With a cutie-patootie five-month-old hanging around, Ben and I aren’t going out for dinner as much as we used to (gosh, how is she five months already?!) During those first few
weeks months I was certain I’d never figure out how to cook anything good again. But somehow we managed. And excelled, even, at eating really good food that is simple and quick enough to prepare. Are you surprised to hear that lamb has landed on our menu many weeks in a row.
Although tender lamb shanks and meaty legs require hours of roasting or braising (and planning ahead) lamb chops can be prepared in a jiffy and are pretty much a no-fail meal for the grill. However, this weekend I decided to break out the cast iron skillet instead and sear my lamb chops on the stove then finish them in the oven. However, I’ve been known to put a cast iron skillet right on the grill so there’s no reason you can’t do that here if you’d like to cook outside.
This recipe is a special edition for the American Lamb Board. They were kind enough to share some (ok, a lot) of lamb loin chops with me. In return, I created a sweet and savory Mediterranean menu featuring, you guessed it, lamb. You can view and vote for your favorite lamb recipes created by bloggers through the month of August at Grills Gone Wild. Of course, I’d be thrilled if you’d vote for mine!
On the menu we have succulent seared lamb chops seasoned with earthy, aromatic rosemary and topped with balsamic roasted figs and tangy goat cheese. The ease of preparation and fresh, local ingredients make this such a perfect, elegant meal for easy summer entertaining. On the side, we opted for grilled smashed potatoes – Bon Appetite has a great recipe. And for dessert (there’s always room for dessert!) I made a simple dark chocolate balsamic cherry compote served over Greek yogurt (recipe to be shared in an upcoming post!) Simple, sweet and savory throughout!
Are you a fan of lamb? Don’t forget to visit Grills Gone Wild to check out new blogger recipes and vote for your favorites!
Pan-Roasted Lamb Chops with Honey-Balsamic Figs and Goat Cheese
Yield: 4 servings
2 tablespoons minced fresh rosemary
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepepr
8 lamb loin chops
1-2 tbsp olive oil
8 fresh figs, stemmed and quartered
1 tablespoon honey
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 oz goat cheese
Preheat oven to 400ºF.
Combine rosemary, salt and pepper. Season both sides of the lamb chops and let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes.
In a medium bowl, toss together the figs, honey and balsamic vinegar.
Place a large cast iron skillet over medium-high heat and add enough olive oil to coat. Working in batches if necessary, sear the lamb chops on both sides for 3-4 minutes, until browned.
Arrange all of the lamb chops in the skillet. Scatter the figs over the lamb chops. Transfer skillet to the preheated oven, and roast until desired doneness is reached (about 8-10 minutes for medium rare, depending on thickness of chops.) Crumble the goat cheese over the lamb and serve immediately.
Cara Lyons, www.carascravings.com
Disclaimer: American Lamb Board provided me with the lamb to create the recipe, but I was not compensated in any other way. Should my recipe receive the most votes in their contest, I will receive a prize.