Thursday, January 15, 2009

Moroccan Lamb Chops with White Bean Salad

Lamb chops are usually pretty pricey on restaurants menus. When frenched, they are beautiful and delicate and delicious. I grew up with my mother making lamb chops frequently. But she never frenched the bones. She tossed them under the broiler with a little Lawry's seasoning salt and they cooked within minutes. The meat was always tender and slightly gamey, with the subtle hints of salt and paprika. But the true of those chops was the fat and meat stuck to the bones. We would nibble on them as if it was a piece of corn on the cob.


But last night, I frenched the chops. I couldn't help myself. I thought about the bacon mac n'cheese and realized I didn't need the extra grizzle in my diet. Plus, frenched chops make for a beautiful presentation.

Earlier in the afternoon, I made a Moroccan spice mix and seared the meat. Only needing 8-10 minutes in the oven for medium rare, I waited until my husband got home to finish the cooking. I'm sure you can find spice mixes for purchase online and at high end retail cooking stores, but it's just so simple to make one at home, it seems silly to spend the money. I also keep a variety of spices on hand, so it's also less expensive to make my own. Check out recipe websites and I'm sure you can find a combination of spices, but I just threw some together that reflect the Moroccan culture:
Paprika
Cloves
Cayenne
Cardamon
Ginger
Garlic
Onion
Salt
Pepper
Oregano
Cumin

I took each double chop and dipped them into the spice mixture and seared them for 2-3 minutes until they developed a nice crust on the lamb. Them I put them in the refrigerator until it was time for dinner. I would suggest taking them out 20 minutes or so before you plan to roast them to let them come down to room temperature.

Canned white beans are always an option but dried beans are far more flavorful and creamy. It's best to soak them overnight and simply simmer them in stock until they are cooked through. I flavored the stock with fresh thyme, garlic, and a bay leaf. Once the beans are cooked, season them with salt and pepper and add anything you want to them. Spinach, tomatoes, escarole, mushrooms...be creative. Enjoy!

By the way, I purcahse 4 double chops and they were only$20. Much more affordable than paying restaurant prices.

2 comments:

5 Star Foodie said...

I love the spices on the lamb - I also like to put the spices in a dish that represent a particular theme or cuisine I am following at the moment. Thanks for sharing!

foodbin said...

home cooked food is the best