Brunch at Coqueta
Enjoyed champagne and tapas with my dear friend Roxane last Friday. We had Jamon iberico- manchego cheese- Spanish olive and sardine bites, patatas bravas crispy and smokey with smoked paprika and aioli, shrimps sautéed in garlic and olive oil served with grilled bread, octopus cooked perfectly, and smoked salmon on toasted brioche with cream cheese and chives, Truffled honey and black truffles. Then for dessert, manchego cheese cake pops with caramel popcorn and churros with rich chocolate dip and raspberry powder.
I must apologize because I completely forgot all the exact names of the tapas we had, all I can manage is a decent description, but everything was great.
Simple Home Cooked Meal:
Citrus and Spice Marinated Grilled Lamb Loin Chops and Butter Sauteed Asparagus with Bacon
Sunday dinner and my husband was solely responsible for these perfectly grilled chops, tender and buttery asparagus spears with (literally) bacon confetti… any excuse to incorporate bacon in a dish and we always go for it.
2.5 lbs Lamb loin chops (1 1/2 inch-thick chops)
juice of 1 lemon
juice of 2 oranges
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon powdered dried oregano leaves
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon cumin powder
1 Tablespoon (Mexican) Adobo Seasoning
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon red chili flakes (optional)
2 teaspoons sea salt (or according to taste and DO NOT USE TABLE SALT)
1 lb Asparagus spears
1 Tablespoon Butter
Crisp bacon bits (3 rashers)
- Put lamb loin chops in a large ziploc bag.
- In a bowl, combine all marinade ingredients and pour into the ziploc bag with the lamb chops. Securely seal bag and massage the marinade into the meat. Let meat marinate for at least 30 minutes before grilling (much better to marinate overnight for the marinade to completely sip-through the meat).
- Grill (cook) loin chops according to your preferred doneness. It is very crucial to rest meat (at least 8 minutes) before serving and eating it so that meat evenly cooks and stay tender and moist.
- Put bacon bits in a cold non-stick skillet, fry until fat renders out and bacon bits are crisp. Drain on paper towels. Set aside.
- Saute asparagus spears in butter until tender.
- Assemble everything. Serve. Eat. Belly Happy.
Cook’s note: Juice of citrus fruits like lemon and orange in marinades help to tenderize meat. The acid in citrus breaks down the protein fibers of meat, therefore, making it tender. And these Lamb loin chops were very tender.
Putting oil (fat) like olive oil, garlic oil, etc. in marinades help the meat (specially when it will be grilled) stay moist and succulent as it cooks.
You can also serve these grilled chops with Chimichurri (a herbaceous Argentinean condiment made with chopped fresh parsley, oregano (or fresh cilantro), garlic, white wine vinegar, olive oil and chili) as if you are in a Churrascaria.
My Mint Chimichurri
handful of fresh parsley, chopped
handful of fresh mint, chopped
handful of fresh cilantro/coriander, chopped
5 cloves of garlic (from a large head), minced fine
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
juice of 1 lemon
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
red chili flakes (according to taste)
salt (to taste)
- Combine all ingredients together. Serve with grilled lamb chops.
(My recipe / Hub’s cooking and photos)
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