Light and lean Grilled Mediterranean Lamb Chops with Pickled Onions and Asparagus in Ghee makes an elegant and succulent Valentine’s Day Meal.
I’m here to confess that Texas cannot out-valentine Hallmark. We just “cain’t do it.” And I’ve tried. Valentine’s Day is way bigger, I’m ashamed to admit it. That takes a lot of gumption to confess this, because I will be the first to claim there ain’t nothin’ bigger than Texas or our Texas egos–but Hallmark is the exception. So, if you’re expectin’ something Texan outta this ol’ girl for Valentine’s Day, I’m afraid you’ll be waitin’ a long time. However, if you want a delicious tale of a romantic Valentine dinner that’s low carb delicious and won’t leave you full or heavy feeling, I’m your huckleberry. This dinner will wardrobe well with your Hallmark Valentine’s Day cards.
Lamb – it’s what’s for dinner
For some reason, the dish of choice in our house for Valentine’s dinner is hands down, unanimous.
Now we can all go home.
It doesn’t matter what cut of lamb you choose. If you want to use a butterflied leg of lamb, grilled as you would a thick steak—or use one of the “chops,” go for it. Lamb loin chops, or rack of lamb, is heavenly and a great Valentine treat, but those premium cuts are pricey these days. You’ll find a better value, and equally delicious choice, will be lamb shoulder chops (the kind that has the small round bone), or the loin chops you find at Sam’s and Costco that look like baby t-bones, lamb-sized of course. I get my lamb shoulder chops at Food Town for $3.99/lb–they’re a bargain.
Grilled Mediterranean Lamb Chops is a great dish because you can marinate the lamb up to 24 hours ahead. Get ‘em in the marinade the night before, or that morning before work, and do a grill that night. Same thing with the Pickled Onions. You can even make the Pickled Onions the night ahead. A quick marinade of lemon, garlic and olive oil, kosher salt, and cracked black pepper is all the love the lamb needs, but feel free to add any or all of the fresh herbs in the recipe. I use fresh herbs liberally because I have them growing in pots on the patio.
The grill will do the heavy lifting and will add a boost and depth of flavor that will leave you beggin’ for more. You’ll find the recipe over at the Fluffy Chix Cook nest, along with a step-by-step illustration about grilling techniques. Once you master the grill, spring and summer will never be the same. The Mediterranean Lamb Chop recipe translates well with pork, chicken, turkey tenderloin, white fleshed fish, and even beef! Shrimp kabobs are the bomb in this marinade!
Please, I’m beggin’ you. Be sure to make the Pickled Onions or onion pickles, I never know what to call them. As a garnish to the lamb, they’re simply fabulous. They add elegance to the grilled lamb and the sharp, salty bite of the red onions perk up your palette. Thank you Jamie Oliver for that tasty and easy condiment idea.
I know what you’re thinking. “Onion on Valentine’s Day? Garlic, Valentine’s? Really, Susie? Really?”
I’m just gonna have to admit, it’s out there. Onions and garlic on Valentine’s Day – it’s a stretch. It is. But if you both eat them, there’s no harm, no foul. And I’m just gonna tell ya, men dig both onions and garlic. In fact, if you really want to please your man, give him a dish laden with both! And ahem, Grilled Mediterranean Lamb Chops with Pickled Onions has ya covered. Now you only need to add a few asparagus tossed with ghee or butter and you’re in the home stretch.
Asparagus in Ghee is a ridiculously simple side dish. But many people get it wrong. Never overcook the asparagus! Asparagus are best when served al dente (or to the tooth), which means it’s just slightly crispy. I blanch asparagus in boiling water for 2-3 minutes, then immediately shock it in ice water to stop the cooking. You can blanch the asparagus, and dry them completely, the night before. Then for your Valentine’s Dinner, take them out an hour before cooking and toss with warm ghee until “just heated through.”
For dessert, there’s little more simple or elegant than Chocolate Dipped Strawberries. You can make them ahead or you can make the low carb chocolate ganache and dip the strawberries as you eat them. They’re healthy, low carb, and downright sexy. You won’t miss all the store-bought, sugar-free nonsense when you have my low carb chocolate dipped strawberries in the house.
The Chocolate Dipped Strawberries can be made a few hours ahead–possibly the night before, but that’s a bit of a stretch. Strawberries will tend to “weep” or exude their tasty nectar when dipped too far in advance. Dip only as many as you will eat that night. Save the leftover ganache for later. You can always rewarm the ganache or make some type of easy, but fancy pants dessert with it. Raspberries and blueberries are heavenly when dipped in this low carb confection as well.
You can even make easy chocolate mousse with the leftover ganache. Yes. It’s leftover. I kid you not!
I made the ganache a bit differently this last time, as it’s scented with thyme and sugar-free orange marmalade. It was a sensational twist on plain old chocolate ganache, but dang! Was it ever good! If you don’t like the idea of adulterating your chocolate, leave it out. No big whoop. It will still taste great. The recipe calls for Lindt 85% Dark Chocolate, but feel free to substitute an equal weight of Nevada Manna’s low carb chocolate chips, which will save you even more carbs.
So there you have it. Valentine’s Day in the Fluffy Chix Cook roost. Light. Low carb. Delicious. And your guy, or gal,will thank you for treating them special! No need to confess how easy Grilled Mediterranean Lamb Chops with Pickled Onions and Asparagus in Ghee was to prepare! No need to admit you didn’t spend hours on your feet, slaving away for their gustatory pleasure. That will be between us chickens. Ok?