Lamb Chops with Sour Cherry & Mustard Sauce

Hello, friends! It’s been awhile since I’ve stopped by…I’ve written a lot of blog posts in my head in the last 2 wild months, but none of them have leaked out of my head and into the keyboard, and honestly, I’m not going to feel bad about neglecting you – though I have missed you all, and the food conversations we have here. I’ve tweeted out some of my favorite recipes, and shared others on Facebook, just to create the illusion that there’s cooking going on in The Whole Kitchen.

And there is some cooking happening…but definitely not the more elaborate meals I made in the past. Now, if it can’t be made in 15-20 minutes – it’s not happening on a weeknight. Weekend prep is more critical than ever to ensure that we get healthy meals on the table. Mostly, I’ve become the scrambled egg gourmand. Chilaquiles, Huevos Rancheros, egg scrambles where I toss the contest of our CSA box into the saute pan, crack in a few eggs in and then serve with warm tortillas – that’s the kind of thing that I’m digging right now. Simple, healthy, fast, and high-protein.

I’ve spent the summer trying to figure this new life out. Working at Edelman Digital is a wildly different world than the non-profit sector, and I’ve been putting in a lot of hours getting up to speed with the team. Most days, I’m pretty exhausted by the time I get home, but spending my days in a fast paced, challenging environment surrounded by other super-smart digital nerds – it’s pretty awesome. A few months from now, I expect I’ll wake up and know exactly what makes my job tick, how to succeed – AND get myself home in time for dinner (sometimes)…it’s a learning process and I’m trying to be patient with myself.

In the meantime, if you have 15 minutes, a husband off on vacation while you punch the clock, and a couple of lonely lamb chops in the freezer…this recipe is for you. A dinner for one of the highest caliber, inspired by the chef I used to work with way back in my server days. Chef Randy introduced me to the magic of this sour cherry, mustard, sherry sauce paired with lamb, and it’s a secret I haven’t forgotten. If you can still find sour cherries in the farmer’s market where you are (or in the freezer section), give this one a try.

How have you spent your summer? Share your favorite summer memory – dancing in the sunshine, hitting the beach, luscious summer reading – whatever you’ve done to make the most of this season…OR, tell me what you love to cook with all the fresh produce of summer.

Lamb Chops with Sour Cherry Mustard Sauce
Serves 1 

2 Lamb Chops, about an inch thick
1 T whole grain mustard
1 T butter
2 T grapeseed oil
½ cup fresh sour cherries, pitted, with ¼ cup of the cherry juice
3 T sherry
salt & pepper

  1. Wash and pat the chops dry with paper towel. Sprinkle with salt & pepper & set aside.
  2. Heat a heavy stainless steel pan over medium high heat. When the pan is hot, add the oil and when the oil is shimmering, gently lay the chops in the pan, and sear for 1 ½ minutes, then turn over, and cook for another 1 ½ – 2 minutes for medium chops.
  3. Remove the chops from the pan and set aside on a plate. Add the sour cherries, juice, sherry and mustard to the pan, and stir for a minute, letting everything reduce just a bit. Add the butter to the pan and stir, cook for 1-2 more minutes, until the sauce thickens slightly.
  4. Pour the pan sauce over the chops, and enjoy. A feast for 1!
*Apologies for the blurry photo…the husband went on vacay with the fancy camera, and all I had was a cell phone. 10x more delicious than this blurry image – I promise! 

Sour Cherry Compote

Sorry for the food drought around here…As you read last week, I had a birthday to celebrate. I don’t normally do much to mark the turning of the calendar, but if the kick-off to my 33rd year is anything to judge by…it’s going to be a spectacular year and I can’t wait to see what unfolds!

The day of my first half-marathon is creeping ever closer. In fact, a month from now, I need to be able to run 13.2 miles! It feels pretty scary, but I’ve been keeping up with my training and it’s all gone smoothly, so let’s hope for the best come August 1 on race day. I decided to really kick-off my fundraising campaign for the American Cancer Society on my birthday, and use a little of my social media mojo to see how much money I could raise is 24 hours. I sent emails to friends, tweeted, blogged and posted to Facebook about my birthday wish for a world with less cancer and more birthdays.

I am still so stunned, in awe and grateful to those of you who’ve contributed to ACS on my behalf! I feel so blessed to have such amazing friends, and your encouraging words lifted my spirits on my long weekend run. You all helped me raise $835 in 24 hours! My goal is to raise $1500 (at least!) to fight cancer, so I’m halfway there! Click on that gorgeous Donate button on the right if you’d like to chip in a little for my quest to kick cancer’s ass!

Anyway, back to Birthdays…after you all made my day with your generous support, I came home, cracked a bottle of wine with Mark, Larry and Erika and set about making some light and fluffy gluten-free pancakes. Being a weeknight, I kept things easy and went for the Bob’s Red Mill gluten-free pancake mix and added cake spice and vanilla to bring a little flavor to the topping delivery vehicle. Let’s face it – pancakes are as much about what you put ON them as the quality of the ‘cake itself. I went for gran marnier sugared strawberries, whipped cream and this luscious sour cherry compote. All the toppings were well received, but the sour cherry was a standout, and that bowl was nearly licked clean. Pancakes drizzled in fresh fruit topping with loads of whipped cream – who needs actual Birthday Cake?! Not me.

What’s your favorite way to throw down the pancakes? Share your favorite topping, ‘cake recipe, or pancake-related story in the comments below.

Sour Cherry Compote
Makes 3 cups

1 quart of sour cherries, stemmed and pitted
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
1 T cornstarch
1 T vanilla extract

  1. Pit cherries over a bowl, catching any juices.
  2. Place pitted cherries, sugar, cornstarch and water in a saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Boil for 2 minutes while stirring pretty constantly.
  3. Place a sieve over your empty cherry bowl, and pour the cherry mixture into the sieve and let the juice collect in the bowl below. Shake the sieve gently a few times to get most of the juice out. Return the collected juice to your saucepan, and simmer until the ruby red syrup is thickened enough to coat the back of a spoon, about 3-4 minutes. Add the cherries back to the pot, stir in the vanilla and let cool.
  4. Serve on pancakes, over sponge cake, oatmeal or bake a pie or crumble!

109 cal per 1/2 cup, 120mg potassium, 26g carbs, 1 g fiber, 23g sugars