Pan-Seared Lamb Chops with Middle Eastern Tomato Sauce
Photo: Christopher Baker
Canned tomatoes, roasted red peppers, walnuts and spices create a spicy Eastern Mediterranean sauce that perfectly complements pan-seared lamb chops.

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Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 1 slice white sandwich bread, toasted and torn into pieces
  • 1 cup walnuts
  • 5 Tbsp. olive oil, divided
  • 3 Tbsp. pomegranate juice
  • 3 Tbsp. lemon juice (from about 1 lemon)
  • 3/4 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 2 roasted red bell peppers, roughly chopped (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes, drained
  • 2 1/2 tsp. kosher salt, divided
  • 1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper, divided
  • 8 small (1 1/2 thick) lamb loin chops (about 2 1/2 pounds)
  • 2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
  • 3 Tbsp. chopped mint, for garnish (optional)
  • Pita bread, for serving (optional)

Directions

Total time: 40 minutes

Note: The spicy sauce is a take on muhammara, a traditional Eastern Mediterranean dip made with roasted peppers and walnuts.

Put bread, walnuts, 4 tablespoons oil, pomegranate juice, lemon juice, cumin, cayenne, garlic, roasted peppers, tomatoes, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper into a blender and puree, stirring often, until very smooth; set aside.

Heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Season lamb chops all over with remaining 11/2 teaspoons salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper, then dust with flour, shaking off any excess. Arrange 4 chops in skillet and cook, flipping once, until deep golden brown and medium rare, 10 to 12 minutes. Transfer to a plate, cover loosely with foil, and repeat with remaining lamb chops.

Carefully discard any oil in skillet, then return skillet to medium-low heat, add sauce, and stir to scrape up any browned bits. Cook, stirring often, until thickened and hot throughout, 4 to 5 minutes. Spoon about 1/2 cup sauce onto each of 4 plates and top with lamb chops. Garnish with mint and serve with pita bread for dipping.

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