Costolette di agnello al forno

Rosemary, the woody and fragrant herb native to the Mediterranean region, has many culinary and medical uses, but it is also a common decorative plant. This herb has sedative, diuretic, stomach relief, aromatic and antiseptic properties, and it is also ranked very high on the list of cancer-prevention and reduction foods. The leaves, both fresh and dried, are used in traditional Mediterranean cuisine. Italians love this highly aromatic herb and use it with lamb and other roasted meats and vegetables, and also on top of focaccia.

Costolette di agnello al forno

Ingredients: 

olive oil

6-8 lamb chops, each 3 cm/1.2 inch thick weighing 150 gr/ 5 1/3 oz

fresh rosemary

3-5 garlic cloves, minced

black pepper

3-5 Roma tomatoes, sliced

coarse sea salt

Instructions: 

Preheat the oven to 180C/355F. Rub some fresh rosemary onto the surface of the lamb chops. Grease the baking pan with olive oil and arrange the lamb chops on it. Set the minced garlic cloves between and on the lamb chops. Season with black pepper. Set the sliced tomato pieces on the lamb chops. Drizzle some olive oil, and season with coarse sea salt and rosemary. Bake in the oven for about 20-25 minutes. Garnish the plates with fresh rosemary and serve with mashed potatoes.

Costolette di agnello al forno

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Grilled Lamb Chops with Bruschetta as a Starter

Below the picture you will find my latest recipe – Grilled Lamb Chops! But before that, an announcement: The Foodies has been guest blogging! A friend of this blog, The Ranting Chef, features guest bloggers on his long-running site, and I was proud to be one of them. The post features a vegetarian dish, Risotto rosso, with cherry tomatoes and tons of fresh basil. I have also included pictures and detailed step-by-step instructions on how to prepare the ultimate risotto experience. Risotto rosso is healthy and light, and definitely worth checking out. For more, click here.

Grilled Lamb Chops

Grilling is not just something you do in your backyard on a hot summer’s day, but you can easily enjoy the delicious grilled flavors indoors anytime by using an electric countertop grill, stovetop grill or a grill pan. For optimal results, make sure that the grill is well heated before putting the meat on, and brush the grill plates or grilling surface with vegetable oil. In order to get the visually attractive grill marks, put the meat on the grill at a 45˚ angle. Let the lamb chops cook, undisturbed, on a very hot grill for 15-20 minutes on both sides until they are well done. You recognize the cooked through lamb chops from their browned grill marks. Enjoy with a fresh salad, lemon slices and fries.

Ingredients:

lamb chops, ca. 3-5 per person depending on their size

oil

lettuce

lemon, sliced

fries

Grilled Lamb Chops

Bruschetta: 

Dating back to the 15th century, bruschetta is one of the most iconic Italian starters. It consists of grilled bread that has been rubbed with garlic, and it is served with different kinds of toppings. The simplest ones – like the one that is presented here – are always the best. But you can also try different vegetables, cured meat or beans.

Bruschetta con pomodoro

Bruschetta con pomodoro

Ingredients:

tomatoes, sliced

coarse sea salt

bread, preferably Italian countryside bread

garlic cloves, sliced

olive oil

Instructions:

Slice the tomatoes in four and sprinkle them with coarse sea salt. Set aside for 30 minutes. To remove the sea salt, shake the tomato slices. At this point you might choose to slice the tomatoes into even smaller pieces.

Cut Italian countryside bread into 1.5 cm/0.5 inch thick slices. Bake the slices in the oven, preheated to 180 C/350 F, for ca. 10 minutes. After baking the slices should be crunchy with a soft core.  Rub sliced garlic cloves onto the surface of the bread and bake further for a minute.

Drizzle good quality olive oil on the bread slices and arrange the tomato slices on top. Wonderfully versatile bruschetta can be served as a starter for almost any Italian dish.

Stuffed Red Bell Peppers

Stuffed Red Bell Peppers

Bell peppers, originally pimiento, have been cultivated for more than 9000 years. The Spaniards introduced this wonderful vegetable, which is rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory nutrients, to a wider audience after their voyages of discovery in the 16th and 17th century. Bell peppers can be grown in a variety of climates and are popular in cuisines all over the world. In selecting bell peppers, you should pick ones that are firm and feel solid and avoid peppers that feel soft or look wrinkled. A recent study shows that not yet optimally ripe bell peppers should be stored outside the fridge in room temperature.

Ingredients: 

4 red bell peppers

100 gr/3.5 oz rice

500 gr/1 pound minced lamb or chicken

1 onion, sliced

3-5 garlic cloves, minced

oil for frying

salt and pepper to taste

1 tsp paprika powder

1 tsp chili powder

100 gr/3.5 oz fresh cheese, eg. herbs and garlic

125 gr/4.5 oz melting cheese, eg. mozzarella

Instructions: 

Stuffed Red Bell PeppersRinse the peppers and remove and discard the seeds and the stem. Cook the rice according to the instruction on the package. Heat oil in a pan and saute the onion and garlic over a medium heat. Add the minced lamb or chicken and continue frying until the meat has browned. Season generously with salt and pepper, and with paprika and chili powder.

Combine the cooked rice with the minced lamb/chicken mixture, add the fresh cheese and the melting cheese. Mix well and fill the bell peppers. Bake in the oven, preheated to 200°C/390 F, for about 45 minutes.

Marinated lamb stew with Brussels sprouts

Lamb stew with Brussels sprouts

Comfort food doesn’t get better than this – pieces of lamb marinated in aromatic herbs, white wine and garlic. Wine lovers will enjoy this dish with a fine bottle of Chianti Classico. Seasonal vegetables and potatoes complement the experience.

Marinade: 

0.75 dl oil

0.75 dl dry white wine

1 tbsp oregano

1 tbsp thyme

3-4 bay leaves

5-6 garlic cloves, minced

black pepper

600-800 gr lamb, cut into 1 inch/2.54 cm cubes

Stew: 

1 l beef stock

400 gr Brussels sprouts

2-3 carrots, sliced

1.5 tbsp balsamic vinegar

1 tbsp brown sugar

Instructions:

Marinated lamb stew with Brussels sproutsStew: Fry the marinated lamb cubes in oil until they brown. Add the carrots, Brussels sprouts, the beef stock and the spices. Let the stew simmer on low heat for 90 minutes. Serve with potatoes.

Marinade: Mix the ingredients for the marinade. Cut the lamb into cubes. Pour the marinade over the lamb pieces and mix well. Let the mixture marinade in the fridge overnight. Stir occasionally.