Chile-Rubbed Lamb Chops with Pumpkin Seed Sauce

A single serrano chile gives the tangy pumpkin seed sauce a mild, pleasant heat. If you'd like more spice, add another serrano to the mix; you can also use a spicier chile powder to coat the lamb.

Leg of lamb steaks are a good alternative to chops. Cook them for about 5 minutes per side on the stove; they won't need to roast in the oven.

Slideshow: More Amazing Lamb Recipes

  • Servings: 4
KEY: Fall, Winter, Fast - Column, Roasting, Dinner Party, New Year's Eve, American, Mexican, Southwestern/Tex-Mex, Fast, Dinner

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  • 1/2 cup loosely packed cilantro leaves
  • 1/4 cup loosely packed mint leaves
  • 1 small shallot, coarsely chopped
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons raw pumpkin seeds
  • 1 serrano chile, coarsely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 3 tablespoons peanut oil
  • Salt
  • 2 tablespoons mild chile powder, such as chimayo
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • Four 1/2-pound lamb loin chops

How to make this recipe

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°. In a blender or food processor, puree the cilantro, mint, shallot, pumpkin seeds, serrano, water, lime juice, 2 tablespoons of the oil and 1/4 teaspoon salt until smooth.
  2. On a plate, combine the chile powder with the cumin, oregano and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Rub the chile mixture all over the lamb chops.
  3. Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large ovenproof skillet. Add the lamb chops and cook over moderately high heat until browned, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer to the oven and bake for about 12 minutes for medium-rare meat. Transfer the chops to large plates and serve with the sauce.

Suggested Pairing

Spicy lamb chops call for a spicy red. Look for a California Syrah/Shiraz bottling.

Contributed By Published February 1999

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