Plush Purple Goodness: Pomegranate-Glazed Lamb Chops with Georgian Plum Compote

DSCN0337Sometimes I come across my favorite blogs and notice that there has been nothing new posted for a while. It bothers me sometimes, when people say that only write at a whim’s fancy. I visit blogs because they are a source of constant inspiration and admiration for me. It’s why I started my own blog, so that I could offer the same delight to others. While I began writing for me, there eventually came a time where the focus shifted on an effort to get recognized and appreciated by fellow members of the global foodie community. It worked for a bit. My ability to describe foods flowed freely out of my head onto the keyboard, and I began to hone my narration skills into a craft. Material seemed endless at this point. I thought, “why can’t all bloggers be like this?” If I could write and post excellent recipes regularly, couldn’t everyone else as well?

How naive of me to think that life is not a formative force until it finally struck me. Due the extension of my wandering from May to August, my chances to cook this summer shrank from endless to close to nothing. Even now, I have not cooked very much. It makes me sad; life makes me sad right now. Returning back to my home campus after eight months, hardly anything is the same anymore. I miss my studies in Denmark, and even my work in India deeply. The thrill of being able to experience something new everyday, forming surprisingly deep connections with people in such a short amount of time, and living such a colorful life that capitalizes on everything beautiful is suddenly gone. In an effort to compensate, I am trying desperately to keep my self busy in my new static lifestyle by taking a grueling anthropology seminar, a frustrating (mostly cause it involves math) physics class, and tutoring biology students. Through the course of all this, I make my life only more dull because I’m forgetting what I love the most, and as a result, inspiration in the kitchen is running thin and my material is dwindling down. Cooking and writing about food has perhaps been the one thing in my life that has been able to provide me with comfort, and I need it especially more than ever now, at a time where nothing seems certain, including my professional future. I understand now that it similar crises like these are what cause some of my favorite bloggers to put away their pens for a while and remain dormant for weeks and even months.

Even though I did bridge the summer gap by reminiscing about all those wonderful eats in Copenhagen, it is finallyDSCN0340 after a three-month hiatus, that I feel ready to share this excellent recipe with you. One of the few things I cooked during my brief, two-week break at home between India and returning to school, it utilizes some of the most-loved things about late summer and early fall: plump stone fruits, bountiful and verdantly-green herbs, and the bristling, last embers of a charcoal grill. Because my inspiration is so low at the moment, I took a little help by following a recipe from Food and Wine that draws on varied inspirations from Georgian, Turkish, and even former Soviet Union cuisine. You don’t even have to be an expert on Slavic Cuisine, or barbecue for that matter (I’m certainly not), to realize how this recipe caters to every grilled-meat DSCN0318lover’s dream. The lamb chops are coated in a sticky glaze that packs a powerful punch with loads of garlic, adds a wild classicality with woody rosemary, and is cleverly both sweet and tart with the addition of Pomegranate molasses, a Middle-Eastern condiment that is well on its way to becoming the new barbecue sauce. Dare I say it, these chops are “finger-lickin good”. The glaze not only recalls infantile behaviors, by causing sucking of fingers, but it tenderizes the lamb, making it incredibly soft, melt-in-your-mouth, juicy beyond belief, and plush like a down pillow, if such a description can even be used to talk about food.

I felt like an old Russian (although it would actually be more correct to say Georgian here) babushka while I sat over theDSCN0334 stove watching my pot of fat, black plums slowly simmer away and release their perfectly purple juices to create a compote that’s not only the star accompaniment but perhaps one of the most beautiful things I have ever made.  So sweet were the plums, that I allowed them to mostly speak for their own, adding just a pinch of sugar and a generous sprinkling of some definitively Eastern spices: coriander, mint, fenugreek, cinnamon, and a DSCN0328dash of hot pepper. Garnished with practically every fresh green herb available in the grocery store, this star relish is a bucket of flavors, but their subtlety allows the bodacious plums to shine through. It pains me that I was not able to click a proper snap of this one. It’s color is so mesmerizin, plush just like the lamb. I think I would be very happy to roll around in it.  

It’s taken me almost a month to formulate this post and put it together. I guess that means to say that posts may be a bit slower and more sporadic here on CookingFever, but that does not mean that I am going anywhere. No matter how much indecision, worry, and fear that I may be feeling at the moment, cooking will always be there for me. I have loved writing this blog, and I always will, so bear with me because this is just the start of whole new era.

Recipe: Pomegranate-Glazed Lamb Chopswpid-20130817_195348.jpg

Recipe from Food and WineAugust 2013 issue

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 10 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 cup pomegranate molasses
  • 3 tablespoons dried mint, crushed
  • 2 tablespoons dried rosemary, crushed
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 3, 2 1/4 pound racks of lamb, cut into chops

DSCN0312Method

  1. In a large bowl, mix together the olive oil, garlic, pomegranate molasses, dried mint, dried rosemary, salt, and pepper. Coat the marinade evenly over the lamb chops. Allow the chops to marinate for at least 30 minutes or as long as overnight.
  2. Grill the lamb chops over medium-high heat, turning, until they are charred and cooked to your desired level of doneness (about 5-6 minutes for medium rare). Serve with Plum Compote.

Georgian Plum Compote

Recipe from Food and Wine, August 2013 issue

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds firm black plums, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 large garlic clove, finely grated
  • 1 teaspoon dried mint
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon Aleppo pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground fenugreek
  • pinch of cinnamon
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 cup packed cilantro, finely chopped
  • 2 scallions, finely sliced
  • 2 tablespoons parsley, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons tarragon, finely chopped

Method

  1. In a medium saucepan, combine the plums with 1/2 cup of water and bring the mixture to a boil. Simmer the plums over medium heat, stirring often, until th
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