Simple Juicy Halal Lamb Chops from Costco

Costco. Has. Halal. Lamb. From. New Zealand!!

This is a pretty easy recipe, so I’m just going to get right into it. Because the lamb chops are fairly thick, you’ll have to sear them in a cast-iron pan on the stove and then pop them in the oven. Two step cooking!

Here we go—

  1. Bring your lamb chops to room temperature. If they were frozen, make sure they are completely defrosted (trust me, I’ve been there). If refrigerated, take them out well in advance (depending on the weather/temperature in your home) so they’re ready to go when you are.

  2. Preheat your oven to 350°F.

  3. Sprinkle all sides (top, bottom, sides, just not the bone-side) with kosher salt. I used Maldon Sea Salt (which is on sale for cheap on Amazon at the time of posting!) Flakes because I’m convinced it melts and sears nicely on meat like steak.

  4. Heat up a couple tablespoons of canola oil on an 8-10” cast iron pan. Use a bigger pan if you’re going to cook more than 2 chops. If using an electric stove (like me), you might have to heat the cast iron pan up slowly (like two numbers at a time) rather than straight to medium.

  5. When the oil is glistening, it’s go time. Carefully place two chops in the pan and then don’t touch them. The key to getting a good sear is letting it sear. After 2 minutes, carefully lift one piece (with tongs, obviously) and check the sear on it. If it’s nice and deep brown, go ahead and flip it. If not, wait longer (30 sec - 1 min increments).

  6. Repeat this searing process for each side of meat—top, bottom, left, and right. No need to sear the side with the bone of course.

  7. Once the chops are seared nicely, get some aluminum foil and, wearing oven mitts, loosely fit it to the pan. Then pop it in the preheated oven for about 20 minutes.

  8. You want the internal temperature to be between 150°F and 160°F for a nice medium. I use this meat thermometer and love that it magnetically sticks to the fridge.

  9. Serve! With some crispy greens like, I don’t know, brussels sprouts!

Simple Juicy Halal Lamb Chops from Costco

Ooey Gooey Baked Mac and Cheese

Kraft’s macaroni and cheese is for lazies. It isn’t even real cheese. Ew.

I’ve got a recipe for mac and cheese that you can serve as is or baked (like I prefer), and I’m going to get right into it in an effort to mimic the brevity of its cooking process. What the heck did I just write *eye roll* It’s an easy and fairly quick recipe that serves 4-5 hefty portions. You can easily double it to make 8-10 servings (especially if you’d like to have leftovers for lunch/meals the next day or two). Here goes!

Baked Mac and Cheese Cast Iron Skillet

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons of fat (butter, olive oil, or a mix of the two)

  • 3 tablespoons of flour

  • 2 cups of whole milk

  • 3 cups of cheese, freshly grated (I used a mix of gruyere and medium sharp cheddar)

  • Salt, 1 teaspoon

  • Paprika, 1 teaspoon

  • Cayenne Pepper, to taste

  • 8 ounces of macaroni (or any preferred pasta, preferably something with curls and ridges)

  • A slice of bread, toasted

Recipe

Figure it out yourself.

Just kidding.

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.

  2. Bring water (enough to submerge all the pasta) to a boil. Add the pasta. Stir every 2 or so minutes and cook al dente (or however you like it). If you’re going to bake the mac and cheese at the end, I think it is okay if you overcook the pasta because it’ll dry up a bit in the oven. Strain and set the pasta aside in a large pot.

  3. Put the butter and/or oil in a medium (like 4qt) saucepan on medium heat. Swirl the pan around as it begins to bubble and fizzle.

  4. Add the flour and begin whisking immediately, making sure there are no lumps. Let it sit for a few seconds; it will begin to “poof” up and rise. Whisk again. Let it poof. Whisk Again. Do this until the mixture is golden brown.

  5. Then steadily pour the milk in while whisking gently. We don’t need hot oil and milk splattering all over your face. Not today. Maybe tomorrow. Stir in the paprika.

  6. Once the milk begins to bubble, lower the heat and begin adding 2 cups of the freshly grated cheese to the saucepan one cup at a time, stirring slowly with the whisk until thoroughly incorporated. You don’t want any lumps or clumps.

  7. Add the salt (to taste). Then stir the cayenne pepper in 1/4 teaspoon increments so that you don’t accidentally overdo it. Turn off the stove.

  8. Pour the cheese sauce into the large pot of pasta and stir carefully with a big wooden spoon/spatula until it’s all mixed up very well. Serve as is OR….

  9. Pour the mac and cheese into a baking dish or cast iron skillet. Shake/Wiggle the pan/skillet so that the mac and cheese settles into the edges pretty evenly.

  10. With your hands, smush the slice of toast into a bowl. Don’t worry about making the crumbs too fine, it’s okay to have a few chunks. It gives the dish a touch of authenticity. Mix the remaining 1 cup of grated cheese into the crumbs. Sprinkle this mixture over top of the mac and cheese pan.

  11. Pop it in the oven for 20-30 minutes, until the breadcrumbs are a beautiful golden brown. When you take the pan/skillet out, lay a sheet of aluminum foil over top to seal in a little bit of the steam so that the cheese on top gets more ooey-gooey.

  12. SERVE! Tabasco, Tapatio, or Frank’s Red Hot Buffalo Sauce would complement this baked mac and cheese quite well.

Ooey Gooey Gruyere and Cheddar Mac and Cheese

Fluffy Pancakes

Pancakes. Some like ‘em fluffy, some like ‘em dense. Some like ‘em thin, some like ‘em thick. Most don’t know how to cook them without burning them or making them dry. I am here to help.

As in most cases, I don’t have my own magical ingredient or recipe; rather, the cooking method/steps are what make the difference.

Over the weekend, I really wanted to make pancakes because I hadn’t had them in a while. I asked my nifty Google Home Mini for an “easy pancake recipe” and Google-robot-woman guided me through this recipe from AllRecipes.

On a side note, I hadn’t used my Google Home Mini for cooking up until this weekend. I recall seeing advertisements of it mentioning how useful it is in the kitchen but I didn’t think much of it. Until I left my phone upstairs and was too lazy to go back upstairs to get it. So I Hey Google’d it and was VERY pleased. It gives you the option of skipping the ingredients list/prep, and it pauses after each ingredient to give you time to measure/grab it and also after each step. I wouldn’t always rely on it because I like to read ahead to be better prepared and understand what’s going on, but it is not a terrible option. I wish Google paid me to advertise for them but let’s face it. They don’t need me to advertise for them.

I decided to try something new and film the general process rather than type it out.

Some things to note:

  • The two teaspoons of baking powder are what help the pancakes fluff up a lot. You’ll notice the batter get more dense and thick as time goes by.

  • Stirring and folding with a spatula helps prevent whisking too much air into the batter.

  • Using a cast-iron pan is great because of how evenly they heat up as well as their ability to retain heat—all allowing the pancake to cook through more evenly. These ones from Amazon are affordable and great quality (Lodge is a well-known cast-iron cookware brand).

  • Set the stove to a lower heat setting (not shown in the video, but I used 3 out of 10). Cooking them slowly helps them cook through evenly without burning. You’ll get a nice golden-brown color this way as well.

  • Wait to flip the pancake once bubbles have formed all throughout the top of the uncooked side of the pancake.

  • Don’t drizzle as much honey as i did because 1) diabetes, and 2) unnecessary.

I hope to post more often, but sometimes I don’t know what to cook/share.

Anyway, that is all, my friends. Enjoy!!!