Fire Up the Barbie

Well, school kicked off to a good start. Mr. N survived his first full day of school. He did come home a bit hyper and over-stimulated, but that will cease in a week or two. There’s always that adjustment period. Most importantly though, he seems happy. His nerves are gone and it’s all old hat again.

Miss A had her first day as well. No nerves for her. She was raring to go. Unlike her big brother, she didn’t come home bouncing off walls though. She was exhausted and will definitely sleep well for a few weeks while she adjusts too.

Now that the summer is winding down, birthdays and anniversaries are past, it’s time to get back to cooking around the world with Miss A at the helm. After much consideration and at least three destination changes, she arrived at Australia. So over the next few weeks we’ll be sampling some recipes from Down Under and I gotta say, we’re pretty excited. Australia is high on our list of places we’d love to visit someday, and what better place to start than in our kitchen (or on our patio).

When Mike and I think of Australia, cooking on the barbie is the first thing that comes to mind. This happens to suit Miss A just fine. She is all things Barbie right now. We also knew we wanted to incorporate lamb into our adventures too, so for our first recipe we whipped up Citrus Grilled Lamb Chops with Orange-Thyme Gremolata. (We also figured since Mr. N liked the word “compote” so much, we’d throw the gremolata at him next.)

We began the recipe by creating a marinade with orange juice, olive oil, salt and pepper. Miss A took care of juicing for us.

Next we poured the mixture over our lamb chops and set them in the fridge for about 30 minutes.

While the lamb soaked, we began the painstaking process of pulling the thyme leaves from the stems. For the gremolata we needed about a quarter of a cup of fresh thyme, and as you know, if you’ve ever used fresh thyme, it’s a tedious process. Teamwork was a key factor to the efficiency of this dinner! I do have to say though, Miss A had it down to a science. I wonder if having tiny hands helps. “You just zip it. Like a zipper momma.”

We then mixed the thyme with orange zest and garlic to create our gremolata which we later used to top the lamb.

Speaking of the lamb, after marinating in the OJ, we threw it on the grill and cooked it over direct heat for about 3 to 4 minutes per side.

Once it was done, we served it with our grilled potatoes and then topped both with our orange thyme gremolata for our finished product.

The meal was a big hit. The gremolata was a delicious and fresh complement to the lamb which was grilled to medium rare – perfect! I was actually a big fan. This meal scored 4 spoons from me. It was fast, easy and a fresh spin on traditional meat and potatoes.

Mike also enjoyed the lamb. He came in at 3-1/2 spoons. I think he’s getting stingy with his 4 spoon votes. ;)

Mr. N was our lowest score of 2-1/2 spoons. However, he surprisingly really enjoyed the potatoes which aren’t usually his thing.

As for our little Barbie girl (Don’t worry Greg – I won’t go there. I’m not that cruel.), she was happy with our first brush with Australian cuisine. I think the citrus flavors (and the fact that she was responsible for the majority of the work on the thyme) caught her attention and she was a happy camper. It was a 4 spoon hit for her too. She cleared her plate – which is a very rare occurrence.

Have a great weekend everyone! We’ll be back in a few days with our second Australian recipe. In the meantime, Mike plans to wake up at 4 a.m. to start the smoker for our back to school BBQ bash tomorrow night. Brisket for over 40. Yeah… we got a lot of meat. Wish us luck! (Well, I should say wish Mike luck…I’m not getting up that early!)

Print this recipe: Citrus Lamb Chops with Orange Thyme Gremolata

28 comments on “Fire Up the Barbie

  1. Karen says:

    School routines sound like they are off to a great start as is your Australian cooking adventure.

  2. Yay! You finally decided to explore my country – I’m so excited!! And it looks like you did an ripper job of the ol’ barbie (thought I’d pull out as much of my aussie slang as possible). Good picking Miss A. BBQ-ing really is a competitive sport over here, and I think this lamb would definitely stack up well :)

  3. School starts next week here but I have to say that the pictures of the kids on the first day of school are just precious :)
    I love this recipe and I just know it will be an instant hit in our house!

  4. that last shot has me drooling! It looks so darn good. Glad first day of school went well and love the shot of Mike helping Miss A ! Oh and the term- zipper momma had me laughing

  5. Norma Chang says:

    What an amazing meal, good for Miss A, she chose a winner.

  6. Don’t you love the up-side of being tired from school? Our youngest ponytail was bouncing off the walls at 10 pm until they stopped the afternoon nap and I suspect she’s going to be pretty tired when she starts JK next week (you are a week earlier than us). I love orange gremolata — this dish looks amazing and I see on FB that your post has inspired our friend Eva to make it also!

  7. Purely.. Kay says:

    Awww look at the cuties off to school. They look so ready to take on the world… well at least the year :). And that lamb dish would have me happy for a week if I made it :). Good luck Mike on waking up at 4… I don’t know how you do it

  8. Your kids are incredibly cute!! I want Miss A’s hair!
    When I went to the land down under I had a great time hopping from restaurant to restaurant… they have so many different options, different cuisines, flavors… it’s amazing. I even tried Vegemite… um… that wasn’t so good. :) But that lamb sounds amazing. Thyme and Orange… oh yes! I looove thyme. In Macedonia it is called, Mother’s Soul … if that doesn’t sound heavenly then I don’t know what heavenly is. ;)

  9. Eva Taylor says:

    What a great destination to choose, Miss A did well! The kids go back early in your parts; up here it’s generally after labour day (mainly because they also throw in a few additional PD days, as if the summer wasn’t enough time to prepare!)
    That lamb sounds and looks delightful, I’d love to have it with the gramolita; I have some lemon thyme growing in the garden, I think it’s ‘thyme’ I tried my hand at lamb! ;)

  10. rsmacaalay says:

    few more weeks and its barbie season here in NZ, I can wait to make some soon

  11. Glad to hear your children had a great start. Mine did well and very excited about going to school too. :-) We’re blessed that they already feel happy about new school year. Your orange and thyme.. sounds so good!!! Well, I am not much of a lamb fan but I love this mixture for the lamb. Looks delicious and beautiful too!

    • Kristy says:

      I’m not usually a big fan of lamb either Nami. For some reason, the chops didn’t have that strong lamb flavor…it was much more subtle. And the gremolata really helped too.

  12. It’s always nice when the kids (and we) settle back into a familiar routine! Glad to hear they like their schools and teachers… Love the idea of this gremolata.. the flavors would be wonderful with lamb!

  13. ceciliag says:

    That looked quite divine.. we just happen to have some lamb chops in the freezer too! The light in your shots was perfect today though of course your shots are always entrancing.. c

  14. spicegirlfla says:

    So that’s the trick to getting those tiny leaves off the thyme branch…tiny hands!! I think I’ll always have Miss A’s reminder in my mind to “pull like a zipper” everytime I handle thyme! The gremolata is a fabulous idea, I love the flavors in it. I tire so on the typical mint combination with lamb :) My grill didn’t survive the move, but I do have a great indoor grill pan to use. I could have lamb quite often and I’m always so disappointed when I hear friends say they either don’t like it or won’t eat lamb.

    Good luck on the back to school bbq – what a fun idea! Is this a celebration for the parents or for the kids? :) Oh, and Miss A picked out the prettiest outfit for her first day and Mr. N looks mighty swagger as well!

  15. Geni says:

    I love gremolata Kristy. Your lamb chops look fantastic. So glad the kids are happy with their schools. Good luck on the humongous barbecue!

  16. I know it’s protocol to comment on the food and adorable children first but I can’t help but start by saying that Mike looks smashing in his Habs shirt!! :).

    That said, Mr. N and Miss A are picture perfect on their first day of school (seems to start earlier every year?!). This Aussie dish is absolutely luminous – particularly smitten with the gorgeous citrus marinade…(I love the word compote too Mr. N!).

  17. Oh yum! What a delicious way to cook up lamb :) Been a while since we fired up the barbie… Would love to put together this meal next time we do! :D

  18. Sounds like school starting is a lot of fun with your gorgeous cooking :D

    Cheers
    Choc Chip Uru

  19. hotlyspiced says:

    Love that you’re trying Australian cuisine. I owe you an email and will get that to you tomorrow. So sorry for the delay – it’s been a week with so much on. I love the look of these chops and they must have been so tasty with the gremolata and marinade. Good luck with the brisket – I’d love that recipe. So intrigued that you have to be up at 4am to get it started. And loved Miss A’s pre-school dress too – so adorable xx

  20. Dawn says:

    I can’t believe that school started already! We still have a couple of more weeks to go – even though there is really no more summer hear. These look delicious, but what sounds more delicious is the brisket on the smoker!!!

  21. ChgoJohn says:

    This does sound good, Kristy, and if it has Miss A’s seal of approval, well, it must be fantastic — unless you later found a couple chops under her chair. ;)
    Brisket for 40? Now that’s a tall order for both Chef and smoker. Good luck and here’s wishing you a successful party!

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