Sunday, April 5, 2009

Spiced Lamb Chops with Mint Yogurt & Pistachios

"Here comes Peter Cottontail,
Hoppin' down the bunny trail,
Hippity, hoppity, Easter's on its way...."

It's all in the planning. Mise your place and everything will be OK. Holiday meals need to be planned ahead, just so you can keep your sanity on the actual day.

But things are a little different when you're a Crabby Cook who writes a food blog. Being a blogger means that I have to prep meals at least a week ahead of the actual holiday, just so that I have something to post.

In the year this site has been up, the Crabby household has had multiple Thanksgivings, a couple of Christmas dinners, two New Year's Eve celebrations and three or four Easters. I try different recipes and sometimes multiple presentations. No sacrifice is too great for my tribe. In short, we suffer and eat so you don't have to.

Today's no different. Easter Sunday looms on the horizon. We need something to calm the Crabby masses. I toyed with the idea of rabbit, but SSSal thought some people would be put off by eating a bunny on Easter. So it's back to lamb. Last year I gave you a grilled Hoisin marinated butterflied leg o' lamb. This year it's chops.

This recipe originally called for revoltingly expensive lamb tenderloins. I chose to use only nauseatingly expensive lamb loin chops. The chops have great flavor, grill wonderfully and can withstand a long marinade time. This meal has a strong Middle Eastern influence, employing a handful of fragrant spices. So without further adieu, and before I get my hands on a bunny rabbit, enjoy...

Spiced Lamb Chops with Mint Yogurt & Pistachios
from delicious magazine, volume 5 issue 11 plus some Crabby tweaks
serves 4

8 Thick-cut (1 1/2") Lamb Loin Chops
4 garlic cloves, crushed
3 TBSP olive oil
1 TBSP ground coriander
3 teaspoons ground cumin
3 teaspoons ground allspice
3 teaspoons ground sumac*
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 TBSP chopped pistachios

Mint Yogurt

1 cup plain yogurt
3 TBSP finely chopped mint
3 TBSP Honey

For the Lamb:

Place the chops, garlic and olive oil in a large non-reactive pan. Turn to coat.

In a small bowl, combine the coriander, cumin, sumac and salt. Liberally sprinkle the seasonings onto the lamb, turning to cover all sides.

Refrigerate the lamb for at least 20 minutes and up to 8 hours (the longer the better - overnight if you have time).

Remove the lamb from the refrigerator at least 30 minutes prior to grilling and allow to come to room temperature.

Preheat your grill on high.

While the grill is heating, combine all the ingredients for the mint yogurt in a large bowl. Note: I found the yogurt a bit sweet, so add the honey in stages until you get to your desired sweetness.

Grill the lamb 4 - 5 minutes per side (for medium-rare) or to your desired doneness. Allow to rest 5 minutes, garnish with the chopped pistachios and serve with the mint yogurt. To finish up the theme, make SSSal's Carrot Cake for dessert.

* Sumac is a lemony Middle Eastern spice that can be difficult to find. If you are unable to find sumac, add a tablespoon of grated lemon zest to the rub.

There you are crablings. All the work for this meal comes in remembering to start marinating as soon as possible. OK, I'm not sure what I'll post next time, either the salad you see with the lamb or another fish recipe or maybe dessert. Until next time, remember, you can do it you can cook.

Yes, I'm aware that pistachios are the latest death food under recall, but I had some old ones sitting around and used those.


Stephanie said...

Looks amazing. Lamb is my favorite meat. I could never become a vegetarian.

recipes2share said...

you aren't suffering in vain!! The lamb looks fantastic - my favourite red meat.

WineWizardBob said...

Ok NOW! Serve your favorite red wine!

When my fellow wine geeks get together for a "Everyone bring a great red wine" dinner event, we always always always have lamb.

All the spices and the mint yogurt are yummy with just about all red wines. With the bold flavors, I would not serve an old red wine, anything older than 1990 will probably get overwhelmed by the seasonings.

Happy Lambing

test it comm said...

That lamb is looking good!