, and basil.
The balance was incredible, the meal really amazing. Not to mention that no part of this meal took a ton of time or ingredients. It is simple food, cooked simply and well. I may sound like I’m bragging, and honestly? I kind of am. This was by far one of the best meals I’ve ever cooked.
Thanks for the inspiration, Chef Symon!
Any suggestions on who or what to tackle next week?
Lamb Chops a la Chef Symon