Friday, August 19, 2005

Cumin Lamb Chops

Don't like lamb? Well, this might make you change your mind... The flavors of cumin and lemon blend perfectly with juicy lamb. This is simply indescribable.

Per person, you need:
  • 2 lamb chops
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 lemon
  1. Place the cumin seeds in a mortar and crush them a little to release their flavor.
  2. Place the lamb chops in a plate and sprinkle salt and pepper on one side. Then sprinke half of the crushed cumin seeds and press gently to make then stick to the meat.
  3. Flip the chops and do the same on the other side.
  4. Heat up a pan at high temperature. Once it's very hot, pour the olive oil and place the chops in the center of the pan. Be careful, the hot and sizzling oil might splash.
  5. Cover the chops with a lid, turn down the heat to medium-high and cook for about 3-4 minutes without touching anything.
  6. Flip the chops and cook the other side for another 3-4 minutes with the lid on. The chops will be medium-rare. Place the chops on the edge and cook for another minute.
  7. Serve immediately with veggies, a salad, couscous... (these are only a few examples).
  8. Squeeze out a few drops of lemon juice over the chops and eat while they are still warm.

A nice side dish would be "ratatouille" (a South of France specialty –from Nice):
Cook bell peppers, eggplants, zucchinis, tomatoes, onions and garlic with olive oil, thyme and bay leave (+ salt and pepper). Simply place all the veggies cut in big chunks in a large pan with olive oil, add the spices and herbs and let simmer (with a lid) for about 30 minutes over medium heat.

Or you could try a greek salad:
Slice up ripe tomatoes, green bell pepper, onion and cucumber in a large bowl. Add cubed feta cheese and Kalamata olives. Pour vinegar and olive oil (1 tablespoon of vinegar for 3 tablespoons of oil). Add 1 tablespoon of dry oregano, salt and pepper. Toss delicately and place in the fridge for about 15 minutes to allow the veggies to marinate a little. Eat cold.

I'll give more details on these side dishes in future posts. Until then... enjoy the lamb chops!

Alternative: replace the cumin seeds by rosemary and don't use lemon juice.

1 comment:

Susan said...

I tried a version of this last weekend (first time ever cooking lamb)and it got rave reviews from my friend - thanks Estelle!

I used "Frenched" racks of lamb instead of individual chops (I had a big group) and roasted them for 20 minutes at 450 F instead of pan frying (I put the cumin on halfway through the cooking and the lemon juice afterwards.) I let the lamb "rest" about 15 minutes before carving (while we ate our salads), and voila it was delicious! FYI they come out medium rare this way....

p.s. side dishes were basil green beans, couscous, and rosemary potatoes