I don't think I can think of spring without thinking of tender lamb chops with fresh herbs crusted on their surface. My grandfather was a huge fan of lamb. When I was a kid, it was fancy! We only got lamb when we got to go out to dinner with Grandpa on the weekends we spent at his house. As the oldest of 10 kids, a sleepover without my siblings was heavenly.

Lamb chops are like little meatcicles. They are the perfect finger food because they come with their own handle. Now we can get a few different kinds, from smallest to largest, New Zealand, Eastern Washington and Colorado. Lamb chops are very lean when cleaned and Frenched properly, and they should not be overcooked. Medium rare to medium is perfect. Too much past that and they will be dry and chewy.

I made lamb chops for Easter dinner tonight with my wife – an herbed crust and forbidden rice in the style of risotto. I crisped up a little bacon, sauteed some shallots and garlic and added the stock in stages. I stirred it constantly until it was creamy and tender and also sauteed some maitake mushrooms and some broccolini and asparagus.

Lamb is easy to cook so please don't be frightened by the thought of it. Lamb is a great alternative to beef, but you may need to seek out a good butcher to help you out. For those on the diet program that counts points, lamb is about a point per ounce.


Herb-Crusted Lamb Chops

Ingredients

  • 1 8-bone lamb rack 
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard 
  • ¼ cup parsley, chopped
  • 1/8 cup thyme, chopped
  • ½ cup panko breadcrumbs
  • Salt and pepper
  • Olive oil

Directions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Season lamb rack with salt and pepper. In large sauté pan, over high heat, add olive oil. Place seasoned lamb rack into hot pan and sear until golden brown. When all sides are browned, remove from pan. Smear lamb with mustard. Mix together herbs and breadcrumbs. Pack herb/breadcrumb mixture onto lamb rack. Place in 350-degree oven for 15 minutes for medium-rare. Remove lamb from oven and let rest. Cut lamb chops every two bones.

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