A while ago, I read an article in a magazine that highlighted interesting flavor combinations, from the classic and well-known matches like Banana and Chocolate, to the notorious opposites that attract like magnets and work magically well when paired together, like Sweet and Salty, for instance.
But then came a few intriguing and rarely heard of possibilities which were, according to the author, very well worth exploring.
One of those odd associations was that of Mushrooms and Vanilla. Seriously! The two of them were combined in some kind of an Affogato, no less. While the Affogato in question didn’t inspire me at all, the flavor combination piqued my intrigue to no end and I decided that I was to try it at the first occasion. But then, I stumbled upon another recipe that pushed the envelope even further. This time, Wild Mushrooms got united with… Creamy Maple Butter, and the strange couple was served over a piece of crunchy toast without any other form of ceremony.
My creative side immediately got to work and my over-excited brains decided that we would be merging our vanilla infused maple-y mushrooms with earthy lamb chops, a hint of fresh rosemary and sage as well as tangy goat cheese. Surely it would make for a magical reunion. And so these Maple Glazed Lamb Chops were born.
Boy am I happy with this latest creation! This dish is nothing short of magical, enigmatic and mystifying! The explosion of flavors is just totally out of this world. Wild mushrooms really do pair extremely well with the sweetness of the maple syrup and vanilla, but the addition of pungent rosemary and sage together with the strong earthy taste of the lamb meat, topped with the tanginess of the goat cheese elevated things to a completely new level.
I’m telling you, this is a culinary feast that demands to be experienced.
The best part is it’s super quick and easy to make, and you can easily double or even triple the recipe if you have to!
To begin with, mix some pure maple sugar, salt and pepper together in a small plate.
Then, pat your lamb chops real dry and press them in the sugar mixture to coat them well on both sides.
When your pan is really nice and hot, carefully place your lamb chops in it and allow them to cook undisturbed for a full minute, or until a nice crust forms.
Using kitchen tongs, flip the chops to the other side and continue cooking for one or two more minutes or until a beautiful crust forms on that side too.
And erm, do expect a fair amount of smoke… you might want to crack open a window, and definitely get that hood fan going!
Lower the heat to medium-high, flip the lamb chops one more time and let them cook for another 2-3 minutes while basting them with the hot syrup that will have formed at the bottom of the pan.
Note that lamb is at its best when cooked rare to medium-rare, and this is what you will get if you follow these instructions. If you prefer your meat a little bit more on the medium to well-done side, flip the chops one final time and let them cook for an additional minute or two.
Remove your meat to a plate and tent your chops lightly with aluminium foil; let them rest while you work on the mushrooms.
If there are any burnt bits of sugar in the pan, fish them out with a spoon and then add the fresh mushrooms. Sauté them for about a minute until slightly softened, then add the re-hydrated wild mushrooms. For tips on working with dehydrated mushrooms, see this post.
Continue cooking for about 2 to 3 minutes, or until the mushrooms are soft and golden.
Add the maple syrup, fresh herbs and sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper. Stir delicately with a wooden spoon until all the ingredients are well combined.
Arrange the lamb chops over the mushrooms, garnish with fresh herbs and sprinkle with soft goat cheese if desired and then serve.
This dish is particularly delicious served over a bed of creamy cauli-mash, although I’m thinking Oven Roasted Butternut Squash would be equally good, or even a pile of Oven Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Acorn Squash.
Seriously, my palate is totally sold on this new and intriguing flavor combination.
I can’t wait to hear what you guys think!
- 4 (1-1/4 inch thick) lamb loin chops
- 2 tbsp pure organic maple sugar
- 1 tsp Himalayan salt
- 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 1 cup fresh button mushrooms, sliced
- 1 cup dried mixed wild mushrooms, rehydrated per instructions on package
- 2 tbsp pure maple syrup
- 1 tsp finely chopped fresh rosemary
- 1 tsp finely chopped fresh sage
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract (or make your own
- pinch Himalayan salt
- pinch freshly ground black pepper
- 1-2 tbsp soft unripened goat cheese to garnish (optional)
- Mix the maple sugar, salt and pepper together in a small plate. Pat the lamb chops real dry and press them in the sugar mixture to coat them well on both sides.
- Melt a few tablespoons of heat stable fat such as avocado oil or ghee in a heavy skillet (cast iron preferred) placed over high heat. When the pan is nice and hot, carefully place the lamb chops in it and allow them to cook undisturbed for a full minute, or until a nice crust forms. Using kitchen tongs, flip the chops to the other side and cook for one or two minutes or until a beautiful crust forms on that side too.
- Lower the heat to medium, flip the lamb chops one more time and let them cook for another 2-3 minutes while basting them with the hot syrup that will have formed at the bottom of the pan, then remove to a plate.* Tent lightly and let the chops rest while you cook the mushrooms.
- Remove any burnt bits from the pan (if present) and add the fresh mushrooms. Sauté them for about a minute until slightly softened, then add the rehydrated wild mushrooms. Continue cooking for about 2 to 3 minutes, or until the mushrooms are soft and golden. Add the maple syrup, fresh herbs and sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper. Stir delicately with a wooden spoon until well combined.
- Place the lamb chops over the mushrooms, garnish with fresh herbs and sprinkle with the goat cheese if desired and then serve.
- This dish is particularly delicious over a bed of creamy cauli-mash.