If there’s one thing I am sure Kate Paulk is tired of hearing, it is: ‘When is the next con book coming out?’ So I won’t say it. I’ll just look hard in her direction and think it. For this series where I recommend a book to read with a meal, I’ve had a lot of fun and different foods, and books. This one, I’m warning you now, should not be read while indulging in a beverage. I’m not responsible for damage done to screens. Sharp wit, fine humor, and a snarky exposé of the underbelly of the publishing industry, you don’t have to be either a congoer or a writer (or even, shudder, an editor) to enjoy the con series. So go ahead and pick up ConVent before we fire up the grill. Yes, I am going with an Australian cliché, and cooking this meal on the ‘barbie.’ When Kate and I talked about something Australian to make, because although she lives here in the US now, that is her background and very much a part of her, we decided it had to be lamb. Australian lamb, she told me. What is that? I asked. Just put lots of garlic on, she responded. For a woman who wrote Impaler, and Jim the vampire in the Con books, she sure likes garlic… I wonder…
Australian Grilled Lamb
- 4-6 lamb chops
- 6-7 cloves of garlic, chopped finely
- 1/2 c red wine (I used a merlot)
- salt and pepper to taste
Put the lamb, garlic, and wine into a ziploc to marinade at least 30 minutes before cooking. Push all the air out of the ziploc and seal.
Start the fire in the chimney for the grill with 15-20 charcoal briquets. When briquets are fully engaged, pour them into the grill tray.
Place the lamb chops on the grill and cook with lid closed, 2-3 minutes on a side, until medium rare. Use a meat thermometer to be sure of doneness.
Allow lamb to rest, covered, for 3 minutes before serving. Salt and pepper to taste.
I served the lamb with medjara rice and caramelized onions, with a bit of chiffonaded herbs on top.
- 2 c basmati rice (or Jasmine)
- 3 c water
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tbsp coriander seed, grind if you don’t like the whole seed in your food (it’s edible, but can be crunchy)
- 1 tsp turmeric or 2 tbsp saffron flowers (note: not saffron. They are a kind of marigold)
- 1 tbsp whole allspice, grind before putting in rice.
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 2 tbsp oil
- Optional: a handful of raisins or chopped dates
Place all ingredients in rice cooker, stir, and set to cook as ‘white rice,’ you can start this when you put the lamb to marinade, it will keep warm until needed. You may want to check and stir again during and after cooking.
We finished off the meal with the cherry mead our friends had brought to share. Sweet, but not overly so, it was a perfect finish to this spicy wonderful meal.