One of the most enjoyable grilling centerpieces for Greeks (or anyone that enjoys the outdoor grill) would have to be lamb chops. There are many approaches…grill the whole rack and cut into individual chops, add an herb & crumb crust, marinades, spice variations….you name it!
Like any dish that turns out wonderfully, the key is in the selection of ingredients. Here in Ontario, we’re blessed with having a wonderful supply of Ontario lamb. New Zealand lamb is available here (and worldwide) but buying local is best, no?
Lamb chops are the most expensive cut of the lamb. Lean meat surrounded by delicious lamb fat. The lamb chops need little fussing over, a marinade for a couple of hours, grilled on high on your grill and cooked to order. Personally, I like my lamb chops a medium-rare to medium (pink).
The lamb chops are marinated in olive oil, a dab of Dijon mustard, fresh thyme, garlic, lemon juice and black pepper. They are seasoned with salt and fresh ground pepper before hitting the grill and finished only with fresh-squeezed lemon juice, dried Greek oregano and fleur de sel.
When you have meat, you need potatoes, right? This recipe comes from Every Food (Martha Stewart) and you have small or new potatoes that are pan-roasted and flavoured with nothing but olive oil, salt, pepper and fresh rosemary. Perfect for lamb chops, no?
Rounding out the meal is a salad of grilled sweet corn, diced red peppers, chives and Feta cheese. Add extra-virgin olive oil, aÂ squeeze of lemon juice, adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. You MUST try this side…a highlight of this summer’s cooking.
There you have it…a wonderful summertime menu that will definitely stick out in your and your guests’ memories. It’s easy, it’s a good splurge (the lamb chops) and it’s delicious!
Lamb Chops (Î‘ÏÎ½Î¯ÏƒÎ¹Î± Ï€Î±ÏŠÎ´Î¬ÎºÎ¹Î±)
3 racks of lamb chops
1/2 cup olive oil
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tsp. of Dijon mustard
2 Tbsp. of chopped fresh parsley
2 Tbsp. of fresh thyme
juice of 1/2 lemon
2 tsp. of fresh ground pepper
sea salt & fresh ground pepper
dried Greek oregano
- In a shallow glass baking dish, add all the marinade ingredients (olive oil, garlic, mustard, parsley, thyme, lemon juice and black pepper) and stir to blend. Pour off and reserve about 1/3 of the marinade (for finishing the lamb chops). Add the lamb chops and ensure all of the meat is coated with the marinade. Cover and place in the fridge for 2 – 4 hours.
- Return your lamb chops back to room temperature before grilling and pre-heat your gas or charcoal grill to a high heat (you want the meat to sizzle when it hits the heat). Ensure your grill surface is clean by brushing it and wipe it with vegetable oil. Season your lamb chops with salt and pepper.
- Grill your lamb chops for 3 minutes a side (medium/pink inside) and brush on the reserved marinade on by sides when cooked.
- Squeeze some lemon juice over the chops, sprinkle some fleur de sel and finish with some dried Greek oregano.
1/4 cup olive oil
1 lb. of small or new potatoes, halved
6 cloves of garlic, smashed
2 springs of rosemary
1/2 cup water + any extra water that might be needed
coarse sea salt and fresh ground pepper
- In a large non-stick skillet, add your olive oil over medium heat and add the potato halves (cut sides down) and the garlic. Cook the potatoes until they have become golden-brown and then toss occasionally to slightly brown the skin sides.
- Add the water and and cover. Cook the potatoes for about 15-20 minutes or until fork tender. Add some more water if it evaporates before the potatoes are ready. Remove from the heat, strip the leaves from the rosemary stems and toss in the potatoes along with salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately or keep warm.
Grilled Corn Salad With Feta and Red Peppers
4 cobs of corn, husks and silk removed
1 large red bell pepper, diced to the approx. size of the corn kernels
2-3 scallions (or 1/2 cup chopped chives)
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup of crumbled or diced Feta cheese
lemon juice to taste
salt and pepper to taste
- Ensure all your ingredients for the salad have been chopped, diced and ready to use. Brush your corn with oil and grill over medium-high heat until all sides of the corn are caramelized and deep-brown.
- Cut your cobs of corn in half and then vertically place them on your chopping board and trim the kernels off with a knife (cutting the cobs of corn is the safest way to trim off the corn kernels).
- Place the warm kernels of corn in a large bowl along with the red peppers and cover with cling-wrap. Allow the warm steam to help cook and soften the diced red peppers for about 15 minutes.
- Add your olive oil, chopped fresh chives and crumbled/diced Feta cheese. Add lemon juice to taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. Serve warm or room temperature.
I served the Kappa P62 Xinomavro/Syrah…perfect for grilled lamb!
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