Cupid’s Valentine’s Day Favorite – Lamb Chops!
BY EIEO EAST COAST EDITOR, KELLY BRISSON
I’m not sure how Valentine’s Day got all jumbled up with expensive presents are over-the-top spending. Sometimes the idea of a quiet dinner together, you and your significant other or best friend, parents or yes, even your pet, is all we need to remember how important we are
to someone. If you’re typically the one who has dinner cooked for them, why not surprise your special someone with a delicious (very simple) dinner for two? I know it sweeps me right off my feet coming home and not having to make dinner for my significant other and I. It’s those little things that always make the biggest difference.
Lamb is always a ‘special occasion’ protein for us. We don’t eat it often but when we do it always seems to be a result of some sort of celebratory event. It’s something that reminds me that the time we’re about to spend together is special and to slow down and enjoy it. It doesn’t hurt one bit that I really love lamb, especially with this perfectly balance salty, savoury tapenade. It will make a lamb-lover out of just about anybody – I’m almost willing to bet my life on it.
I serve this dish with a quick roasted zucchini and eggplant side that pairs really nicely with the lamb, and tastes wonderful when it gets all mixed in with the tapenade. We usually serve this with a smokey Syrah or a Cabernet Sauvignon, but feel free to experiment and find a wine that works for you.
- 6 lamb rib chops,
- 1tbsp vegetable oil
- salt and pepper to taste
- ½ cup pistachios, shelled, rough chopped
- ½ cup green olives, rough chopped
- 1 tbsp capers
- 2 cloves garlic, smashed
- 1tbsp cilantro
- Pat your lamb chops dry and season generously on both sides with salt and pepper. Let sit for 10 minutes. Preheat oven to 375ºF.
- Add the last 5 ingredients to a food processor and pulse until smooth but not completely pureed. It should still have some texture to it.
- Add the vegetable oil to a heavy bottomed pan and heat over high until oil ripples. Add the chops to the pan and sear 2 minutes on each side to get some nice brown colour.
- Remove pan from the stove-top and smear each chop with some of the pistachio tapenade. Put the pan into the preheated oven for 10-15 minutes for medium-rare chops.
2 medium Chinese eggplants (not the huge purple ones!), diced into 1.5” cubes
1 large zucchini, diced into 1.5” cubes
2 large yellow-fleshed potatoes, diced a bit smaller than the other vegetables
1/2 onion, diced fine
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tsp dried oregano
1½ tbsp olive oil
Red pepper flakes
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Toss the diced vegetables, onion and garlic & oregano with the olive oil and red pepper flakes in a roasting pan. Give it a good two pinches of salt and some fresh cracked pepper.
Roast for 20-25 minutes until cooked through and slightly browned around the edges. Serve lamb over the soft, slightly sweet/slightly spicy veggies.