Thursday, June 14, 2012

A do-over moment: Pistachio and spice-crusted lamb chops

Sometimes things just don’t work out in the kitchen. For me, more often than not, it’s because I’m attempting to bake. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I do not understand the science of baking. Sure, I can follow a recipe and make something delicious, but when it comes to actually creating a recipe from scratch, things frequently go awry. Therefore, when I do bake, I avoid certain things. I tend to stick with premade piecrusts because homemade pastry and I have a very tempestuous relationship. I stay away from baking powder and baking soda because I will never understand how they work. Homemade bread? Ha. You get the point…

So when Foodbuzz and Frigidaire presented an opportunity to rectify a dish that went all wrong, you’d think I might choose the disgusting recipe labeled “Awful Cake” in my notebook, or the bread dough that was so loose and sticky I could barely get it off my hands and into the garbage, or the mini cheesecakes I made recently that Andy described as “gummy.” Nope…I tend to cut my losses when it comes to desserts that don’t come out quite right.

Instead, for my do-over recipe I decided to remake a lamb dish that flopped, because it REALLY irritates me when I feel like I have a great idea with great flavors and it still doesn’t work. We’re talking a serious amount of crankiness here. It might take me awhile to try it again due to said crankiness, but with savory dishes, I usually do.

This particular dish was supposed to be a perfectly cooked, tender, juicy rack of lamb that received oohs and aahs when it was sliced into. But what did I get? A rack of lamb that was completely overdone on the ends and almost raw in the middle. Wah-wah. Maybe it was my oven temperature, maybe the meat was too cold in the middle, or maybe I just needed a reminder from the universe that everything doesn’t always work out. In any case, it has been quite a long time since I made this, but I decided the time was right for another attempt.

Since I’m still bitter about the whole rack debacle, I chose to make lamb chops this time. Same general recipe and ingredients, but more control over the doneness. I was much happier this time around…

Pistachio and Spice-crusted Lamb Chops

1/2 cup Greek yogurt
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
6-8 double cut lamb chops

1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
3 tablespoons shelled pistachios
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
salt and pepper, to taste

1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1-2 tablespoons olive oil

For marinade:
Whisk together first 5 marinade ingredients and pour into a zip-top bag. Add lamb chops and marinate for at least 1 hour in the refrigerator.

For breading:
In a food processor, combine breading ingredients. Run until mixture is chopped to a fine crumb. Pour into a pie plate.

For lamb chops:
When ready to cook, preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
Remove lamb chops from marinade and shake off most of the yogurt mixture. Press chops into bread crumb mixture and coat both sides well, pressing to adhere.
Heat butter and olive oil in a stainless steel pan over high heat. Sear lamb chops for about 1-2 minutes per side, being careful of the crust when turning. Transfer to the oven for about 5 minutes more (for medium doneness).

The lamb chops were perfectly cooked and the crust added tons of flavor from the pistachios and the red pepper flakes. I will definitely make these again…who needs a whole rack anyway?? I’d call this do-over a huge success.

This post was sponsored by Frigidaire. When you share your own do-over moment at, Frigidaire will donate $1 to Save the Children's U.S. programs. Plus, Frigidaire will help cover the costs for one lucky visitor to win the ultimate do-over. 


  1. Oh this looks lovely! I really like anything crusted with nuts, I think it adds great flavor

  2. I will try the same with Chicken... potatoes on the side looks cute....:-)

    Yum! Yum! Yum!

  3. This is a great looking dish, and I'm so pleased your do-over worked out. I'm totally with you on the baking front though - it's a whole science that I don't get, and any failures (which is many) never get made again.


  4. I love lamb, so I am really glad you chose THIS recipe to do over. It looks perfect!

  5. Delicious lamb chop preparation! That crust looks amazing.

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