Thursday, 22 October 2009

Tyler's Pan-Fried Lamb Chops with Harissa

For some reason lamb is really expensive here in Canada. Also, the majority of seems to be from New Zealand. I don't know why this is so, we raise lamb in Ontario and Quebec, and, I imagine, in the rest of the provinces. Why isn't it in our national markets? I have no idea.
When I do find some Canadian lamb on sale, I stock up. I found a nice tray of it a while back and divided it into servings of four and froze it. This recipe was a great, simple way to prepare it, and I loved the zing that the harissa added. I have made other harissas before, this one is nice and balanced with the addition of roasted red peppers to harmonize with the chilies and garlic.

I served the lamb chops and harissa with quinoa cooked with raisins and seasoned with cloves, cardamom and black peppercorns, combined with roasted vegetables. A delicious fall meal indeed.

Pan-Fried Lamb Chops with Harissa
Tyler Florence, Tyler Florence Ultimate

Harissa Sauce:
2 red bell peppers (I used 2 large jarred roasted red peppers)
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 tablespoon coriander seeds
1 teaspoon caraway seeds
1 garlic cloves (I used 3)
2 small fresh red chilies, chopped (I used 3)
1 teaspoon kosher salt
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 lemon, juiced
Extra-virgin olive oil
6 double lamb chops, frenched (I used 4 little chops - to serve two people)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Cilantro (I used mint)

Over open flame, place 2 red bell peppers. Allow to roast until charred. Wrap in plastic wrap and allow to sit for 10 minutes. Scrape charred skin off peppers.
Gather the cumin, coriander and caraway in a small skillet and toast over low heat until fragrant. Then grind to a powder in spice mill or a clean coffee grinder. Put the peppers into a food processor along with the spices, garlic, chilies, salt, olive oil, and lemon juice and pulse to puree.

Sprinkle olive oil over lamb chops on both sides and season with salt and pepper. Put chops on grill pan preheated over medium-high heat. Cook for 8 1/2 minutes per side for medium-rare. (The book actually says 2 mins per side. I did 3) Serve the chops with the harissa. Garnish with cilantro. (or mint)