Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Flinstonian Lamb Chops and Grilled Baby Zucchini

I like Michael Symon because of his cute bald head and homey mid-western accent. I also like him for his delicious herb brined lamb chops featured in last month's Bon Appetit.

The recipe called for 24 lamb rib chops cut from a 1 1/2 lb rack. I had 2 mammoth lamb chops from the CSA - I think they were probably double chops, I don't really know. Elaine and I brine meat a lot, usually a mixture of salt/sugar/water, sometimes some herbs or other spices. This recipe is intriguing because it uses a dry herb brine instead, sort of like a dry rub. The proportions below were for my 2 big chops, see the original for proportions for 24 smaller chops, plus, you know, the standard, I didn't have all the ingredients situation.

2 large shallots, minced
4 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano
4 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
3 large garlic cloves, minced
s&p to taste
lamb chops
olive oil
zest and juice of one lemon

Mix the shallots, oregano, mint, garlic and s&p in a small bowl. Press a tablespoon of the mixture onto both sides of each lamb chop. The recipe calls for you to then cover the chops with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. But maybe sometimes you have a really long week at work and you don't get home until 9 o'clock several nights in a row at which point it is too late to make a complicated dinner. In which case, you will be happy to know that you can actually let the chops brine for 3 days and you'll be totally fine.

Once you are ready to cook your chops, whisk olive oil, lemon juice and lemon peel until well blended. You want a 2:1 ratio of oil to lemon juice. Season with s&p. Spoon mixture over both sides of the chops and let stand at room temperature for 1 hour. Grill chops until they reach an internal temp of about 140 degrees for medium rare - mine took at least 5 minutes a side since they were so thick.

As always, tent your meat and let it stand for about 10 minutes before serving. I served these with grilled baby zucchini that I tossed with olive oil, minced garlic, salt and pepper - because obviously very large chops go well with abnormally small vegetables.

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