Friday, October 11, 2013

Food & Wine Festival at Home, Grilled Lamb Chops with Mint Pesto & Potato Crunchies

The pressure of missing this year’s Food & Wine Festival affected me so much that I actually broke down and made reservations to go this year.  One of my favorite dishes was from Australia.  The Grilled Lamb Chop with Mint Pesto and Potato Crunchies is making a repeat appearance this year, and I can't wait to compare my version with theirs.  This recipe was not in last year’s festival cookbook, but I liked it so much that I've made a tasty version easy enough for any home cook.  This is quick to prepare any weeknight, just remember to marinate the lamb the day before.

Mint Pesto
¾ cup fresh packed mint leaves
¼ cup fresh flat leaf parsley leaves
2 scallions, sliced thick
2 medium garlic cloves
½ teaspoon of lemon zest, grated finely
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Sea Salt, to taste
  1. Grab your food processor and toss in the parsley, scallions, garlic, lemon zest and mint leaves.  Press the button until it is chopped pretty good.
  2. Add the olive oil slowly until the mixture is smooth
  3. Add sea salt to taste
Easy peasy!  I triple the recipe and freeze the pesto in ice cube trays, which was done when fresh parsley & mint were plentiful at my local farmer's market.  Your local grocer should carry it, too.  Each cube equals about 1 oz of pesto that I can thaw later and put on a burger or add to pasta for a quick side dish on a busy night.

Potato Crunchies
2 cups of salt & vinegar potato chips

I said this would be the super easy, home chef version, right?  Put your mandolin slicer back in the cupboard and pick up a bag of Kettle Brand Sea Salt & Vinegar chips.  These chips are non-GMO, Kosher certified, gluten free and taste amazing.  Boulder Canyon makes a pretty good version, too.  They are pretty much the same thing as the potato crunchies served on the Australia dish, but without all the slicing and frying.  One or two quick pulses in your food processor until the pieces are medium sized should be fine.

Couldn't resist adding Mickey...
Grilled Lamb Chops
¼ cup distilled white vinegar
1 teaspoon fresh rosemary leaves
2 teaspoons sea salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon minced garlic (about 2 medium cloves)
1 small onion, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 pounds lamb chops (I used lamb shoulder for this was on sale and is generally less expensive than chops.)
  1. Combine the vinegar, rosemary, salt, pepper, garlic, onion and olive oil in a large resealable bag or plastic container with a lid.  Mix until all of the salt has dissolved. 
    She had fun shaking the container before adding the meat.
  2. Drop the lamb in, toss to coat and marinate in the refrigerator for at least two hours.  I usually marinate overnight.
    My little sous chef!
  3. After marinating, wrap exposed ends of bones with foil to prevent burning and grill, inside on your grill plate or outside, until medium (or however you like it).  You can also put it in the broiler.  In any preparation, you shouldn't have to cook it more than 5 minutes on each side, less on an outdoor grill. Discard the remaining marinade. 

Now here's the fun part!  After grilling the lamb, coat the lamb chops with the mint pesto, and add the potato crunchies on top of that.  Serve hot with your favorite side dish.

Bon Appetit! (Wait...I don't think that's Australian...)

Lottie F. Honorary Disney Gal
Twitter: @crunchydisneyma

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