Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Silence of the Lamb Chops

One of the bad habits that I have recently adopted is to stop at the lamb section in the meat department of the grocery store and wish longingly (Have I mentioned that I really like lamb? Only about every other post). Most days I think I probably whimper a little to myself too. I miss it, but at $13 or $14 per pound, lamb chops really aren’t in the budget right now. Sigh. (Want to know the really sad part? I hit 3 stores, and I do the same thing in all three.)

I was making my usual grocery store rounds this weekend. I did my lamb sigh in the first two and was rambling through store number 3 when I saw it. It was there, tucked between the veal cutlets and the beef hearts: lamb chops - on sale for only $6 per pound! YES! SIX DOLLARS PER POUND! I think I actually squealed like a 4-year old when they find out they’re going to Disney World. (Seriously – I squealed out loud. It takes a secure man to admit that, don’t you think?)

I resisted the urge to empty the whole section into my cart, but I grabbed 4 and ran home. It was almost as good as winning the lottery. Once I was in the kitchen, I pondered how I should prepare them. They were too rare a find to experiment with, so I finally decided that a clean, simple dish was the best way to go. I mean, who knows how long it would be before I got the next opportunity? So last night we feasted on Grilled Lamb Chops Gremolata with Rosemary Polenta and Roasted Tomatoes with Feta. Simple, succulent, and sublime. I was in heaven.

Now, I use regular yellow corn meal instead of specialty 'polenta corn meal'. It's a heck of a lot cheaper, and no one has ever noticed the difference. (And, just between us, I routinely interchange polenta and grits in dishes. If you call it polenta, people like it. If you call it grits, no one will touch it - it's the same freakin' thing, people!)

Ahhh. Now my lamb chop craving has been sated for a little while. But who knows for how long? At least next time you’ll know what that whimpering is when you’re in the meat department.


  1. Can I come over for dinner? (And just which store is it where you ran into this windfall of lamb chops???)

  2. Sure, you can come over - but the lamb chops are long gone. I lucked out and found them at SweetBay on Manatee Avenue.