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Spiced Lamb Chops with Chickpea Purée


Serves 4

  • To learn more, read:
    Pot O'Gold
  • by from Fine Cooking
    Issue 126

You’ll be amazed by the deep flavor and luscious texture of this chickpea purée, which is enriched with crème fraîche. A buttery pan sauce and fresh mint tie everything together.

  • 1 Tbs. cumin seeds
  • 1 Tbs. coriander seeds
  • 2 medium lemons, finely grated to yield 1 Tbs. zest and squeezed to yield 1/4 cup plus 1 tsp. juice
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 8 1-1/2- to 2-inch-thick lamb loin chops (2 to 2-1/2 lb.)
  • 3 cups Chickpeas with Bay Leaves and Herbs, plus 3/4 cup reserved cooking liquid
  • 2 Tbs. crème fraîche
  • 6 to 8 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 oz. (4 Tbs.) unsalted butter, diced
  • 1-1/2 Tbs. thinly sliced fresh mint

Toast the cumin and coriander seeds in an 8-inch skillet over medium-low heat, shaking the pan occasionally, until fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer to a mortar (or a mini food processor or spice grinder). Add the lemon zest, 1-1/2 tsp. salt, and 1/2 tsp. pepper and finely grind. Rub the spices all over the lamb chops; let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, put the chickpeas, reserved cooking liquid, and 1-1/4 cups water in a 4-quart saucepan over medium-high heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Reserve 1/2 cup of the liquid, drain the chickpeas, and transfer to a food processor. Add 1/2 tsp. salt and a few grinds of pepper and pulse until the chickpeas are coarsely chopped. With the motor running, slowly add the reserved 1/2 cup liquid, the crème fraîche, 1/4 cup of the oil, and 1 tsp. of the lemon juice; purée until smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper; keep warm.

Heat 2 Tbs. of the remaining oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Working in batches, cook the lamb chops, undisturbed, until deep golden-brown, 3 to 5 minutes. Flip and cook until medium rare (130°F), 4 to 6 minutes, adding more oil as needed for the second batch. Transfer to a plate to rest. Wipe the oil from the skillet, removing any burnt bits but leaving the caramelized morsels behind.

Add the remaining 1/4 cup lemon juice and 2 Tbs. water to the skillet and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Add the butter, a few pieces at a time, whisking until incorporated. Remove from the heat and season to taste with salt.

Divide the chickpea purée among 4 dinner plates and top with 2 lamb chops each. Drizzle with the pan sauce, sprinkle with the mint, and serve.

nutrition information (per serving):
Calories (kcal): 720, Fat (kcal): 47, Fat Calories (g): 420, Saturated Fat (g): 15, Protein (g): 40, Monounsaturated Fat (g): 23, Carbohydrates (mg): 37, Polyunsaturated Fat (mg): 5, Sodium (g): 970, Cholesterol (g): 120, Fiber (g): 10,

Photo: Scott Phillips

I made this because of the first rave review below and also because my dining partner requested lamb for a birthday meal. This was VERY VERY good. I made it with the roasted brussel sprouts mentioned in this months magazine as well. Thanks again.

Wonderful combination with lots of flavor. Looks spectacular on plate.

Absolutely fantastic recipe! The chickpea puree makes the dish and is a lovely alternative to potatoes.

I thought the coriander overwhelmed the flavor of the lamb -- it was all I could taste. I made the lemon butter sauce but wound up not using -- it didn't seem worth the sat fat and calories and seemed like overkill and not right with the Mediterranean combo of lamb and chickpeas. Purée was interesting, a little like warm hummus.

The puree was the best! I sauteed garlic and rosemary in the oil that is added to the chickpeas. This morning I was eating it with tortilla chips, yes it's a dip too! Breakfast...

Absolutely amazing. I've been cooking from Fine Cooking for 13 years, and this is one of the best recipes I've made.

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