Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Last Night's Dinner: Pork Is Not Lamb

I've decided that I'm going to start writing a little more about actual food here. Revolutionary, I know - right? It's a food blog, and I'm going to write about food?

But rest assured, I'm not going to subject anyone to my crappy, fuzzy pictures - not unless absolutely necessary. And I think my food-post to not-really-about-food-post ratio will remain about 1 to 35. But occasionally, if it seems post-worthy, I'm going to write about something I actually cook. I'll call these posts "last night's dinner"s. Consider me the Cobrasnake of foodbloggers.

This is a quick one, and actually, it was Friday night's dinner. I wanted to make one of my old standards - lamb chops in a cream, port and Dijon sauce, inspired by my post-honeymoon Portuguese cooking class (way back in the day, when I actually did write about food, I wrote about this recipe here).

It's a really simple recipe -I just sautee lamb chops for a bit, then deglaze the pan with port, add cream and mustard, coat the chops and finish cooking them. It takes no time at all, tastes good, and it's hard to screw up.

Unfortunately, when I went to pick up ingredients on Friday, Trader Joe's was fresh out of lamb chops. With no desire to buy a whole rack that I'd have to divide up, freeze and forget, I instead opted for pork chops. Maybe they'd work. And at the very least, I'd find out if they didn't.

Well...they didn't. Oh, they were OK, but all of dinner was a great reminder that lamb has a strong, unique flavor. The sauce really lacked the sweetness and gaminess the lamb adds. The pork chops just seemed bland, with a coating of sauce - the sauce never became one with the meat the way it does when lamb's involved.

So dinner was just OK. Our roasted potatoes (just with olive oil and salt and pepper) and brussels sprouts (sauteed with bacon - yum) offered a little redemption. And it's not that the pork tasted terrible - it just wasn't nearly as good as the lamb would've been.

I'll just take that as a good lesson for next time.

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