BBQ Lamb Adobo with Chilli, Mint and Kumquat Dressing + Homeboy’s 2013 Reflection
So here we are – 2014 baby! If I went and saw a fortune teller a year ago, never would I have imagined that 2013 would have played out the way it did and I mean that it a good way. Life isn’t without its challenges and believe me, I encountered many of those chestnuts throughout the year on ALL fronts but honesty, I’d rather mention the good stuff ombre. The stuff that made me feel like I was unstoppable despite life’s setbacks. I actually went and saw the totally rad film, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, which had me reflecting on the year gone by. For those who have seen it, you know what I’m talking BOUT. I may have not climbed the Himalayas or fought off a shark like Ben Stiller did in the movie, but there were still some totally rad things that happened on the blog/cookbook front.
~ My Walter Mitty Moments of 2013 ~
The ‘OFMG I’ve climbed the Himalayas’ moment would have to be attending the Gourmand Cookbook Awards in February where I won Best Asian Cuisine book for Australia. Sheeaaat, I still can’t believe it. For reals. And I still can’t believe I was able to tick off another item on my bucket list – see Paris (!) – being that the awards ceremony was held at the magnificent Louvre. I also got a chance to visit Barcelona and London for the first time. Best holiday ever and then coming back to find out that What the Heck is Filipino Food was still in the Top 40 Amazon Best Sellers was way cool. Kept my jet lag at bay that’s for sure.
– Contributing to the Cooking for Compassion Cookbook (out now!)
– Cake Judge at the Melbourne Bikefest Summer Bakeoff (#best #gig #ever #nom #nomnom #nomnomnom #haha #gym #thatswhatyouget)
– Featured on The Herald Sun, The Philippine Times and ABC702 where I got to talk about how much I like fatty food
– My Filipino recipes featured on both SBS Food and interviewed on SBS Radio
– Got to write about something I was passionate about and having it published on Broadsheet – Filipino Food! Check out my expanded version or as I like to refer to as – The Director’s Cut lol.
– Despite some very cool events I attended and treasured recipes I loved making, the most enjoyable posts I wrote would have to be my Cafe Hopping series, especially the one where I went cafe hopping across the US. Think tator tots and lotsa cornbread foolz.
– I ate like curaaaaazzzaaaay plus I didn’t gain 20KG! Looking back at how much whipped cream I had consumed makes me feel all warm inside.
With so much to be thankful for, I cannot forget those who made all of these achievements possible – YOU. Thank you for your support and for continuing to check out the banter on my blog even though I don’t post as often as I should. I’ve been finding it incredibly difficult to balance my day job in the crazy land of digital advertising which is seriously non-stop from travel, 3am starts, managing a national team to delivering on some pretty massive projects, ongoing cookbook activities, the blog and activities around it, gigs on the side, social life, loved ones, exercise (does typing count?) aaaannnd fitting in some sleep. I’m hoping that 2014 will less manic so that it will be The Year of the Blog which means more exciting things to come soon! I also vow to take it much easier on myself and to focus on the things and people that matter the most. This will be in baby steps as The Art of Letting Go ain’t easy.
Now, in keeping with The Year of the Blog resolution, onto the recipe. There comes a time when you realise that eating pork – no matter how many ways it’s cooked – five days straight during the Christmas season can enslave your liver. It was time to let go of pork and all its glory for at least one day, however, one thing I didn’t wanna give up was Adobo. It ain’t gonna happen.COM!
I usually make Pork and Chicken Adobo but instead chose use the lamb cutlets in the fridge that were originally slated to be crumbed and served with cheddar cheese mash BUT since it was a balmy day, I though why not make BBQ Lamb Adobo?! The only problemo was that friends who were coming over to try my kitchen experiments weren’t exactly lamb fans, so I made a concoction of various ingredients to cut through the gamy taste and smell associated with lamb. This was inspired by Thai dressing and because I didn’t have any calamansi, I opted for kumquats and added mint fort a more fragrant aroma plus being the typical Food Blogger, it made way more presentable!
Cooking Adobo on the BBQ is way easier and faster than cooking it over the stove top and for some reason, it prevents me from eating rice (less carbs!) swapping it instead for…wait for it….wait for it… salad. DUN DUN DUUUURRRRN!
1 kg of lamb cutlets (don’t trim the fat! – this is hat makes it incredible)
3/4 cup of soy sauce
1/2 cup of cane vinegar or white vinegar
4 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
3 bay leaves
Chilli, Mint + Kumquat Salsa Dressing
1 cucumber, chopped into tiny cubes
10 mint leaves, roughly sliced
1 chilli, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons of rice wine vinegar
2 tablespoons of kumquat juice or calamansi juice if you can get yo hands on it
2 tablespoons of caster sugar
1. Chuck the lamb cutlets into a large bowl. Add the soy sauce, vinegar, garlic, crushed, black peppercorns and bay leaves. Combine it all with yo hands.
2. Cover with cling wrap and leave it in the fridge for at least 3 hours or better yet, overnight.
3. Bring the marinated lamb chops to room temperature before grilling
For better results, use a charcoal BBQ or set to medium to high heat for a gas BBQ. Cook for 2 minutes on each side with the hood down plus an extra 1 minute grilling the fatty bits to get them all crispy. These suckers can burn easily so keep an eye out. I like it medium rare.
4. Remove from grill and rest for no more than 10 minutes.
5. Whilst the meat is resting, let’s make the Chilli, Mint + Kumquat Salsa Dressing. In a small bowl, add the rice wine vinegar, caster sugar and kumquat juice and stir that sheeeaaat then chuck in the cucumber, mint and chilli. Combine.
You’ve been served!
Were my friends aka the Anti Lamb Crew impressed? YASSS. You only had to witness a glimpse of them stripping every ounce of meat from the bones to reliase that I may have converted a few in the process. Next time, I’m gonna try cooking it in two stages on low heat for a few minutes just to sear it a little then crank up the heat to start the charring and of course, I will come armed with CALAMANSI!
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Keep eating…LIKE CRAZAAY!