Creating recipes isn't a pastime—it's a passion. And a lot of fun.

The rules are few: Use 99% fresh ingredients (or thereabouts); make the dish simple but flavorful; make the dish flavorful but simple; be creative, not silly.

With this blog, I want to share new recipes, along with tips on ingredients and preparation, and, hopefully, show new cooks (and non-cooks) the pleasure in setting the table with a delicious homemade meal. The Briny Lemon is about fresh, simple, flavorful ingredients and easy cooking methods that help you bring the best to your family table. Your comments are welcome!

Monday, February 16, 2015

Pan-Seared Lamb Chops with Baby Potatoes

This meat-and-potatoes dinner is as succulent as it is simple. Cast-iron plays a key role in getting that maximum “seared” flavor—for both the lamb and the spuds.

Baby, or petite, potatoes are tender, creamy, and perfect for searing. Even so, they still need a head start in a steamer pan so that they’re ready to finish in the skillet with the chops. Of course, cooking time depends on size. I found very tiny little potatoes sold as “niblets”—about one-inch diameter, or less. If you use slightly larger baby potatoes, simply cook them a little bit longer.
Baby Potatoes
Finish both the lamb and potatoes with a drizzle of warm garlic-and-scallion butter, and dinner is served.

Note: I steamed the potatoes before searing them in the skillet, but you can cook them in simmering water instead. Cooking time may be slightly quicker—just be sure to drain well and let them dry a bit before adding them to the skillet.

Serves 2

  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 8-oz lamb shoulder (blade) chops, about 1-inch thick
  • 5 oz baby potatoes (about 1-inch-diameter, or less), cut lengthwise in half
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1-1/2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 2 tsp finely chopped scallion greens
Lamb Shoulder Chops 
Scallion Greens and Garlic
  1. Combine the cumin, salt, and pepper in a small bowl. Rub the mixture all over the lamb chops and let stand at room temperature 20 minutes.
Spice-Rubbed Lamb
  1. Place the potatoes in a steamer pan and season with salt and pepper. Steam until almost tender, 10-12 minutes, depending on size.
  2. Heat a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat and brush with 1 tablespoon of oil. Sear the lamb chops on 1 side until lightly charred, 4-5 minutes.
  3. Turn the chops over and scatter the potatoes around them. Sear the lamb on the 2nd side until lightly charred and medium-rare, about 4 minutes longer (or until desired degree of doneness). Stir the potatoes a few times to lightly char.
  4. Remove the skillet from the heat and transfer the chops to a plate or board. Let rest 3 minutes. (Leave the potatoes in the skillet.)
Potatoes Beginning to Steam 
Chops Beginning to Sear
Turn the Chops and Add the Potatoes 
Leave Potatoes in the Skillet
  1. Meanwhile, melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Add the garlic and cook 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the scallion greens.
Garlic in Butter
Plate the lamb chops and spoon potatoes alongside. Drizzle all with garlic-scallion butter and serve.

Pan-Seared Lamb Chops with Baby Potatoes

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