Inspired from PBS’ Mind of a Chef with April Bloomfield (Curry episode)
THE RAMBLE: WInner for Team Korea!
LET’S TALK ABOUT Turkish food. So many wonderful similarities in spices and flavors as other countries, and then they have unique eats such as Doner Kebab (ok, ok, a lot of countries have Persian inspired dishes). I ate TONS while in Spain, and it is to die for! Huge hunks of lamb or chicken on large spits being slowly turned as it is grilled and then it is shaved off and put into a soft flat bread with onions, tomato and a delicious yogurt sauce. Oh man, like I said, to die for! And the darn nicest people you will ever meet. So, with Turkey being on the eastern side of the world, we have this incredible recipe to add to our Asian and Middle Eastern collection!
LET’S TALK ABOUT Dinner + Movie. You have to make this and then sit down and watch Mind of a Chef (on Netflix and PBS.org) with April Bloomfield in her “Curry” episode. They talk about all kinds of good stuff in that episode, including England’s national dish CTM (Chicken Tikka Masala, coming soon!), explanations of ‘curry’ and Kofta Curry with Madhur Jaffrey, Biryani, a tour of Indian spices and these lamb chops. This will pacify your craving for something exotic and delicious as you watch it.
This is Chef Stevie Parle’s version of the lamb chops at one of his favorite places in London (I still couldn’t get the name of the place!), but there “they were pounded out. They flatten them out, so they beat them, and they put loads of spices on them and grill themover charcoal.” His version is done in a yogurt and spice marinade and grilled. In my -living space- we will call it, it’s difficult for me to just light up a grill outside, so I just put a grill plate for a panini press I have over my gas range and grilled the marinated lamb (I used shoulder cuts because they were on sale at Sprouts) on that and that, luckily, worked out so well, because I feel the char is essential to this dish. So, if you also don’t have access to a grill pan or charcoal/gas grill, then I would play with just putting a pan or skillet over really high heat at just getting good color on them that way and then finishing them in the oven, I would try 400 degrees…? for about 7 minutes and then see where their temp is. Someone try that and let me know! The marinade for these made them so tender, most lamb I’ve had has a lot of chew to it, and the yogurt totally tamed the earthy, gamey flavor lamb can have also, so THIS IS the best way to prepare lamb in my opinion! The lemon and coriander really were the perfect finish to them (aren’t those always the perfect garnishes to EVERYTHING?!), so don’t worry if it seems too simple. I used Indian Kashmir chili, so maybe that would make them…Indian lamb chops…? I also like doubling the spices, these being quite mild in flavor, but that maybe good for a first-time lamb or Turkish/Indian food eater. I serve this is Basmati rice.
Watch all four seasons of Mind of a Chef! It’s done by PBS, narrated by Anthony Bourdain, and it goes into the thought-processes of 7 chefs, David Chang, Sean Brock, April Bloomfield, Ed Lee, Magnus Nilsson, Gabrielle Hamilton and David Kinch. It will give you new inspiration and appreciation for these incredible artists.
Barbecued Yogurt-Marinated Lamb Chops
Adapted from Stevie Parle, serves 4, Easy level recipe, 10 minutes prep, 2+ hours total
1 heaped tsp cumin seeds
1 heaped tsp coriander seeds
1 garlic clove, crushed with a little salt
2 TBS yogurt
A big pinch of chilli flakes, such as Turkish or Indian Kashmir*
½ tsp paprika
2 TBS olive oil
Juice of ½ lemon (and wedges, to serve)
8 lamb chops or lamb shoulders cuts
A handful of coriander (cilantro) leaves
*(If you can’t find either chili, use half cayenne, for spice, half paprika for flavor)
- Place frying pan over medium-high heat and toast the cumin and coriander seeds until just fragrant, about 3 minutes. Place the cumin and coriander seeds in a mortar and grind with a pestle to a coarse powder, or blitz in a small food processor. Transfer to a large bowl and stir in the garlic, yogurt, chilli, paprika, oil and lemon juice (a splash of white vinegar will also work in a pinch). Add the lamb and rub in the marinade. Marinate in the fridge for at least two hours.
- Heat a grill pan or barbecue until medium-hot.
- Season the lamb with a little salt and grill for 2-3 minutes on each side until char marks appear, best when still pink inside. Lamb is medium rare at 145 degrees or 160 for well-done.
- Leave to rest for a couple of minutes before serving, garnish with lemon wedges and coriander leaves.