Fresh herbs are quintessential to Vietnamese cooking. During the summer months, we try to grow basil, mint, perilla (tia to) coriander (rau ram), and our favorite rice paddy herb (ngo om) in our backyard garden. But now in the middle of December with the short days and long nights and record low temperatures our herb garden has sadly wilted away and lie in wait for the spring. We are back to buying supermarket herbs of variable quality and freshness.
But all this changed 4 weeks ago when got the Aerogarden ULTRA, a dirt-free indoor hydroponics garden. We immediately put it together in minutes without any additional tools and had a variety of basil planted just as quickly. The smart LCD screen on the Aerogarden walked us through the quick start planting process step by step. Since planting day it’s practically maintenance free (it even notifies of you when to feed and water!) and the transformation from seed to full blown thriving basil plant right on our counter top has been simply amazing.
After just 4 weeks, we have beautiful bunch of basil varieties right on our kitchen counter. We didn’t have to deal with dirt, weeds, bugs, or— heaven forbid— pesticides. To take advantage of this bounty of fresh herbs, we decided to make some lamb chops as the gaminess of the lamb and zesty fresh basil would go so well together.
Sous vide cooking isn’t featured on our blog very much, but we actually use it quite frequently. We always have some sort of duck, short rib, steak, or lamb seasoned and vacuum sealed frozen away for quick gourmet meals. Unlike traditional methods of cooking that would require a defrost, you actually cook straight from frozen with sous vide and it only requires only about 30 minutes extra cooking time. Plus, we can’t complain that it results in a perfect cooking temperature every time. A chimchurri is classic Argentinian herb sauce most commonly used with flat leaf parsley. It’s a great way to highlight the aromas of fresh herbs, particularly basil.
Sous vide lamb chops with basil chimichurri
2 rack of lamb, frenched
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 cup fresh basil, finely chopped
1 shallot diced
1-2 clove of garlic, minced
1 ts red chili flakes
1/2 olive oil
3 tbs red wine vinegar
1/4 ts sea salt
1/4 ts pepper
Set sous vide temperature to 56 degrees celcius. Season lamb liberally with salt and pepper. Vacuum seal lamb with crush garlic and sous vide for 2 hours.
Combine all of the ingredients of the basil chimichurri sauce in bowl and mix well. Season to taste and cover and refrigerate to let flavors blend together.
After too hours, remove lamb chops from bag and dry well with paper towel. Sear with torch or scalding hot well oiled pan. Slice the between the bones and liberally top with basil chimichurri sauce and enjoy.
The Aerogarden made seed germination super easy. We’ve tried germinating herbs from seed before with containers in seed starter mix and this was 100% simpler with much more vigorous results. We can’t wait to try out the rest of the herb collection from Aerogarden!
AeroGrow will be running its ‘12 Days of Deals’ for the holidays with discounts and special bundles for the season. Plus, get up to 20% on everything storewide when using promo code ‘Holiday20’ in the shopping cart at checkout. You can learn more here!