Parmesan Crusted Lamb Chops
Fried chicken cutlets or pork chops are pure comfort food. Crispy coating to sink your teeth into followed by moist meat. It is a treat every time. Parmesan crusted lamb chops are that and more. The Italians love their lamb, and this is an excellent preparation for it. Using lamb gives us a fantastic richness and a beautiful aesthetic. Because of how rich and flavorful these lamb chops are, I like to serve them with a bitter salad. I have attached a recipe below. The bitter radicchio and endive help balance the richness of the lamb.
This recipe can easily be made with pork or chicken if you cannot find a rack of lamb or just don't care for the flavor. If you choose to use chicken or pork, I recommend omitting the rosemary as it can overpower the flavor. I use a classic dredging system to bread the lamb, which can translate to many types of meat and vegetables.
Parmesan Crusted Lamb Chops
1 rack of lamb
1 cup flour
2 eggs, whisked
1 cup bread crumbs
½ cup grated parmesan cheese
½ tsp dried rosemary
Holding the lamb rack upright, take a sharp knife and slice in between the rib bones. When you get to the base of the flesh, you may find your knife catches on a bone. Don't worry, wiggle your knife a bit from side to side. There is a small opening between each bone so you can guide your knife through the flesh. Repeat to separate each lamb chop. Place an individual lamb chop in between two pieces of parchment or wax paper. Using a meat mallet or the heel of a small pan, pound the chop down so that it is nice and thin. Repeat with remaining lamb chops then season them well with salt and pepper.
To dredge the chops, place the flour and eggs on their own large plates then combine the breadcrumbs, parmesan, and rosemary and spread out onto a third large plate. Start by dredging the lamb in the flour followed by the eggs then the breadcrumb mixture. Place on a sheet tray. Be mindful to bread the fleshy part of the lamb; no need to bread the bone. Repeat with remaining lamb chops. At this point, I like to let my breaded meat sit in the refrigerator, uncovered, for 1 to 4 hours so that the breading has time to adhere to the meat (covering the meat will create moisture, and the breading will get soggy).
Heat a large skillet on high heat. Add about a ¼ inch of oil to the pan. When the oil is hot and shimmering, carefully lay the lamb chops in the hot oil. Please do not try and squeeze everything into the pan at once. Cooking in batches is expected. You want some space in between each chop so that they fry well and evenly. The oil should be sizzling nicely. Take a large spoon and gently baste the lamb. (Basting is a technique where you ladle or spoon hot liquid, in this case, the oil, on to the top of the meat. The heat of the oil will help cook the top side of the meat.) I focus on pouring the hot oil on the thicker section of the chop where the lamb and bone meet. After about 3 minutes, you will notice a beautiful brown color on the sides of the chop. At this point, flip the lamb over and cook the second side 2-3 minutes. Remove the fried lamb from the pan and place on a towel-lined plate.
Serve with your favorite salad or rice and vegetables.
Radicchio Salad with Guanciale and Cannellini Beans
1 head radicchio, chopped
1 head Belgian endive, halved and sliced
1 cup cooked cannellini beans
2 oz guanciale or bacon, diced
2 TBSP shallot, minced
1 TBSP grain mustard
2 TBSP red wine vinegar or sherry vinegar
1 TBSP olive oil
Fresh cracked pepper
In a large bowl, toss radicchio, endive, and beans together; set aside. Place guanciale in a cool pan and turn the heat on medium-low. Gently cook the guanciale, rendering, or melting the fat. When the fat is translucent, and the flesh starts to crisp up a bit, add the shallots. Saute for 5 minutes or until the shallot is tender and translucent. Turn off the heat and stir in the mustard followed by the vinegar and oil. Toss warm vinaigrette with the reserved radicchio mixture. Top with freshly cracked pepper.
Chef Liza Greifinger
Your Guide to Our Culinary Trip Around the World
Growing up in New York, surrounded by the flavors of the world, Liza developed a love for food and cooking. After a fulfilling career in outdoor education, she decided to explore her passion for food. Liza studied at The French Culinary Institute and then trained with some of the top chefs in New York City before being drawn to the mountains of Colorado. She joined the team at Food Lab, in Boulder, in the spring of 2016. There she teaches cooking skills and technique to all ages as well as curriculum development for the educational programs.