Sunday, July 11, 2010

Lamb Loin Chops with Salsa Verde and Mediterranean Cous Cous Salad

We were craving some lamb chops the other night so we made a simple salsa Verde to baste the lamb chops in while they were cooking which doubled as a dipping sauce later. This dinner came out great, and it was so pretty with all the colors.
To make the Salsa Verde you will need:
1 cup flat leaf parsley
2 green onions
2 tablespoons fresh mint
1 tablespoon capers, drained
1 lemon, juiced and zested
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup olive oil

In a blender, add the parsley, onions, mint, capers, lemon juice and zest, red pepper flakes, and salt and pepper. Pulse until forms a thick paste. Then while the machine is running slowly add the olive oil. Taste to make sure it is to your liking, you can add more salt and pepper and red pepper flakes at this point. Set aside.
Preheat oven to 415 degrees. In a large cast iron skillet heat 2 tablespoons olive oil. Take the lamb chops and sprinkle with salt and pepper generously. Place them in the hot pan and sear till it is brown and forms a nice crust. Turn and baste the top with some of the salsa Verde. Then when the other side is browned turn once more and baste the other side with salsa Verde. Then turn the heat off and transfer to the oven to finish cooking. About 10 to 15 minutes depending on the size of the lamb chops.

For the Mediterranean Cous Cous Salad:
1 cup pearl cous cous
1 1/2 cups chicken stock
1/2 pint grape tomatoes, halved
1/4 cup shelled, unsalted pistachios, toasted
1 tablespoon fresh mint
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
salt and pepper to taste

In a medium sauce pan, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil, add the cous cous and toast until it starts to turn golden; then add the chicken stock. Bring to a boil, then simmer covered until almost all the liquid is absorbed and cous cous is tender. Drain any excess liquid and transfer cous cous to a bowl to cool. Once at room temperature add the tomatoes, toasted pistachios, mint, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and salt and pepper. Mix until well combined.

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