“I’m over Basil!”…, I tell myself as I buy new pots of it for planting this spring. I can’t resist. A herb garden isn’t a herb garden without basil. I’m just bored. I want to try new flavors.
I’ve been stuck in a flavoring rut for some time now, becoming comfortable with the ease in which I can throw a dinner together in a short amount of time. If I didn’t care, I’d leave it be…, but I can’t. I enjoy food. I want more flavor; different flavor.
Finally, I am happy to say my palate has been experiencing so many variations of flavor since I joined the team of chef assistants at Cook’s Warehouse here in the Atlanta area.
As an assistant, I enjoy all the pleasures of working in a restaurant kitchen setting; having the esteemed pleasure in meeting new chefs, tasting the food they demonstrate, all without the hassles inherent to restaurants. In addition, I can pick and choose when I want to assist.
Each chef brings to Cook’s, not only the expertise of many years studying the world of food, but offers their own tricks and tips and preferences to the kitchen. I’ve gained a volume of information.
I decided to use this blog as an avenue for sharing my experiences as an assistant; introduce you to chefs’ and either duplicate or re-create recipes they shared during a demonstration.
This week, I introduce you to Chef Nancy Waldeck. Chef Nancy is all about healthy food with great flavors and great Wine to pair it with. Chef hosts a monthly Taste Club held at Cook’s Warehouse, where her Sous Chefs prepare an entire meal while she educates attendees on the pairing of wine from regions all over the world. Chef’s certification comes from London’s Wine and Spirits Education Trust.
Being a survivor of breast cancer, Chef Nancy, along with other Chefs, teaches cooking classes at Piedmont Hospital Wellness Center. In addition, Chef has joined together with Dietitian, Shayna Komar, in publishing weekly posts Living and Eating Well providing healthy tips. One column is “Spicey Tuesday” offering recipes, dedicated to spices and sharing benefits of same. I had no idea cinnamon could reduce your LDL cholesterol or cumin was a spice for anti-diabetic or reduces the proliferation of Lymphoma and Leukemia cancer cells. A volume of information is available on this website.
The recipe that I feature here is …Peach and Paprika Lamb Chops. I never liked Lamb Chops until I tasted her recipe from the Taste Club.
1 Tbs. Brown Sugar
1 tsp Sea Salt
1 tsp Onion Powder
1 tsp Chili Powder
1 tsp Smoked Sweet Paprika
1/2 tsp dried Oregano
1/4 tsp Ground Allspice
1/4 tsp Black Pepper
8 Lamb Chops
Canola Oil or Grapeseed Oil
1/3 Cup Good Peach Preserves
Baby Greens for salad
Sliced Ripe Peaches, fresh or frozen
Oregano for garnish
Combine first 9 ingredients in a small bowl; rub spice mixture evenly over both sides of lamb chops. Set aside for 1-3 hours.
Ready to cook: Heat a cast iron pan over medium-high heat. Add the oil to cover the bottom of the skillet. When the oil is hot, not smoking, add the lamb chops to the pan and cook for 3-4 minutes on each side. Then, brush peach preserves over each chop. Turn chops over and cook for one minute more. Brush chops with remaining preserves. Remove from heat.
Serve lamb chops on a bed of greens, garnish with peaches and oregano.
To compliment the meal I chose a Wine from the list Chef Nancy provided in her April Taste Club. It was flavorful, light and easy on the palate. It enhanced the flavors of all the spices used in this dinner I prepared and guess what? Did you notice??? No Basil.
In her book, Taste and Savor, Chef Nancy suggests being adventurous in selecting Wine. ”Go wild and crazy and buy wine with no forethought. Like the label? Buy It. The name makes you smile? Buy it. The color of the bottle matches your eyes? Buy it.” I like this philosophy.
It is my hope reader’s enjoy this new chapter of my life. When you’re in your 60′s, you stand around wondering what’s next on the agenda and thankfully, I’m fortunate to live where food is happening.