Lamb Chops with Pomegranate-Pistachio Couscous
- TOTAL TIME: 40 MIN
- SERVINGS: 4
Now that antioxidant-rich pomegranate juice is readily available at supermarkets (look for P.O.M brand), Annie Wayte likes to use it in a sauce for juicy lamb chops. For more pomegranate flavor, she serves the chops with a couscous salad spiked with the ruby-red seeds.
- 1 cup cilantro leaves
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
- 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- Four 7-ounce lamb loin chops, 1 1/4 inches thick, trimmed of excess fat
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 cup couscous
- 2 tablespoons chopped mint
- 2 tablespoons chopped unsalted pistachios
- 1/4 cup pomegranate seeds
- 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons pomegranate juice
- Preheat the oven to 375°. In a blender or food processor, combine the cilantro, garlic, cumin, cayenne and lemon juice with 1/2 teaspoon of the lemon zest and 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and process to a paste. Spread all but 1 tablespoon of the seasoning paste over the lamb chops and let stand for 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, bring the water to a boil. Add the cinnamon, 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Stir in the couscous, cover and remove from the heat; let stand until all the water has been absorbed, about 10 minutes. Transfer the couscous to a large bowl and fluff with a fork. Stir in the mint, pistachios, half of the pomegranate seeds and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon of lemon zest. Cover and keep warm.
- Heat the remaining 1 teaspoon of olive oil in a medium ovenproof skillet. Scrape off the seasoning paste on the lamb chops. Add the chops to the skillet and cook over moderate heat, turning once, until browned, about 5 minutes. Transfer the skillet to the oven and roast for 6 minutes for medium-rare meat. Transfer the lamb to a plate and pour off the fat in the skillet.
- Set the skillet over moderate heat and add the pomegranate juice and the reserved 1 tablespoon of the seasoning paste. Cook, scraping up any bits stuck to the pan. Simmer over moderate heat until reduced to 1/4 cup, about 2 minutes.
- Mound the couscous on plates and top with the lamb chops. Spoon the sauce on the meat, sprinkle with the remaining pomegranate seeds and serve.
Powerful, rich red blend.