Jake and I never go out to dinner on Valentine's day. To me, it's just overrated. We've always just stayed in, cooked a nice meal, drink lots of wine and relax together. Our 2nd Valentine's day, we made the most amazing meal, and it's now become tradition for us to make this meal on V-Day. It's actually a Rachel Ray receipe that I found on Food Network...
Black Cherry and Black Pepper Lamb Chops with Sweet Pea Risotto
1 quart chicken stock
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided, plus some for drizzling
2 tablespoons butter, divided
1 small onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 cup Arborio rice
1/2 cup white wine
1 cup peas, defrosted
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, a couple of handfuls
2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint leaves, plus a few sprigs for garnish
Handful flat-leaf parsley, chopped
4 loin lamb chops, each 1 1/2 inches thick
1 shallot, thinly sliced
1/2 cup black cherry all fruit preserves (recommended: Polaner brand)
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1/2 teaspoon cracked black pepper
Place the stock in a small pot and warm it up over medium low heat.
Place an oven rack 8 inches from broiler and preheat broiler to high.
Heat 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil 1 turn of the pan, with a tablespoon of butter in a medium skillet over medium to medium high heat. When the pan is hot, add onions and garlic and cook for 2 to 3 minutes the add Arborio and cook a minute more. Add wine and cook it all away, 1 minute. Add a few ladles of warm broth and let that cook off, stirring occasionally. The risotto will take 22 minutes to cook. Add a ladle of broth from time to time until risotto is starchy, creamy and cooked to al dente.
Add peas about 2 minutes before serving. Add in cheese, chopped mint and parsley just before serving.
When the risotto is half-cooked, 10 minutes from being done, drizzle the chops with extra-virgin olive oil and arrange on a slotted broiler plan. Place chops in oven under hot broiler and cook 8 to 10 minutes for medium rare.
Place a tiny pan on the stove over medium heat. Add 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil and shallots to the pan. Cook shallots 2 minutes then add the preserves and whisk them together with balsamic vinegar and black pepper. Heat to a bubble then remove from heat and add remaining pat of butter. Whisk butter into sauce.
Season the risotto with salt to taste. Place a generous serving of risotto into shallow dinner plates. Arrange 2 chops on each plate alongside the risotto and drizzle the black cherry pepper glaze over the chops and garnish plates with extra sprigs of mint.
** The only changes we make is to pan saute the lamb chops because it's easier for us. If you are all about broiling, then go for it **
This is actually the first time I had ever eaten lamb and now I LOVE it! I think lamb is an aquired taste, but you could probably do like pork chops if you don't like lamb. The star of this recipe is definitely the black cherry sauce...YUM!! It's so rich and tangy and sweet all at the same time. I make this sauce all the time now, to serve with other things, because I love it so much.
It's definitely a special meal to cook with your Valentine!!