Spicy Lamb Chops–Weeknight Quick and Easy!

Lamb Chops with Cucumber Yogurt Sauce 1It’s a recurrent theme at our house and maybe at yours too. Does this sound familiar? You’ve worked all day and arrive home feeling as if the last thing you want to do is cook. The temptation looms large to order a pizza or take out from the local Chinese or Mexican place, but what you really crave is something homemade for supper.

Because I play out that scenario often, I’m always searching for easy homemade fixes for weeknight meals. When I discover a new dish such as Spicy Lamb Chops with Yogurt Cucumber Sauce I love to share it with my readers.

This recipe requires three easy steps. You marinate lamb chops in olive oil and lemon juice along with spicy Moroccan accents of cumin, paprika, parsley, and cilantro. Then you grill and serve them with a quickly assembled yogurt cucumber sauce.

The lamb needs 45 minutes to marinate, which will give you time to prepare the sauce and heat the grill. Then you cook the chops until they are rosy pink inside, about 10 minutes. I add sides of couscous scented with turmeric (which gives the grains a nice yellow hue) and cherry tomatoes sprinkled with sea salt and herbs. In an hour’s time (just a little longer than a typical wait for take out), you can sit down to a homemade dinner!

Spicy Lamb Chops with Yogurt Cucumber Sauce
5 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp lemon juice
2 garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
2 tbsp chopped flat leaf parsley
1 tbsp chopped cilantro
1 tbsp ground cumin
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp kosher salt
8 medium loin lamb chops, 3 to 4 ounces each (Large rib chops will work too.)

Yogurt Sauce
One 6-ounce (about 2/3 cup) container Greek-style yogurt
1 tbsp chopped flat leaf parsley plus 1 to 2 tsp extra for garnish, optional
11/2 tsp chopped cilantro plus 1 to 2 tsp extra for garnish, optional
1 tsp finely chopped garlic 
1/4 cup finely diced peeled cucumber
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1. For the lamb, in a shallow medium nonreactive dish, whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, parsley, cilantro, cumin, paprika, and salt. Add the lamb chops and turn several times to coat well in the marinade. Marinate 45 minutes or up to 6 hours (in the fridge if longer than 45 minutes).

2. Prepare the yogurt sauce. In a medium bowl, whisk together the yogurt, parsley, cilantro, and garlic; stir in the cucumber, 1/4 tsp salt, and several grinds of pepper. Taste and add more salt if needed.

3. When ready to grill, remove the lamb from the marinade. Oil a grill rack and arrange it 4 to 5 inches from the heat source. Prepare the grill for a hot fire. When ready, grill the chops about 3 to 4 minutes per side or until charred on the outside and rosy pink inside.

4. To serve, top each chop with a dollop of the yogurt sauce and if desired, sprinkle with some extra parsley and cilantro. Serves 4.

Copyright Betty Rosbottom 2013

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