I’ve been craving lamb ever since Easter. That was months ago! These lamb chops definitely helped ease those hunger pangs.
I used a nut/spice blend called dukkah to flavor these lamb chops. Many of you might already be familiar with this mixture, but let me give you a little briefing if you haven’t actually heard of it. Dukkah, as far as I’ve read, is actually an Egyptian nut/spice blend, consisting of cumin, coriander, sesame seeds, nuts (hazelnuts, pistachios and/or cashews), and even dried thyme, mint, or fennel seeds. There are so many variations, that’s not even the half of it.
Traditionally, dukkah is used in conjunction with oil as a dip for bread. It’s also used to flavor up vegetables, meats and fish. I thought it would go perfectly with lamb chops, as cumin and coriander are spices commonly used with lamb.
I had to test this lamb chop recipe a few times to iron out the execution. First off, I needed a way for the dukkah to stick. I decided to use a combination of pomegranate molasses and olive oil to get that done. The tanginess from the pomegranate molasses provides a nice compliment to these savory chops.
Next, how do I avoid burning the nuts! That was the trickier part. Trust me. So what I found to work the best, is quickly browning the outside of the lamb chops in a pan, and then finishing them off in a low temperature oven. Worked like a charm.
Now, I don’t have recipes listed for the sides I served with these lamb chops, but they’re super simple. The eggplant is straight up, coated in olive oil and grilled. I found these cute, tiny eggplants at my local market. Then there’s the couscous. Just followed the package directions for cooking, then flavored it with olive oil, lemon juice, and chopped parsley and mint. Not such a bad combo, if I do say so myself.
- 8 lamb chops
- 2 tbsp pomegranate molasses
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- Vegetable or canola oil, for searing
- Kosher salt
- Fresh cracked pepper
- ¼ cup skinned hazelnuts
- 2 tbsp pistachios
- 2T cumin seeds
- 4 tsp white sesame seeds
- 4 tsp coriander seeds
- 2 tsp fennel seeds
- Season lamb chops generously with salt and pepper. This can be done up to one day ahead. You can also season 30-60 minutes ahead, and allow the chops to sit out at room temperature.
- For the dukkah, pulse the nuts in a food processor until they resemble coarse crumbs. Roughly grind the cumin, coriander and fennel seeds in a coffee or spice grinder. Mix nuts, spices and sesame seeds together.
- Preheat oven to 300°F. Line a sheet tray with a wire rack. Create a “breading” station. Whisk together pomegranate molasses and oil in a wide, shallow dish. Spread dukkah out on a plate. Dip lamb chops in molasses mixture on both sides, allowing any excess to drip off. Then coat well in dukkah, packing and pressing it on.
- Warm a large, nonstick pan over medium heat. Add enough oil to coat the pan. Sear chops for approximately 20-60 seconds per side (including fat side), or until coating is browned but not burnt.
- Transfer lamb to the prepared sheet tray on the rack. Bake lamb to 130-135°F for medium rare, approximately 12-16 minutes, turning half way through. Allow to rest for 5-10 minutes before serving. Enjoy.