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Moroccan-Spiced Lamb Chops with Charmoula
Serves: 8 appetizer, 4 as entrée
I was looking for an easy, quick lamb chop recipe to pass as an appetizer with an interesting sauce – something unique. Charmoula is a classic Moroccan aromatic, paprika-spiced herb sauce used to marinate or as a dip for vegetables, fish or meat. It is also great with all sorts of other dishes, such as roasted cauliflower, roasted winter squash or chicken. An overnight dry rub on the lamb chops completely transforms this lamb chop to a new level of taste treat.
- 1 tsp each ground cumin, ground coriander, ground cinnamon and kosher salt
- ¼ tsp ground cloves
- 2 racks of lamb, frenched
- 1 Tb vegetable oil
- Cilantro leaves as garnish
- 1 C cilantro leaves
- ½ C parsley leaves
- 1 medium garlic clove, peeled
- ¼ C preserved lemon juice or 1/3 C freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 Tb smoked paprika
- 1 Tb ground cumin
- 1 tsp kosher salt (to taste)
- ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
- ¼ tsp cayenne (to taste)
- ½ C olive oil
Lamb: In a small bowl, mix ground cumin, ground coriander, ground cinnamon, salt and ground cloves. Cut rack of lamb into individual chops and coat with spice mixture. Cove and chill over night.
Heat oven to 400 degree F. Heat a large oven-proof frying pan over medium-high heat. Swirl vegetable oil into pan. Add lamb chops and cook until they begin to release fat and are browned, about 3 minutes. Turn and cook until browned on the other side, 2 minutes. Transfer pan to oven and bake until lamb is medium-rare (145 degree on an instant read thermometer), 4-5 minutes.
Charmoula: Place cilantro, parsley and garlic in food processor fitted with a steel blade. Pulse until all ingredients are finely chopped, scraping down sides of bowl as necessary. Add lemon juice, paprika, cumin, salt, pepper and cayenne and pulse to combine. With motor running, drizzle olive oil through the feed tube. Process until the sauce is uniform. Use immediately or transfer to an airtight container and store in refrigerator for up to 2 days. Bring to room temperature and mix well before serving.
To serve: Spoon about 1 Tb charmoula onto each plate. Arrange lamb chops on sauce and top with 2-3 cilantro leaves.
Give this a try at your next party. You will not be disappointed!