19 (Tue) January 2021
Grilled Lamb Chops in Massaman Sauce with Saffron-Curry Rice and Potatoes
-Changgok, Sujeong, Seongnam, Gyeonggi, Republic of Korea-
with the Family
Several years back – one month shy of a decade, oh my god – Number One Fan LJY and I had engaged in a virtual culinary exchange to make dishes and share photos, which were presented on GMTD. The first was chicken parmesan (2.050 Chicken Parmigiana with Black Olives and Spaghetti), followed by grilled steak (see 2.056 Grilled Sake Steak with Curry-Corn Rice), and finally shrimp scampi (2.063 Linguine con Spinaci in Creamy Scampi Sauce with Bell Peppers, Mushrooms, and Shrimp). Though fun, we just stopped doing it, for no particular reason.
For no particular reason, we are now resuming the exchange.
BATTLE : LAMB
For my entry, I employed a technique that I’ve recently developed to pan-grill lamb chops then finish them off in curry sauce (see 11.364 Grilled Lamb Chops in Butter Curry Sauce), this time using a kit for Thai massaman curry by Blue Elephant.
Massaman is a Thai dish. It’s a rich, brown curry, typically served with meat (e.g., chicken) and potatoes. Influenced by Malay/Indian cuisines, as evident in the use of heavier, darker spices, such as cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, cumin, etc., which are otherwise not commonly used in Thai cuisine (by comparison, green/yellow/red Thai curries are based on lighter aromatics, such as chilies, cilantro, galangal, lemongrass, etc.). The term is thought to derive from an old Persian word “mosalman = Muslim” in reference to Muslim traders from South Asia who brought the spices with them to Thailand, possibly during the 17th century. In 2011, CNNGo ranked massaman as #1 of The World’s 50 Most Delicious Foods.
On my end, I was aggressive, seeking to develop a bold dish with intense flavors. The lamb was tender and succulent. The spicy curry, enhanced by the char flavor, paired nicely with the meat (though not as good as the butter chicken curry). The yogurt and cilantro added welcome touches of brightness. With the potatoes and rice, the dish became a comprehensive meal.
On the LJY side, the approach was minimalist, allowing the natural flavors of the meat to shine. She added homemade chimichurri when the initial seasonings seemed a bit insufficient. Rather than a meal per se, the chops could constitute a simple yet hearty appetizer, easily paired with other dishes. In her own summation: “Overall, delicious!”
To use a sandwich analogy, my dish seems like an in-your-face meatball sub, while LJY’s is like an elegant BLT.
By coincidence, we both used frenched lamb chops, which in retrospect appears kinda lazy. In my defense, this is the only way that lamb is sold here.
My instinct has always been to go heavy with lamb, but I am intrigued by LJY’s choice of zesty, which I will definitely try myself next time.
That was awesome!
Looking forward to BATTLE : DUCK.
(See also FOODS.)
(See also PLACES.)