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Seared Lamb Chops With Blood Orange Sauce and Roasted Okra With Chili Oil

Lamb Chops & Blood Orange Sauce Ingredients

So, this long distance relationship I am in with my very own husband is working alright by most standards. It’s long, afar, with very short weekends here and there but we have, without even saying it outloud, understood that every minute counts. There is no bickering, no wondering, no hint. Just plain us. I am not saying this situation, him in South Carolina until June and me in Alabama now is easy, fun or a learing experience of the "a couple’s journey through discovery and awareness" (seriously. Ugh).


How we navigate and manage the distance and absence is not only revealing of who we are in our relationship but also of what we have been building in the fifteen years we have been together. I am really proud of who we are as a couple but I am even more grateful for having such a strong partner. Call this my two Valentine’s Day paragraph a week later which is appropriate since we don’t really partake in the red and pink celebration. Except…


Lamb Chops

Except this year. I think the distance made us a little bit softer, a bit mushier than usual when last Thursday came about. He sent roses. I got him a present. We exchanged funny cards and texts worthy of first crushes. And I really wanted to head home and cook him a nice meal. I know. Easy way for Valentine’s Day. What can I say? My husband, after all this time together, still thanks me at the end of every meal. For the thought and care. For the food itself. For the nurturing of conversations and laughs around a warm plate. 

It’s the little things.

Lamb Chops & Blood Orange Sauce

This past weekend that he came to visit, I decided to splurge a little and come up with a nice meal of Lamb Chops With Blood Orange Sauce, Roasted Okra With Chili Oil and fresh baked bread. It wasn’t complicated and we sat down and caught up. We usually eat meat about once a week, the bulk of our diet being seafood and vegetarian meals. I just could not help thinking about my grandmother who used to tell me growing up how she would always regal my grandfather with grilled lamb chops when he’d come home in between two war campaign. I smiled. I headed out to the store and got natural raised lamb chops, bright red and succulent and started cooking.


Roasted Okra

A good meal. A glass of wine. Hosting our first get together with new friends and neighbors here in Birmingham. A good weekend. A lazy one too. For once, no moving boxes, no U-Haul to unload, no storage unit to visit. Just cozying up on the couch watching all movies most of the morning. Driving around town and looking at neighborhoods where we might want to live more permanently here in Birmingham.

Just taking a breath and catching up.

Lamb Chops, Blood Orange Sauce & Roasted Okra

Seared Lamb Chops With Blood Orange Sauce:

Serves 4

3 teaspoons olive oil, divided

2 blood oranges, halved then quartered

2 cloves of garlic, minced

2 teaspoon fresh thyme, divided

1/2 cup blood orange juice (from 2 oranges)

4 lamb chops

1 teaspoon butter

salt and pepper to season (according to your preference)

In a large non stick skillet. heat one teaspoon olive oil over mdium heat and add the quartered blood oranges. Add the minced garlic and thyme and cook for about 3 minutes. Add the blood orange juice, cover and cook over medium – low heat another 5 minutes. Uncover and spoon the content of the skillet into a bowl. Reserve.

In the same skillet, heat up the remaining olive oil and the butter over medium high heat. Add the lamb chops and cook for about 5 minutes on each side (for medium rare). Season with salt and pepper and add the remaining thyme. Divide the lamb chops among four plates. Let them rest while you reheat quickly the blood orange sauce.

In the same skillet, over medium high heat, pour the reserved blood oranges and sauce and reheat briefly. Pour over the lamb chops. Time to eat!

Roasted Okra With Chili Oil, slightly adapted from Southern Comfort.

Serves 4

1 pound fresh okra

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

1/4 cup chili oil (recipe follows)

Preheat the oven to 400F and position a rack in the middle.

Cut the okra pod in half lengthwise. In a large bowl, toss together the okra, salt, pepper and chili oil.

Spread the okra in a single layer on a baking sheet and roast for about 15 minutes or until brown. Serve immediately.

Chili Oil  (makes 1 cup)

1 tablespoon minced garlic

1 tablespoon red pepper flakes

1 cup olive oil

In a small saucepan, combine the garlic, red pepper flakes and oil. Bring the oil to a low bubble over medium low heat. Cook for about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool.

At this point, you can decide to strain the oil or keep it as it is. I keep mine as is in a small jar in a dark place, away from other heat sources so it stays fresh.

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Mrs Ergül February 21, 2013 um 2:37 am

We have got some okra in the fridge! So gonna make them your way! Thanks for sharing the recipe!

Savory Simple February 21, 2013 um 2:38 am

What a sweet post and an amazing dish

JulieD February 21, 2013 um 2:59 am

Helen, this looks amazing! Hope you and Bill are doing well! 🙂

Loretta E. February 21, 2013 um 5:17 am

I seriously want to LIVE in your photos! They're so dreamy…

I just tried my first blood orange a few days ago and I'm still tasting it!

kankana February 21, 2013 um 5:48 am

Love the idea of using blood orange wedges while cooking the lamb! Brilliant way to add juice and zest.

Gaia February 21, 2013 um 8:28 am

Is okra kind of a sweet pepper?

Magda February 21, 2013 um 11:22 am

It's funny how sayings are true huh? Absence does make the heart grow fonder. It's nice to miss the other person once in a while and crave those little moments that you have together.
Beautiful dish Helene.

Pippi February 21, 2013 um 12:22 pm

wonderful pics Helene, as usual 🙂 You're always source of inspiration!

greetings from Italy


ami@naivecookcooks February 21, 2013 um 12:34 pm

Wow! The first thing I do, whenever I visit your blog is admire the pictures and then I worry about recipes!!! Your pictures are beautiful as always!

Karine February 21, 2013 um 12:37 pm

Miam, looks devine. I never made Okra this way. I always make it in a stew. Will try your recipe. Love love lamb chops. I am sure they were delicious. Great pics as always. Thanks for sharing.

Radhika @ Just Homemade February 21, 2013 um 12:48 pm

Such a sweet post Helene.. Your whole v day scene just scrolled past my eyes..
Okras look so damn scrumptious!

Becs @ Lay the table February 21, 2013 um 1:24 pm

Oh my gosh the roasted okra sounds delicious! I've never seen it cooked like that.

Susan Lindquist February 21, 2013 um 1:43 pm

You always make simple look so elegant! Lovely staging, lovely dish, lovely post!

french cravings February 21, 2013 um 1:53 pm

The lamb looks divine. Your photos are always so tantalizing (that's the point of the effort, right?).I was working through "P to P" the other day and had an ah-ha moment regarding long exposure time. Thank you for offering such a wonderful photography class in book form. x Katie

[email protected] February 21, 2013 um 1:56 pm

You know…you have great life, great relationship and great food. I like how you prepared the okra, it seem so nice. Try to add some deep fried shallot and dry shrimp, it must be really good. Probably I will try beef instead of lamb, lamb’s flavor always too strong for me. 🙂

Danielle @Against All Grain February 21, 2013 um 2:50 pm

Beautiful as usual Helene! I cannot stop learning from you!

Gina Kleinworth February 21, 2013 um 2:56 pm

Oh not only does it look delicious but those colors in that final image- especially GORGEOUS!!!

Olivenholzliebhaber February 21, 2013 um 3:21 pm

wonderful and beautiful pics….well done!!!!
Makes hungry and encourages to try your receipts!

Marina February 21, 2013 um 3:32 pm

How romantic! And that lamb chop on the last photo does resemble the shape of heart (look around it's bone).

Silver Magpies February 21, 2013 um 4:11 pm

Those look divine. I've never thought bout combining blood oranges with lamb before…but perhaps that because I'm too consumed with transforming the few blood oranges that come my way into lemon curd!

Will have to give this a try.

– Nan

BBQ Grail February 21, 2013 um 4:53 pm

I can't wait to figure out a way to adapt this recipe to the grill. What a great combination of flavors. Another great recipe!

Alisonhouse February 21, 2013 um 9:37 pm

Wowwww como me gustan estas fotos y la receta. Simple pero deliciosa.
Un saludo

terri February 21, 2013 um 11:16 pm

i love okra! your okra looks amazing–none of that "slime" that usually appears when you cut it.

Brigette Olmos-Arreola February 22, 2013 um 4:21 am

This may just end up being my Saturday night meal!

Nora February 22, 2013 um 3:19 pm

Sweet story and awesome meal!! This is my first time leaving a comment here, but I'm always fascinated by your recipes and gorgeous photography… I call myself a "flexitarian", vegetarian mostly, but once in a while, I can't resist the temptation of a meal like your lamb chops… Must make!!

Mari @ Oh, Sweet & Savory February 22, 2013 um 7:38 pm

Such a beautiful post. Hang in there with the distance and the settling down in Birmingham!

Gorgeous use of reds and pinks in honor of Valentine's Day!

Rocky Mountain Woman February 22, 2013 um 9:13 pm

how perfect! that is my kind of valentine's meal…

Helena February 24, 2013 um 6:00 pm

I saw your book 'Plate to Pixel' at Librairie Gourmande in Paris yesterday. I am off to buy it tomorrow. l look forward to buying all the cookbooks you work on. Your lighting, colour management, composition and styling all come together to create superb photos. Nothing is lacking. I await the details of your photography and styling workshop in Ireland. Love your blog.

Rosemary & Garlic February 25, 2013 um 1:30 pm

Oh to be so skilled that you can make okra look tasty!

Dark Amber February 25, 2013 um 3:38 pm

To die for – some of my favourite ingredients all rolled into one recipe. Got my hands on some Sicilian blood oranges which I found at a local hotel that was hosting a guest chef from Italy. May switch the oregano with rosemary.

Kiran @ February 25, 2013 um 5:26 pm

Long distance relationship is something I am also very familiar with — the only difference is that, the Husband is the one that travels so frequently.

Love okra and how its roasted so simply. Yum!

Valérie February 27, 2013 um 1:35 am

What a beautiful meal, and a lovely post. Best of luck to you and your husband.

Lauren Nicole February 28, 2013 um 9:11 pm

Is there anyway you can tell me what brand your carving set is in the photo with the raw chops? It is absolutely beautiful and exactly what I am looking for! Thank you so much. Keep up the amazing work!

Penny February 28, 2013 um 9:56 pm

Beautiful meal and sentiment. As always an inspiration.

Emily Whitish March 8, 2013 um 10:51 pm

I should have known this was your recipe just based on the familiarity of your photography! I made this last night with venison chops. What a strikingly beautiful presentation, and lovely flavors. I couldnt find okra but I followed your lead on a spicy side dish and did a simple 5-spice roasted acorn squash. A great pairing. Thanks! p.s every time I get together with my friends they tell me how much the food photography on my blog has improved. I haven't even finished reading Plate to Pixel and my photos are much better!

Sarah @ Hello Monday March 12, 2013 um 4:46 pm

oh my, Helene! This looks too beautiful to eat! As always, your recipes and photos are so inspiring!

Unknown March 22, 2013 um 11:41 am

Oh Helene, this was AH-mazing! It was super simple, yet made me feel like I was at the best restaurant in town! I had to post about my experience making it, but I totally linked back to you a few times over! Thank you so much for the flavorful recipe! Salut!

FOOD GEEK GRAZE May 8, 2015 um 3:46 pm

half japanese and half deep south usa genetics and totally piggy-like in eating habits pretty much backs up my love for anything okra. sooooo it is with that thought in mind that i type to you saying how i am a bit freaked out and shamed over never having tried them spiced up after roasting. as of this moment, consider this girl as one that has –finally– wandered out from her cave 🙂

FOOD GEEK GRAZE May 8, 2015 um 3:49 pm

oops… i forgot to type in my first message how touched i was by the thoughts and memories you shared in the story above. my heart sang~

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