Sunday, April 8, 2012

Lamb Chops

270. Easter Dinner this year was inspired by Rachael Ray. On her 30 Minute Meals show she made Lamb Chops with Greens and Crispy Orecchiette Pasta with Walnut Rosemary Pesto. It looked so delicious and easy to prepare.

The most difficult part was locating lamb chops. You will like this recipe if you enjoy bold flavors. Lamb has a unique flavor along with the rosemary pesto.

INGREDIENTS

  • Salt
  • 1 pound orecchiette pasta
  • 1 1/2 cups walnuts
  • 7-8 stems rosemary, 1/4-1/3 cup leaves, loosely packed
  • 2 cloves garlic, cracked from skin
  • Black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons plus 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil (EVOO), divided
  • 1/2-3/4 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano
  • 4 shoulder lamb chops, bone-in, 8-10 ounces each
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • Grated nutmeg, to taste
  • 1 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 large heads kale, dinosaur kale or chard, chopped
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock
  • 2-3 tablespoons aged balsamic vinegar
Serves 4

PREPARATION

Bring water to a boil for pasta, salt water and cook to al dente.

Toast walnuts in a dry skillet over medium heat until golden and fragrant, a few minutes then cool. Add the nuts to a food processor with rosemary, 1 clove garlic, salt and pepper and turn processor on. Stream 1/3 cup EVOO into food processor to form pesto then scrape into a bowl and stir in about 3/4 cup grated cheese.

Rub chops with cut clove of garlic then season with salt and pepper. Heat 1 tablespoon EVOO in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add chops and cook 4 minutes each side for medium rare doneness.

While lamb cooks, drain pasta and return pot to heat. Add 1 tablespoon oil and butter in pasta pot and melt over medium heat. Place the pasta back in the pot and crisp 4-5 minutes, toasting the pasta. Season the pasta with salt and pepper and a little nutmeg.

Remove lamb from skillet and cover with foil to let meat settle. Heat remaining 1 tablespoon EVOO over medium-high to high heat. Add onions and greens and sear them. Season the greens with salt and pepper and wilt down, 3-4 minutes. Add chicken stock and vinegar and turn greens to coat in vinegar.

Serve a chop alongside greens. Top greens with toasted pasta and drizzle some pesto over everything.

I did not want to cover the chops with the greens and pasta, so we plated them side by side.
I also made buttered carrots for color on the plate.

We also enjoyed a coconut cream pie for dessert.
Happy Easter!
Our table was decorated with Polish sugar animals.

"The story of Easter is the story of God's wonderful window of divine surprise."
~Carl Knudsen

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