Friday, July 17, 2015

Mediterranean Lamb Chops

Well hello from the west coast! As I mentioned, my boys and I packed up our junk and moved across the country to Seattle. We've been here about two weeks, and things are starting to feel like home. I mean, we still have box tunnels set up for Danny in the living room and all, but my kitchen is ready for action.

Recently we were sick of unpacking, so we decided to invite the husband's cousin and his wife over for dinner. (They promised they didn't mind climbing over the box tunnel.) When we were discussing the menu, we wanted something easy and delicious. Mediterranean Lamb Chops were just the ticket.

Mouth-watering, tender lamb loin chops are marinated with Middle Eastern-inspired flavors and charred on a hot grill. The marinade includes za'atar, a spice my mother-in-law introduced me to. It's a blend of oregano, thyme, basil, sesame seeds, sumac, and other spices. We are big fans. If you don't find it at your local supermarket, you can order za'atar from Amazon or through Penzey's Spices. It has a unique flavor, and it's worth seeking out.

Next time you fire up the grill, change it up from your usual steak and give these Mediterranean Lamb Chops a try.

Let's get cooking!

Mediterranean Lamb Chops
Serves: 4

1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 tablespoons za'atar
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 pounds lamb loin chops (about 8 bone-in chops)
Chopped parsley for garnish (optional)

In a small bowl, whisk together olive oil, lemon juice, za'atar, salt, and pepper. Place lamb chops in a baking dish or a gallon-sized ziploc baggie and pour marinade over the top, turning to coat. Marinate lamb at least 2 hours or up to overnight.

When you're ready to cook, allow lamb chops to come to room temperature for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat your grill to medium high and oil the grates. (If you have a charcoal grill, build a fire that's hot on one side and cooler on the other.)

Grill the lamb chops for about 4 minutes on each side, until they're nicely charred. Then turn the heat down to low (or move the chops to the cooler side of your charcoal grill), and continue grilling for an additional 5 minutes or until lamb reaches desired doneness in the center. Remove the lamb chops to a plate and cover with foil. Allow them to rest for 5-10 minutes so the juices can redistribute. Garnish with chopped parsley and serve.

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