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Charmoula Lamb Chops with Curried Couscous

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Serves 4 to 6

  • To learn more, read:
    The Weeknight Pantry
  • by Brian Lewis from Fine Cooking
    Issue 120

Charmoula, a traditional Moroccan marinade, is typically made with parsley, cumin, and paprika. This kicked-up version features smoked paprika and lots of other fresh herbs. Here, it's used to flavor lamb, but it’s also delicious with pork, chicken, and seafood. If you don’t have dried currants, use raisins instead.

For the lamb chops
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup packed fresh cilantro
  • 1/4 cup packed fresh mint
  • 1/4 cup packed fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 3 medium cloves garlic, peeled
  • 3 Tbs. sweet smoked paprika
  • 1 Tbs. Hungarian sweet paprika
  • 1 Tbs. ground coriander
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. ground fennel
  • 1/2 tsp. cayenne
  • Kosher salt
  • 12 4-oz. lamb rib chops (3 lb. total)
For the couscous
  • 1-3/4 cups lower-salt chicken broth
  • 3 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tsp. Madras (hot) curry powder
  • Kosher salt
  • 10 oz. (about 1-1/2 cups) couscous
  • 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
  • 1/4 cup dried currants, soaked in warm water for 20 minutes and drained
  • 6 medium fresh mint leaves, torn into small pieces
Marinate and broil the lamb

Put the oil, lemon juice, cilantro, mint, parsley, garlic, both paprikas, coriander, cumin, fennel, cayenne, and 2 tsp. salt in a blender with 1/4 cup water; blend until smooth.

Pat the lamb dry. Wrap aluminum foil around the exposed bones, leaving the meat uncovered. Arrange the chops on a large rimmed baking sheet and brush on all sides with the marinade. Let the chops marinate at room temperature for about 30 minutes.

Position a rack 4 inches from the broiler element and heat the broiler on high. Season the chops on all sides with salt. Broil, flipping once, until an instant-read thermometer registers 130°F for medium rare, about 7 minutes total. Remove the foil. Let the chops rest, loosely covered with foil, for 5 minutes.

Make the couscous

While the lamb cooks, bring the chicken broth, 2 Tbs. of the oil, the curry powder, and 1 tsp. salt to a boil in a 2-quart saucepan over medium-high heat. Put the couscous in a medium heatproof bowl and pour the hot seasoned broth over it. Cover with a plate or plastic wrap and let stand until the couscous has absorbed all of the liquid, 5 to 7 minutes.

Fluff the couscous with a fork and stir in the remaining 1 Tbs. oil, the pine nuts, currants, and mint. Serve with the lamb chops.

nutrition information (per serving):
Calories (kcal): 1210; Fat (g): 81; Fat Calories (kcal): 720; Saturated Fat (g): 24; Protein (g): 52; Monounsaturated Fat (g): 41; Carbohydrates (g): 69; Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 10; Sodium (mg): 820; Cholesterol (mg): 165; Fiber (g): 7;

Photo: Scott Phillips

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