Cooking Through A Cookbook

Pistachio Masala Lamb Chops with Cucumber Mint Raita Review

Recipe 66 from The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook by Deb Perelman


WW Note: This is 8 points for 2 lamb chops or 12 for 3!! I think that’s a steal for the decadence of this recipe so take it, run with it and don’t look back!!


This recipe can be found in Deb Perelman’s “The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook” on page 189 or:

A Little Saffron

Central Street Kitchen


If you’re going to end a Meat Chapter you need to have a smashing recipe that really makes it all worth it. Deb did it! She knocked it out of the park. My husband thinks this is the best thing I’ve ever…EVER made for him. And I checked. He means ever!

It was absolutely delicious. It smelled amazing and it tasted decadent. I keep using the word…’decadent’…especially on these latest few dishes from this chapter. I wish I could come up with another word but that’s just the one that fits :-) it has a professional calliber to it that will win over any crowd. I don’t care for Indian Food but this made no difference with this recipe! And my house smelled dreamy which means I’m going to probably be buying lamb chops from Costco again soon so I can replicate that smell!!

The cucumber mint raita was such a beautiful compliment to the meat as well. One of my favorite dishes to get at Ruth’s Chris steakhouse is there lamb chops. They serve theirs’s with a mint jelly which I understand is the traditional way to serve lamb. It just brings it all together. There’s something about the taste of the melting fat on a lamb chop mixed with that mint jelly that makes this divine sauce that you just want to slurp up off your plate and drench your bread in. This Cucumber Mint Raita gave that minty flavor along with the spiced lamb that paired beautifully in the same kind of a way.

I mentioned it, but I got my rack of lamb at Costco for about $32. They have a pretty good selection with various prices that I was happy with…somewhere between $23-$35. I decided to go with a heavier pack and pay a little more and I think I’m glad I did because the fat just helped enhance this dish.

I cut the rack of lamb into chops which was a little tougher than I anticipated. There’s a bone at the base of the rack that is very tough to cut through. My Pampered Chef Kitchen Shears helped make that doable but I was struggling and had some red marks on my hands trying to push that knife through the bone until I remembered those shears.

I decided to get the Chaat Masala on Amazon since Deb mentioned being able to purchase it online. It’s reasonably priced and I got a smaller pack because I wasn’t really sure if we would like the flavor of it and use the spice again. Now that I’ve had it I’m pretty sure we’ll be using it up again soon :-) Deb mentioned using it on popcorn which is how she was first introduced to it!

You’re going to be mixing up the pistachios Chaat Masala, Cumin, Paprika, and Cayenne in your Food Processor and setting it aside because it’s put on the meat AFTER you cook it. I did my chops in batches of 2-3 and they were seared up really nicely at just 2 minutes a side pushed into the spice mixture before being added to the stash! The whole lot is finished after 4-5 min in a 450 oven and ready to be plates after that.

Elegant and flavorful and simple! The very best kind of recipe. The only thing that was time-consuming was cutting the lamb chops and making the crust/coating. the cooking time is perfect on this and makes for a rare lamb chop. If you want them medium rare I might keep them in your pan another minute or two and then maybe even in your oven allow them to bake for 7-10 min instead. little. Rare was delicious and I’m not even one for a rare piece of meat!

That really is it! I mean that on a few different levels….that really is it….it’s really that simple and….that’s really it….there’s no more recipes in this chapter!! I’m a mix of emotions because I’m so proud of myself for making it through this chapter and yet I’m sad to see it go! I loved the challenge of cooking different kinds of proteins in different kinds of ways. I’ve gained a lot of experience from this chapter th past 6 months and I’ve gotten to cross a lot of things off my list of dishes I thought I would never cook :-) like mussels and lamb chops and briskets and halibut!

I think my favorite recipes in this chapter aside from this one include the following:

But please don’t ask me to rank those! I insist you try every single one of them and you tell me what your favorite is! That’s the only way to really decide :) and I already made the sesame spiced turkey meatballs again and I have the chicken in the freezer to do the harvest roast chicken with grapes olives and rosemary one more time too. And now that I have the Chaat Masala for this recipe, these lamb chops will be on the menu again very soon as well.

This is been the best chapterfor me yet!

But onward we go into the next section: Sweets! This section has 4 sub sections that include Cookies, Pies & Tarts, Cakes, and Puddings and Candy!

To say that I am nervous is an understatement. I don’t think I’m a very good baker and if I am it’s only by accident when it does happen. I have a lot to learn and so in that sense I think this will be a good experience for me and I’ll walk away learning quite a bit about baking. But I also worry about all the pounds that might be gained from this section and so I’m mentally planning to make good friends with neighbors or clear stuff out in my freezer so that I can freeze some of these things I’ll be making.

My plan is to start the cookie chapter next week and do about 2 cookie recipes a week to wrap up that subsection in 4 weeks. From there my pace will probably slow down because we’re talking pies, tarts and cakes. But that final sub-section on Puddings and Candy might go quick like the cookie chapter depending on what the recipes are. I’m trying not to look too far ahead to get too overwhelmed or too excited because my brain is now thinking about cookies!

Believe it or not there is one more section after the Sweets and that is a section on Party Snacks and Drinks! I’m about 86 pages away from that section though so be ready for a lot of desserts coming your way!

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