I am a creature of habit. I get ready in the same order during the work week every.single.day.
If my order gets disturbed, my entire day is thrown off.
I am also the same way when I cook.
I know I should branch out more, but there are some dishes I just love making over and over again.
Like this one – I don’t make lamb chops often, really only when I catch them on sale, because let’s face it, for what I pay I’m not getting much in way of quantity. It is all about the quality of the chops. All it takes is a simple marinade in some lemon juice and olive oil, plus a little salt, pepper and my favorite universal spice za’atar.
Now let’s talk couscous, I’m using Israeli or Pearl couscous for this recipe. Israeil couscous is larger than traditional couscous, and is really just toasted pasta shaped like little balls. I like to cook it risotto style, having the couscous absorb the water while cooking, which produces a creamy end product.
Recipe:2 bone-in lamb loin chops, at least 1.5 in. thick 2 lemons olive oil za’atar salt and pepper 1 cup Israeli (Pearl) couscous 1 1/4 cup hot water (from the tap is fine) 1 medium onion, thinly sliced 1/2 tablespoon unsalted butter 1/3 heaping cup feta cheese zest from 1 lemon
In a small dish, place the lamb chops, juice of 1 lemon and a drizzle of some olive oil and set aside to marinate for about 30 minutes.
While the lamb chops are marinating, in a cast iron skillet over medium heat with about 1 tablespoon of olive oil saute the onions until soft and nicely browned and caramelized. This should take about 15-20 minutes. Once fully cooked, remove and set aside.
When the lamb chops are finished marinating, generously season both sides with za’atar, salt and pepper. Carefully wipe the cast iron skillet out with a paper towel and heat on medium-high with about 1 tablespoon of olive oil. When the olive oil starts to shimmer add the chops and cook 6 minutes per side for medium-rare and a nice crust has formed. Remove and tent with foil until ready to serve.
At the same time as you are cooking the lamb chops, in a medium-sized sauce pan toast the Israeli couscous with 1 teaspoon of olive oil, until lightly browned on medium heat. Add the water, cover and cook until completely absorbed stirring occasionally, about 15 minutes.
Stir in the butter until completely melted, then add the onions, lemon zest and juice, feta cheese and season with salt and pepper. The heat from the couscous will melt the feta slightly producing a beautifully creamy texture similar to risotto.
Serve the lamb chops on a bed of couscous with some roasted asparagus on the side for an elegant but simple weeknight dinner at home.