Saturday, September 8, 2007

WHB: Time Travel with Thyme!

It's the weekend again, and that means another episode of Weekend Herb Blogging, invented by Kalyn's Kitchen!! This round-up is being hosted by Katie from Thyme for Cooking, the Blog, and in honour of her blog's name I've chosen Thyme as my herb!
Thyme is a basic ingredient in French and Italian cuisine and is an herb also widely used in Lebanese and Caribbean meals. It is often used to flavour meats (such as beef, pork roasts, or the lamb chops I present below), soups (such as this one) and stews. It has a particular affinity to and is often used as a primary flavour with tomatoes and eggs. It adds an intense aroma and wonderful flavour to scrambled eggs made with old cheddar cheese and mushrooms!

Thyme is not just a modern culinary marvel! Ancient uses of this fragrant herb (from Wikipedia) include:

  • Ancient Egyptians used thyme in embalming.
  • The ancient Greeks used it in their baths and burnt it as incense in their temples, believing that thyme was a source of courage.
  • The spread of thyme throughout Europe was thanks to the Romans, as they used it to purify their rooms.
  • In the European Middle Ages, the herb was placed beneath pillows to aid sleep and ward off nightmares.
  • In this period, women would also often give knights and warriors gifts that included thyme leaves as it was believed to bring courage to the bearer.
  • Thyme was also used as incense and placed on coffins during funerals as it was supposed to assure passage into the next life.
Here is a simple to make but elegant main dish, which uses both the herb and a honey made from the thyme blossom, a popular variety in Turkey. The mustard and honey form a delicious crust and the red wine leaves the lamb rich, crimson, deeply flavoured and moist. Served with a couscous pilaf and perhaps some broiled eggplant and you too can serve up a Sultan's Feast!

Turkish Honey Lamb
Serves 6
6 1” thick lamb chops
1 ½ cups good red wine
2 tbsp grainy mustard
2 tbsp Kekik Bali (Thyme Blossom Honey) or regular liquid honey
½ tsp dried thyme

  1. Marinate lamb chops in red wine overnight.
  2. Preheat broiler.
  3. Drain and pat chops dry.
  4. Combine mustard, honey and thyme.
  5. On a broiler tray, lay room-temperature chops and brush exposed bone with a little oil.
  6. Lightly spread the honey mixture over exposed side.
  7. Broil 5 minutes, turn chops and brush with the honey mixture again.
  8. Broil 5 minutes more.
  9. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

P.S. My first cookbook review is up, over at my review blog, Reading, Writing and Cooking. Take a look!

2 comments :

katiez said...

Gorgeous lamb recipe! I never marinate chops that long but the flavor must be wonderful - it's been duly copied for trial...

Kalyn said...

I love thyme, and this sounds fantastic.