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Friday, May 13, 2011

Medicine of the Lambs

While I think Western medicine is an absolutely remarkable thing, I'm getting tired of all these doctor visits I've been making lately. In three weeks time, I will have had four separate appointments with four separate doctors. I'm beginning to think that the medical professionals are sort of like the mafia. Each one has a specialty. This one specializes in skin abnormalities, and steals credit card numbers. That one can get people to talk and is a skilled oncologist. They all refer to you one another so you can pay more money to the powers that be for appointments, tests, prescriptions, and "protection". In any sense, each follow-up call from these doctors adds just a little more stress to your already compiling list of problems. In my case, it started with a genetic mutation and is now taking a turn to thyroid issues which may be causing my dramatic eczema flairs. As a patient for so many specialists, I'm beginning to feel taken advantage of. What was I thinking trusting these people?

Anyway, I decided to take today off so I could hunt down good ingredients for dinner tonight. I'm making Agnello Scottadito con Fave Alla Romana, which is Italian for Lamb Chops with Roman Style Fava Beans. This is an Italian dish that is traditionally eaten in May and June when the fava beans are in season. Of course, finding this ingredient is kind of a pain (don't count on finding fresh ones). All I could get my hands on were canned favas.

I kind of winged this dish so hopefully the quantities are right.

1/3 cup Olive Oil
1 small to medium garlic clove
1 sprig thyme
1 sprig rosemary
2 or 3 lamb chops, approx. 3 or 4 oz.
1 lb. Fava Beans
1/4 medium yellow onion, minced
1 oz. pancetta, cut into small cubes
less than 1/8 cup dry white wine
1/4 cup water
slightly less than 1/4 flat leaf parsley, chopped

1. Mix oil, garlic, thyme, rosemary and some salt and pepper together in a small baking dish or a large Ziplock bag. Marinate the Lamb in this mixture for at least 4 hours in the refrigerator.

2. To make the Roman Fava Beans, heat a skillet with a thin layer of oil in the bottom. Add the onion and cook for about three minutes or until onion is soft but with no color. Add the pancetta and let brown for two to three minutes longer, until well rendered.

3. Add the beans, season with salt and pepper and stir. Add the wine and let it evaporate, then add the water and let it cook for 10-15 minutes. (I was feeling impulsive with this step and decided to turn this bean mixture into a puree, which turned out lovely although you need to add a little extra water and oil).

4. Heat a grill to high temperature. Remove the lamb chops from the marinate and grill on direct heat, turning once, until browned on both sides and cooked to medium rare, about three minutes on each side.

5. Just before serving, add the parsley to the beans and serve hot with the lamb chops.

In plating, I made the fava beans kind of a bed for the lamb chop then I made a quick side of brussel sprouts for a protien-rich and fibrous meal. Given that it was lamb served with fava beans, I figured an homage to "Silence of the Lambs" was in order by pairing it with a nice Chianti. Enjoy!

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