Everyday Food (November 2009)
Sometimes we love poring over a complicated recipe and sourcing exotic, hard-to-fine spices or special cuts of meat. Sometimes we really enjoy spending a lazy afternoon in the kitchen, slowly cajoling ingredients to join in a triumphant symphony of flavors.
Other times, we just wanna eat.
Enter these Lamb Chops with Mustard-Herb Crust. Simple, pleasing and lightning-fast -- it took us longer to pull together a simple green salad than to cook these chops.
We did make one major substitution with this dish: We used shoulder chops instead of loin chops. (The recipe doesn't specify exactly, but the photo that accompanied it -- which, unfortunately, isn't online yet -- made it clear we were supposed to use loin chops.)
Sure the loin is slender and good-looking, that perfect cut of meat that's so quintessentially "lamb." But getting enough to feed just the two of us (and only barely) would have cost us $28. Meanwhile, we could get four hefty shoulder chops for nine bucks. And it ain't 2007, so we reached for the cheap stuff.
As we said, bringing this recipe together is a snap. The recipe says it takes 20 minutes; we're not sure it even takes that long. (Maybe if you include the five minutes of resting time.) Just brush with the mustard, dredge through the breadcrumb mixture and throw on the stove for six minutes.
We did have one problem with this dish: We found it incredibly difficult to keep the breading from falling off the meat. At first, we thought maybe our oil wasn't hot enough, or the pan we were using wasn't "non-stick-y" enough. So for the second batch of the chops, we switched to a true non-stick pan and made sure the oil was hot. But we still had the same issue.
Next time, we might throw an egg in the mustard. We bet that would give it just enough stickiness to keep the breading from falling off.
Still, as it was, the chops were mighty tasty -- savory and mustardy, with a nice mix of sharpness from the rosemary and Italian herbs.
It's not the kind of dish you'd write home about, but if you're looking for something quick and satisfying on a hectic mid-week evening, these lamb chops are just the thing.
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
-- 1/4 cup Dijon mustard
-- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
-- 1/2 cup plan dried breadcrumbs
-- 2 tablespoons finely grated Parmesan
-- 1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary
-- 1 teaspoon dried Italian herbs
-- 8 lamb chops (3 to 4 ounces each)
-- course salt and ground pepper
-- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
In a small bowl, combine mustard and garlic. In a wide, shallow bowl, combine breadcrumbs, Parmesan, rosemary and dried herbs: whisk to combine. Pat lamb chops dry with a paper towel and season with 2 teaspoons salt and 1 teaspoon pepper. With a basting brush, lightly coat lamb chops with mustard mixture, then dredge in breadcrumb mixture.
In a large nonstick saucepan, heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium-high. Add half the lamb chops to pan and cook until browned, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Repeat with remaining chops and oil. Let lamb chops rest 5 minutes before serving.