Recipe: Greek Lamb Chops

For some home cooks, lamb can be somewhat intimidating. Since it’s a less popular meat than chicken or beef, we tend to have less experience cooking it. This simple Greek Lamb Chop recipe will change your mind about cooking lamb. If you aren’t sure which type of lamb chop to choose, use these tips from www.americanlamb.com:

  • Shoulder Chop – (also called blade or arm chop) – requires less cooking time than other cuts, making them a flavorful choice for quick and easy meals.
  • Loin Chop – (also called T-bone chop) – a readily available cut that is lean and tender. They are usually cut into a 3-4-ounce serving size and have an attractive “T” shaped bone.
  • Sirloin Chop – cut from the leg and include a crosscut section of the round leg bone. These are large and meaty and a more economical cut, as compared shoulder or loin chops.

    Greek Lamb Chops, Courtesy: www.bettycrocker.com
    Greek Lamb Chops, Courtesy: http://www.bettycrocker.com

    Ingredients:

    4 lamb shoulder, arm or loin chops, about 1/2 inch thick (about 6 oz each)
    1 tsp. dried oregano leaves
    1/4 tsp. salt
    1/4 tsp. pepper
    4 cloves garlic, finely chopped (1 tablespoon)
    1 Tbsp. olive or vegetable oil
    1/2 cup chicken broth
    1 Tbsp. lemon juice
    1 Tbsp. butter or margarine
    1/4 cup sliced pitted Kalamata or ripe olives
    2 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
    2 Tbsp. crumbled feta cheese

Directions:

  1. Sprinkle both sides of lamb with oregano, salt and pepper.
  2. Press garlic into lamb.
  3. In 12-inch skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Cook lamb in oil 4 to 6 minutes, turning once, until brown.
  4. Add broth to skillet; reduce heat to medium-low. Cover and cook 8 to 10 minutes, turning once, until lamb is tender.
  5. Remove lamb from skillet; keep warm.
  6. Heat liquid in skillet to boiling. Boil 1 to 2 minutes or until slightly reduced.
  7. Stir in lemon juice and butter.
  8. Cook and stir just until slightly thickened.
  9. Stir in olives and parsley.
  10. Spoon sauce over lamb.
  11. Top with cheese.

Food Mingle Blog Alternatives and Substitutions:

  • Serve with a fresh tomato and cucumber salad.

Yield: 4 servings

Source: http://www.bettycrocker.com, http://www.americanlamb.com

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Recipe: Prosciutto-wrapped Lamb Burgers

Prosciutto Lamb Burgers, Courtesy: www.foodnetwork.com
Prosciutto Lamb Burgers, Courtesy: http://www.foodnetwork.com

Instead of a hamburger, why not a lamb burger? It rhymes, so it must be good!  The addition of prosciutto makes these burgers extra flavorful. Prosciutto is an Italian, dry-cured ham that is thinly sliced and sold uncooked. It is usually made from the pig’s hind leg or thigh and is then cleaned, salted and left to cure for about two months, while it is pressed, washed and hung to dry in a cool climate. After it is completely dried, it is hung for up to 18 more months. Finally, it is ready to be consumed.

Ingredients:
1/2 cup plain dried bread crumbs
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf Italian parsley
1 large egg, lightly beaten
2 Tbsp. whole milk
1/2 cup grated Pecorino Romano
1/4 cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes
3/4 tsp. salt
3/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1 pound ground lamb
6 large slices prosciutto, sliced medium-thin (for wrapping the burgers)
1/4 cup olive oil
Fresh basil leaves, for topping each burger
Fresh tomato slices, for topping each burger
Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
Balsamic vinegar, for drizzling

Directions:
  1. In a large bowl combine the bread crumbs, parsley, egg, milk, cheese, sun-dried tomatoes, salt, and pepper, Stir to combine.
  2. Add the lamb and stir until incorporated.
  3. Divide the mixture into 6 (1-inch) thick burgers.
  4. Place the slices of prosciutto on a cutting board or piece of parchment paper.
  5. Place 1 lamb burger in the center of each slice of prosciutto and wrap the prosciutto around the burger.
  6. Place a large, heavy skillet over medium heat. Add the olive oil and heat for 2 minutes.
  7. Place the lamb burgers, prosciutto-covered side down in the pan and cook over medium heat until the prosciutto is golden, about 6 to 8 minutes.
  8. Turn the burgers and finish cooking, about 6 to 8 minutes more.
  9. Remove the burgers from the pan and place on a serving platter or each plate.
  10. Top each burger with 2 to 3 basil leaves, 1 to 2 slices of tomato, and a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
  11. Serve immediately.

Food Mingle Blog Alternatives and Substitutions:

  • You may want to cut back on the added salt. With the prosciutto and cheese, you may not need as much.
Yield: 4 servings

Source: http://www.foodnetwork.com, recipe courtesy of Giada De Laurentiis, Show: Everyday Italian, Episode: Friday Night Dinner

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Recipe: Lemon-Garlic Lamb Kabobs

Lemon-Garlic Lamb Kabobs, Courtesy: www.marthastewart.com
Lemon-Garlic Lamb Kabobs, Courtesy: http://www.marthastewart.com

A kebob (or kebab) is a cooked food item (usually grilled), consisting of a skewer, with small pieces of meat or seafood, and vegetables.  This lamb kabob includes lemons, which will carmelize when grilled, adding a sweet flavor.

Ingredients
1 1/2 pounds leg of lamb, well-trimmed and cut into 20 1″ cubes
8 thin lemon wedges
1/4 cup olive oil, plus more for grill
2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
4 garlic cloves, minced
Coarse salt and ground pepper
fresh parsley sprigs for serving

Directions

  1. Heat grill to high.

  2. Assemble 4 long skewers, alternating 5 lamb cubes with 2 lemon wedges on each.

  3. Arrange skewers in a nonmetallic dish.

  4. In a small bowl, whisk together oil, lemon juice, and garlic.

  5. Pour marinade over skewers; turn to coat. Let stand at least 5 minutes (or cover and refrigerate overnight, turning occasionally). Season with salt and pepper.

  6. Lightly oil grates.

  7. Place skewers on grill; cover grill, and cook, turning occasionally, until grill marks are visible and meat is cooked to desired doneness, 1 to 2 minutes per side for medium-rare.

  8. Serve with your favorite dipping sauce, and garnish with parsley sprigs, if desired.

Food Mingle Blog Alternatives and Substitutions

  • Try tzatziki dipping sauce.
  • Squeeze lemon juice over the lamb just as it finishes cooking, to give it a fresh taste.

Yield: 4 servings

Source: http://www.marthastewart.com

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Recipe: Honey-Balsamic Lamb Chops

Honey-Balsamic Lamb Chops, Courtesy: www.foodnetwork.com
Honey-Balsamic Lamb Chops, Courtesy: http://www.foodnetwork.com

What exactly is Balsamic vinegar? I learned from Dr. Knowledge at http://www.boston.com the following:

“Balsamic vinegar…is made from the juice of white Trebbiano grapes, the second most widely planted grape worldwide. Juice from Lambrusco grapes or other varieties may be mixed in, too. The juice, or “mosto,’’ is boiled down, or reduced, to make a thick syrup called “mosto cotto.’’ Then some strong, older balsamic vinegar — “mother of vinegar’’ — is added to ensure that the right microorganisms are present to turn sugar into alcohol and alcohol into acetic acid. The microorganisms then go to work slowly as the syrup is aged over at least 12 years in a series of successively smaller wooden barrels made of different woods, such as chestnut, acacia, cherry, oak, mulberry, and ash. Juniper wood can been used, as well.

Learn more about other vinegars here.  So, there you have it.  Now that you know what it is, try using balsamic vinegar as a glaze for these grilled lamb chops.

Ingredients:

1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
1 garlic clove
2 Tbsp. honey
3/4 cup vegetable or canola oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
8 small lamb chops
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1/2 Tbsp. chopped fresh rosemary leaves

 

Directions:

  1. Place a grill pan over medium-high heat or preheat a gas or charcoal grill.
  2. In the bowl of a food processor, combine the balsamic vinegar, garlic, and honey.
  3. Pulse until blended.
  4. With the machine running, slowly pour in the vegetable oil until the mixture is smooth and forms a thick sauce.
  5. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  6. Season the lamb chops with salt and pepper.
  7. Drizzle with the olive oil and sprinkle with rosemary.
  8. Grill the lamb chops for 2 to 3 minutes each side until medium-rare.
  9. Arrange the lamb chops on a platter. Spoon the sauce over the top or serve the sauce on the side.

Food Mingle Blog Alternatives and Substitutions:

  • I feel like this recipe is missing some citrus – perhaps a squeeze of fresh lemon or an accompaniment of a grapefruit wedge would do the trick.
Yield: 4-6 servings

Source: http://www.foodnetwork.com, Courtesy Giada De Laurentiis and http://www.boston.com, “What makes balsamic vinegar balsamic?” Jan 20, 2011.

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Recipe: Grilled Lamb Sliders

Lamb Sliders, Courtesy: foodnetwotk.com
Lamb Sliders, Courtesy: foodnetwork.com

A slider is a term used to describe a small sandwich or patty, served on a bun. Typically, sliders are made with meat, chicken or fish, but can be anything served on a small bun. This slider features ground lamb, complimented by garlic, cumin and cheese.

Ingredients:

5 Tbsp. olive oil
2 large shallots, minced
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 clove garlic, minced
1 pound ground lamb
1 tsp. ground cumin (or less to taste)
1 Tbsp. ketchup
2 ounces Swiss or gruyere cheese, cut into eight 1/2-inch cubes
8 small hamburger or slider buns, such as King’s Hawaiian, halved

 

Directions:

  1. Place a grill pan over medium-low heat or preheat a gas or charcoal grill.
  2. Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in an 8-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.
  3. Add the shallots, 3/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.
  4. Cook until the shallots are soft, 3 minutes.
  5. Add the garlic and cook until aromatic, 30 seconds.
  6. Remove the pan from the heat and cool slightly.
  7. Combine the shallot mixture, lamb, cumin, ketchup, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a medium bowl.
  8. Form the mixture into 8 patties each 2 1/2 inches in diameter and 1/2-inch thick.
  9. Press a cube of cheese into the middle of each patty and form the meat around the cheese to cover.
  10. Brush the patties with the remaining 3 tablespoons of oil and grill until cooked through, 5 to 6 minutes per side, until internal temp is at least 160 degrees F.
  11. Let the patties rest for 2 minutes.
  12. Place the patties in the buns and serve.

Food Mingle Blog Alternatives and Substitutions:

  • Next time, I will use some mint jelly as a condiment.

Yield: 8 sliders

Source: http://www.foodnetwork.com, courtesy: Giada De Laurentis

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