Lamb Chops with Couscous and Roasted Eggplant

Halloween came and went and I totally nerded out and sewed a blue dress from scratch and made a cute Tardis costume. If you don’t know what a Tardis is, well, we shouldn’t be friends. OK, that’s not remotely true, but if you do recognize it, I like you better. It’s a time travel device from Doctor Who, which at one point gets channeled into a woman’s body and says things like “biting’s excellent, it’s like kissing only there’s a winner” so of course it’s my favorite. I totally overestimated my skill with a needle and underestimated how much time it would take me to sew a whole goddamn dress with decorative things on it. So the costume that I had planned in my mind and sketched out at work looked 100% better than what I actually produced, but it actually didn’t turn out too badly. Cute-ish, and the skirt part of the dress turned out great,  and it was not ‘sassy’ or whatever euphemism for slutty the stores used this year. Plus, I made myself a little hat that actually lit up, I WORE A GLOWING HAT which was fun and whatever. Only about six people recognized me, which was totally fine, because one of those six was the bartender who decided I should get free drinks because it was his favorite. There are perks to hanging out with other  obscure nerds.

Also this weekend, I attended the Hilton Wine and Food tasting with several friends. Amazing. Really. Seriously. An excellent way to spend money. It started at 1, but I had to go to boxing, so I didn’t get there until a little bit past three. I went right after boxing (epitome of class? taking a five minute ice cold shower, putting deodorant on in the elevator of an office building, and applying make up in a cab….) and scanned floors for food first. There was a dumpling table and a Italian-pizza-esque-puff table, some noodles, cheese, bakery tables, and gelato! I was a little saddened by the dumpling table, who gave everyone big paper plates, and very assiduously placed ONE dumpling on each plate. And then mine promptly fell to the floor. Saddest panda.

There were many wines and beers and brandies and bottles of prosecco to try. It was a lovely event, which included a rather ridiculous dinner, for which we inveigled some of the wine sellers to donate to us the opened, half-finished bottles. We scored quite a few, including a nearly full bottle of $75 cabernet, which I ended up with at home.

I couldn’t let it go to waste, and I wanted to make a meal to do such a lovely bottle justice. I went to April Gourmet after tutoring and perused the butcher counter. I decided to be a little extravagant and buy lamb chops. Remembering a bag of couscous at home, I also picked up some nice shiny eggplant.

I cut eggplant into quarters, tossed with plenty of olive oil, and a sprinkle of salt, pepper and minced garlic, spread out on a baking dish and popped into the oven at 200C. While I let that roast away until creamy soft in the middle with crackly-toasty scorched skins, I put couscous on to boil in chicken stock. Then the lamb chops. Pat the lamb chops dry with a paper towel. In a small bowl, mix salt, pepper, garlic powder, and Tuscan herbs (any mix of dry herbs you want really), then liberally sprinkle both sides of the lamb chops. Place in baking dish under the broiler. 500F for about five minute per side. My oven doesn’t get quite hot enough to broil, so after the time in the oven, I gave the chops a quick sear on the stove. Finally, I tossed the steamed couscous with oil, salt, a sprinkle of parmesan cheese, and four cloves of garlic that I had roasted in the bulb and then smashed up into a lovely paste. Scooped the eggplant out of its skin and onto the couscous, and finished with the lamb and a nice glass of the wine. A really nice treat for myself!

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