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Friday, January 28, 2011

12. Spiced Lamb Chops on Sautéed Peppers and Onions with Garlic and Mint Couscous

If you’ve never had couscous before, you are missing out!  It’s a very tiny little pasta and just about goof proof.  Use equal parts broth and couscous.  Bring the broth to a boil,  stir in the couscous, cover, take it off the heat and let it sit for 5 minutes.  Voila!  It’s a little bland when you just use water so I always try to use broth and stir in some kind of vegetable or spice to give it a little flavor.  I also like serving it as a base under whatever my main food is so that is soaks up the juices.

We made a few changes here.  We don’t really like lamb, so we swapped in some New York strip steaks.  We also don’t really like mint in our couscous, so we just took that out and added some parsley.

**This recipe comes from Rachael Ray 365 – No Repeats.  Most of the recipes are directly from the book, but some I do change out ingredients a bit for things my family prefers. I’ll add my own comments in with a **.

What do you need?

8 lamb loin chops **we used 2 strip steaks**
Coarse salt and coarse black pepper
1 teaspoon ground cumin (1/3 palmful)  **I skipped all spices and just used seasoned salt**
1 teaspoon ground coriander (1/3 palmful)
1 teaspoon sweet paprika (1/3 palmful)
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO)
2 green bell peppers, cored, seeded and cut into 1 inch squares
1 large yellow onion, cut into 1 inch cubes
1 cup grape or cheery tomatoes
1/2 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley (a couple of handfuls), chopped
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 1/2 cups chicken stock or broth
1 1/2 cups couscous
5 or 6 sprigs of fresh mint, finely chopped (about 3 tablespoons) **I skipped this and used some more parsley)
3 tablespoons pine nuts (I skip this as well)

Now what?

Cove the chops with wax paper or plastic and whack each chop with the heel of your hand to flatten it out.  **Not necessary for steaks** Season the chops on both sides with salt and pepper.  Combine the cumin, coriander, and paprika and sprinkle the mixture evenly over the chops.  Pat the spices in place and wash up.  Let the chops stand for 15 minutes. 

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and add 2 tablespoons of the VOO.  When the oil is hot, ad the peppers and cook together for 5 minutes, then add the tomatoes and continue to cook until their skins begin to burst.  Add half of the parsley to the skillet and toss.  Transfer the vegetables to a platter and cover loosely with foil to keep warm.  Do not wash the skillet.


Place a tablespoon of the EVOO (just eyeball the amount) in a small pot for the couscous.  Heat the oil over medium heat and add the garlic.  Sautee for 1 minute, then add the chicken stock and bring to a boil.  Add the couscous, remove from the heat and cover the pot.  Let stand for 5 minutes.


Fluff the couscous with a fork and stir in the mint, the remaining parsley and the pine nuts.  The couscous makes a nice bed for the veggies and lamb to catch the juices.


Return the skillet you cooked the veggies in to the stove and add another tablespoon of EVOO, once around the pan.  Add the lamb chops and sear for 2 to 3 minutes on each side for medium rare, 4 minutes each side for medium well.  Arrange the chops on top of the peppers and onions.


4 servings

How did yours turn out??

Until the next time…
~The girl behind the lama

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