Friday, May 3, 2013

Coconut rosemary carrots, lamb chops... and a quiet day

A strange afternoon. A few quiet hours. The house is silent, and yet loud by what it’s missing: the hustle-bustle of the playing toddler, playing and busying elsewhere. I am left with my thoughts. With myself.

Yesterday, I longed for it. Today, I’m not sure what to make of it. My mind swirls, unproductively. Doubt, insecurity, idleness, questioning. And planning, listing, comparing, anticipating. It’s quiet on the outside, but I feel unsettled on the inside. I can’t see my North. Like standing in the middle of a large deserted intersection, not knowing where to go. Feeling like I should. I should know.

That “should” is a bad word.

So I decide to sit in the middle of that intersection. Ground myself. And see what happens.

A strange afternoon. A few quiet hours. I wasn't sure what to make of it. So why not improvise an apple tart, thought I.

A botched attempt. Flavorful, but unsatisfactory. Crust too crumbly. Falling apart within my hands. Just not coming together. A lot like this day.

So I try it again tomorrow. What else can one do? Learn. Try again. That was my Thursday.

That, and a simple dinner, in the haven of the garden. Some spring carrots. And lamb. And rosemary too.

Rosemary carrots in coconut milk baked in a parcel & lamb chops

Serves 2-3

Prep time: 15 min
Cook time: 20 + 7-15 min for the meat

Age for babies: You could make this into a baby puree steaming together a bit of lamb with carrots, mixing to desired consistency with milk or coconut milk (which you steep the rosemary in before adding.) You can give from 8 months on. If you give the carrots alone, cook them as described below, they make an easy finger food, also from 8 months old on. (I used ground lamb for Pablo's baby purees mixed with vegetables starting at 6-7 months).

Note: I am a big fan of cooking in parcels as I've blogged about before. It's easy, it's very healthy, it keeps the nutrients and flavors in. No downside really.

1 bunch of new carrots
2 sprigs of rosemary
3/4 cup coconut milk
salt & pepper
2 cloves of garlic
Lamb chops (however many per person you would like. I recommend the thicker pieces with two chops, unless you like your meat well done, in that case, you could get a thinner piece.)
Olive oil

Peel the carrots, and cut them up.

Preheat the oven at 425°F

In a pan over medium heat, bring the coconut milk to a simmer for 2 minutes. Take the rosemary leaves off the stem, wash them, mince them (I cut them up with kitchen scissors) and put them in the coconut milk. Remove from heat, cover and let steep for a few minutes.

Place one sheet of unbleached parchment paper on a baking dish. Place the carrots in the center. Spoon the rosemary coconut milk over them.

Fold up the parchment paper over the carrots to make a parcel. You can use string, or I just fold and crumple up each side.

Bake in the oven for about 20 minutes. Open the parcel when ready to serve (it will keep hot if closed).

Meanwhile, brush the lamb chops with some olive oil (rosemary olive oil if you have some, or put some rosemary in the olive oil for a few minutes before brushing). Rub the chops with the garlic cloves.

Cook the lamb chops as you prefer. For convenience, we often just pan-fry them (we like them rare, so it usually takes about 7 minutes total over high heat, turning them on each side. About 11-12 minutes for medium rare).
Of course, you can also cook them in the broiler (turning them over half-way through), or on the grill.

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  1. Hi! I love your posts! But, when trying to cook in a parcel, the parchment paper I use isn't great--the liquid seeps through so that the baking tray is always wet and it's all a soppy mess. Which brand do you recommend? -BabyMama of twins

    1. So glad you enjoy the posts :-) About the parchment paper, I often use the "If You Care" unbleached brand, which I find at Whole Foods or order on Amazon. It does often leak through though, the paper doesn't disintegrate, but it's not completely mess-free. Another option, which the French use quite a bit, is the silicone papillote, which is sold on Amazon here in the Orka brand. In English, they're called Steam Cookers. Pretty handy. (If you click on my Amazon store link in the right column above "Search this blog", and go to the "Cooking supplies" category, you will find them there.) Thanks so much for stopping by and commenting :-)

  2. Hi Helene. Fantastic post as always! How does Pablo like to eat his lamb? I am always so paranoid about undercooking meat for my daughter! Thanks. Raminta x

    1. Thank you kindly, Raminta :-) We are really a "rare meat" kind of family, so I do give it to him rare. I do buy good quality organic/grass fed meat (Whole Foods is a good place), and I rarely buy it more than 1-2 days before we have it, so it's very fresh. (I've even given him steak tartare, completely raw ground beef, though that meat I buy the morning of). With lamb, I understand you might not like it super rare, but I think the meat really is more flavorful if it's at least pink / medium rare. If the meat is fresh and good quality and from a place where you've been buying meat for a while and never had any problems, I think it's quite safe.

    2. Thank you! Husband and I like medium rare so will try same for our daughter, rather than well done.

  3. I love how you added coconut milk to the carrots-firstly, because I LOVE coconut milk and also because it sounds like a delicious combo! I often use this recipe ( when making kids love it! I'm definitely going to try this recipe though!


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