Saturday, May 30, 2015

Lamb Chops with Herb Marinade a Fiesta in the Mouth

Okay, we love lamb. Where we are living right now it is difficult to come by and terribly expensive, to boot. So last summer at the Farmers' Market when I saw a big whiteboard sign with "ASK ME ABOUT LAMB", I was excited and hopeful.

With good reason! A local woman was trying to drum up business selling the lambs they raise. They have them butchered and ready for you, included in the price. I was way happy and signed up for a lamb, ASAP! Ever since, we have been enjoying this wonderful lamb in so many ways. We have had curries, roasts, chops, burgers and much more. A couple of nights ago I got inspired, I guess, because outside of curry, I think the lamb chops I made were some of the tastiest lamb I have made, hands down. Our taste buds were doing a happy dance!

Grilled Lamb Chops with Herbed Marinade and Sauce

The concept was very simple: herbs and other things green for a marinade. Looking in the fridge I found a little mint, a little thyme and rosemary and parsley. Next I looked to see what other things green might give the piquant flavors I was imagining and added green peppercorns in brine, capers and some lime zest. Garlic, of course - that almost goes without saying.

Grilled Lamb Chops with Herbed Marinade & Sauce
As I was assembling ingredients to make this, I got thinking about how sometimes I have seen on The Chew they will make a marinade for a meat and then set aside part of the marinade to drizzle over the food once cooked.I decided right in the middle of mixing the marinade that this is what I would do, to give even more flavor. Once the meat was grilled, a little more olive oil added to the remaining marinade made a most excellent sauce (sort of a green sauce, if you will) for the meat. I had worried that I didn't have long to marinate the meat; only about 15 minutes. I will say that even without the extra marinade used as sauce, the meat was truly wonderful. The sauce just made the whole flavor profile stand up and make itself known. 

It is so nice to use a mortar and pestle to smash the garlic, salt and some of the soft ingredients. If you do not have a mortar and pestle, either just mince the garlic, peppercorns, capers and zest very finely and mix them together - or - to really meld the whole batch, use the back of a spoon to press it all together with the salt will help build the juiciness of the ingredients.

A Fiesta in the Mouth!

Lamb Chops with Herb Marinade & Sauce

makes 2 servings

4 lamb chops

2 - 4 fresh cloves garlic
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon green peppercorns in brine
1 teaspoon capers
2 teaspoons lime or lemon zest
2 tablespoons fresh mint, finely minced
2 teaspoons fresh thyme, finely minced
2 teaspoons fresh rosemary, finely minced
1 tablespoon fresh parsley, finely minced
1 tablespoon olive oil

extra 1 - 2 tablespoons olive oil, for the sauce

Preferably in a mortar, set the garlic and salt and pound them together until it is a paste consistency. Add in the green peppercorns, capers and lime zest and pound some more, until these ingredients are also a paste. Add in the minced herbs and pound. Add the 1st tablespoon of olive oil and press the whole together. Divide half this mixture into another container. Use one half to coat the lamb chops on both sides. Allow them at least 15 minutes to marinate. Heat a grill on high, and grill the chops approximately 4 minutes per side with the lid open, for medium. 

Add 1 or 2 tablespoons more olive oil to the reserved marinade and stir. Once the chops are grilled, drizzle this mixture over them to serve. 

My passion is to teach people how to create a harmony of flavors with their cooking, and help pass along my love and joy of food, both simple and exotic, plain or fancy. I continue my journey in ethnic and domestic cuisines, trying new things weekly. I would love to hear from you, to help me continue my journey to explore diverse culinary experiences and hopefully to start you on a journey of your own. Join me at A Harmony of Flavors Website and Marketplace, Tumblr, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.