Two things that don’t typically go together, Thai cooking and lamb. Many Thai people live in poverty and for this reason, eggs, chicken and pork are their top protein picks. That being said, today’s recipe was inspired by three things:

  1. My recent trip to Thailand.
  2. A bag of Thai Chiles I have in my freezer.
  3. A trip to Coscto.

I know you’ve all seen the bags of asparagus and the flats of lamb chops while walking through Costco, so I decided to pair these babies up!

Here’s how it went…

I added two tablespoons of coconut oil to a cast iron skillet and placed it on the burner over medium-high heat.

I then patted the lamb chops with paper towel to dry them off and seasoned them with a small amount of Hawaiian Pink Salt.

I placed the chops in the skillet, seasoned side down and then salted the top side.

I seared these until they were good and caramelized on the first side, then flipped them over moving the cool ones to the hot parts and vice versa.

I made sure to turn them on their sides to cook them evenly and add some bonus flavor, which is a total Ninja move.

Once they were seared on all sides, I removed them from the pan and set them aside.

I then let the skillet cool while I prepared my veggies. I rinsed my asparagus, then removed the bottom quarter and cut the rest in half. I julienned up one onion, minced four cloves of garlic and halved 5 Thai chiles.

By that time, the skillet was still warm. I added the garlic and onions and they acted to deglaze the pan.

Once the garlic began to toast, I added the asparagus and stirred to coat with the oil, onions and garlic.

I added 1/2 cup of water to help these cook and then placed a lid on the pan. If you don’t have a lid, you can use a piece of foil or a sheet pan, which work just as well.

When the asparagus were about half cooked, I added a 2 tablespoons of Red Boat Fish Sauce to the mix and continued cooking.

When the asparagus was 75% done, I added the Thai chiles and a can of coconut milk.

The Chiles heated things up quickly, so I added two tablespoons of maple syrup to help balance the heat. I also removed the Chiles at this point as they had done their job. I saved them for garnish. If you don’t like it too hot, then you can scrape the seeds from half, or all, of your chiles.

When the asparagus was just right, I removed it to a platter and placed all of the tips around the edge so that they would be visible when plating. I allowed the asparagus juice and coconut milk to reduce down by half (demi sec), then I topped the asparagus with the chops, spooned the onions and sauce over the top and garnished with the chiles. Poila!

The sauce on this stuff was sooooo good! It was nice and sweet, which balanced the heat of the chiles.  The chops were medium-rare/medium and the asparagus was just past al dente, which is how I like it.

Whether baby sheep will someday find there place in Thai cuisine is yet to be determined. What has been determined is that my Thai Style Lamb Chops with Asparagus is a “top shelf” meal that will have your friends and family coming back for more. Get out there and give this one a go!

And, when you do, please know that you are “Keeping It Paleo!”

Your Pal,

Paleo Nick

(On my recent Culinary Adventure to Thailand…)

Thai Lamb Chops with Asparagus

Ingredient List:

  • 8 lamb chops (package from Costco)
  • 1 bag of asparagus (also from Costco), rinsed, bottom quarter of the stock cut off and then top portions cut in half
  • 1 yellow onion, julienned
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 5 Thai chiles, cut in half (remove seeds for less heat)
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup

Preparation Instructions:

  1. Place a large cast iron skillet over medium-high heat and add 2 tablespoons of coconut oil.
  2. Pat your pork chops dry with a paper towel and season them with Hawaiian pink salt (or kosher salt) and place seasoned side down in the hot skillet. Season top side. Allow to sear until there is a good caramelization on the bottom side before flipping. Don’t forget to set them on their sides for an even sear and to add some bonus flavor.
  3. Remove the chops from the pan to a plate and set aside.
  4. Let the pan cool down and grab the prepped veggies.
  5. Place the garlic and onion into the still-warm skillet to both toast and deglaze the pan.
  6. Add asparagus and ½ cup of water. Place a lid or tin foil on the skillet to help this cook.
  7. Add 2 tablespoons of fish sauce to the pan about half way through while the asparagus is cooking and the pan is covered.
  8. When asparagus is about 75% done, add the Thai chiles and coconut milk. The chiles heat things up quickly (you have the option of either leave seeds in your chiles or scrapping them from the chiles for less heat), so add 2 tablespoons of maple syrup to balance the heat. Remove the chiles from the dish a few minutes after placing them in the pan.
  9. When the asparagus is cooked to your liking, remove the pieces from the pan and place them on a platter. Now allow the sauce in your plan to reduce down by half (demi sec).
  10. Place the chops atop the asparagus, spoon the onion and sauce over the chops and garnish with the chiles. Poila!

“Keep It Paleo!”

Zone Breakdown:

Proteins: (20)

One of our lamb chops weighs around 3.2oz out of the package, so after cooking and preparing, they would weight around the 2.5oz mark. With 1oz equaling one block, that gives us 20 blocks from protein.

Carbohydrates (8):

A bag of asparagus from Costco weighs around 2.25lb. After cutting the bottoms off, lets say it weights around 2lbs. There are about 12 spears in a one block, so we will say that in the bag, there are about 2 blocks of asparagus. We then get two blocks from our yellow onion, with ½ onion equaling about one block. 4 Cloves of garlic give us about ½ block since 10 cloves equal one block. We will round up this block to make it whole with the 5 thai chiles. Finally we get three blocks from the maple syrup as 2 teaspoons equal one block, and we get 6 teaspoons in 2 tablespoons. That gives us a total of 8 Carbohydrate blocks.

Fats (68):

We have two tablespoons of coconut oil, which yield us 18 blocks as 1/3 of a teaspoon equals one block. Additionally, we get about 30 blocks of fat per cup from the coconut milk, and since we get about 1 2/3 cups, we are going to say we have about 50 blocks from the milk, for a total of 68 blocks.

Balancing Act:

This meal is balanced about 2:1 on the protein to carbs. The fats are a lot in the initial cooking of the recipe, but if you only put about ¼ of a cup of the sauce on you meal, then you are only adding about 7 blocks per meal.

 

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