How to Cook Juicy Lamb Chops

After eating the lamb chop at Ampang Look Out Point, the desire to create the perfect lamb chop dish led me cook today’s dish. I had pan fried lamb before this but it was bad because the lamb became hard after cooking. I had to find out how they really do it.

Lamb marinated with bbq sauce. I should have went with mushroom sauce but I couldn’t find it in Tesco. It is best to leave the lamb marinated for at least 24 hours so the sauce will marinate into the lamb entirely.

A dash of lemon for flavoring, green capsicum and cherry tomatoes to keep the body happy, and fries (not shown here) to complete the meal.

And not forgetting mint sauce for the lamb. This really completes a lamb chop meal.

The secret to cooking juicy and tender lamb chops is searing and then grilling. Searing is a method of cooking the surface of the meat only. After searing, you’ll need to grill the lamb again so it’s thoroughly cooked. I did this by using 2 different pans since I don’t have an oven.

On the right is the hot non-stick pan with gas at full power used for searing. The lamb is cooked on one side only for about 3 minutes or until I see the surface turning slightly crispy and black. Then the lamb is transferred to the electric plate on the left and placed to cook on the other side. Heat on the plate is set to 120 degrees Celsius. If you look at the lamb chops on the electric plate, you can see that the top surface is seared already. The lamb is left to cook on the electric plate for about 6 minutes.

Add in the other ingredients with the lamb and arrange for presentation. The lemon goes well with the fries as well. Salad would be nice here. Maybe next time.

Lessons learned from this dish: lamb needs to be marinated longer and mushroom sauce will be a better choice. Cherry tomatoes are sour. Tesco doesn’t always sell pre-marinated lamb chops.

If you have any other techniques for cooking lamb chops, do let me know. I’m always looking out for better ways to cook lamb to ensure that their juiciness remains. Continue reading

Spontaneous Genting Trip

It was a very hot Sunday night so I suggested that we grab a few beers and head up to Genting to chill and maybe have a cup of espresso at Starbucks before driving back down again. So we set off at 10:30pm from home. Good weather, no traffic.

Alvin caught in the act.

This was the very first time driving all the way up to Genting (we usually take the cable car) so you can imagine my surprise when I discovered how freaking steep the climbs were. At one point I was in 2nd gear and at around 2k rpm and I full throttled it and the car refused to accelerate. I thought I had blown the engine.

Marks the model.

Tan and me. Flash creating harsh shadows.

Alvin and Marks. Tan seen handling his D40 on the left.

Genting is cool. I love the weather here. And at night it’s all so surreal, like you’re walking among clouds. And the wind is always there. So is the crowd. At 1am, Starbucks is so packed that there’s not one empty table.

Hotel first world. Hand held, didn’t bring the tripod.

The Genting bus terminal. Deserted except for a security guard.

Genting express in bay 2.

So foggy. The lights create a nicely diffused glow.

We headed down at around 2am. All the way down I can smell the brakes burning but thankfully they did not fade. Reached home at about 3am and slept well into Monday. Continue reading

Kawasaki Ninja 250

Prepare to become green with envy with this green Kawasaki Ninja 250. 36hp on a 150kg frame, it will push you to the century mark in 5.75 seconds. That’s just about as fast as a stock Nissan Skyline GTR R34.

Bright green paint won’t get this ninja any stealthy kills. The loud screaming of the twins can be heard miles away.

This ninja screams for attention everywhere it goes. And it gets it.

Cruising on the road.

And leaving you behind.

The last 2 “panning shots” were shot from a moving car, 1/40 @ f11. Continue reading

Nikon D40 Shoot

It was a boring Saturday night so I decided to set up my DIY studio lights in my room again and borrow Tan’s D40 for a shoot. All photos were shot with the 50mm @ f11. Cropping, levels and curves done in photoshop.

The Nikon D40. Diffused light from top. Camera mounted on tripod.

The biggest drawback of the D40: the F mount without the AF drive pin. Diffused light from front.

Simple and easy to use. Less buttons means you spend more time shooting than fiddling with settings. Diffused light from top.

Nikkor 18-55mm kit lens. Perfect for general photography. This and the 55-200mm will complete your D40 lens collection. Diffused light from top. Lens balanced precariously on tripod.

Accepts 52mm filters.

The only complaint that I had when shooting this set was the lack of a second flash unit. Lighting in some of the photos could be improved with a second source of light. And also, I need to build better soft boxes, ones that will not leak light through to the surroundings.

UPDATE: DIY studio lighting for this shoot. Continue reading

Ampang Look Out Point

Went up to Look Out Point at Ampang few days back. It was hell of a journey up with incredibly steep climbs so I won’t suggest anyone driving manual to go unless you really have no choice. I won’t want to drive a manual up there and rear end somebody when you miss the clutch.

Great view from the top.

We ate at this restaurant with the most people (you can’t miss it, it’s bursting with people) called Look Out Point Restaurant and Cafe. Food was ok albeit the small portion. Price was ok. I paid RM20 for a lamb chop with ice lemon tea.

It was 25C at the top.

Getting there was a bigger problem. The legendary Friday jam + 3 day weekend jam hit us hard.

Some tunnel.

Going through the city.

After eating we went down a bit to get better shots of the city. The observation deck was too shaky to mount the 500mm. So we set up our equipment by the road side.

This stretch of road is quite popular with rempits and couples.

KLCC. They switch off the lights after 1.

Roger shooting with his new D40.

When we reached there it was great because it just rained so the sky was clear. And because it just rained the roads were went. Halfway shooting, we heard “screech….. bump”. I assumed someone just locked their brakes while coming down and landed themselves in a ditch. So drive carefully.

Special thanks to virtualmystic for driving us up. Continue reading