wow for someone who was vegetarian for about a decade, i do seem to eat a lot of meat now!! it's not something i'm necessarily happy about. i would be lying if i said i didn't like the taste of certain pieces of meat. but i would be definitely lying if i said it didn't make me feel morally conflicted.
i try to assuage this conflict by at least only buying locally raised meats from the farmer's markets. this past weekend i went to a new farmer market (new for me folks, and that was thankfully light years better than that other one i tried out) and some of the farms even had photo albums of all their happy chickens, sheep, pigs, and bison in real fields and mucking grounds. it certainly convinced me that, indeed, these animals probably lived their lives as naturally as possible. but it made it that much harder for me to look at those photos and then buy a piece of cryovacked loin. but like i read somewhere recently, these chickens had a really good life for several months and then one very bad day.
i don't mean for this to devolve into a manifesto of sorts, although i do believe too little attention is paid to what we put into our bodies. i spend the majority of my disposable income on food. i believe that i should spend an equal amount of thought and conscious effort in making sure i know the provenance of that food. if not because of the animal i am eating, or the inevitable environmental damage, but at least because of the very fact that i am ingesting it!
i might think a lot about food, but when it comes to cooking, simpler is a lot of times better! i was looking for a new lamb chop recipe and came across this unassuming idea. salmoriglio is a strong, pungent lemon-herb sauce, originally form calabria and sicily. i could not believe how delicious it was! if you like lamb, please try this recipe! and then we can go back to debating whether i should be vegetarian again :-)
grilled lamb chops with salmoriglio sauce: serves 4
from gourmet (may 2000, original recipe click here
1 1/2 tb finely chopped fresh oregano
1 1/2 tb finely chopped fresh thyme
2 tsp freshly grated lemon zest
1 1/2 tb fresh lemon juice
1 tsp coarse salt
salt + pepper to taste
6 tb olive oil
4 shoulder-blade lamb chops
1. grind herbs, zest, lemon juice, and 1 tsp coarse salt to a paste with a mortar and pestle. transfer to bowl and add oil in slow stream, whisking until emulsified. season with salt and pepper to taste.
2. pat lamb dry and season with salt and pepper. heat a lightly oiled well-seasoned ridged grill pan over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking. then grill lamb, turning once about 4 minutes on each side for medium-rare.
3. spoon sauce over lamb. if this is how the sicilians eat, then i need to move there.