GRILLED CHERMOULA LAMB CHOPS


Chermoula is a wonderful marinade made of a blend of spices widely used in Moroccan cooking. This deeply flavored paste of herbs and spices is almost always associated with seafood, particularly fish. Traditionally it is used with fish before it is baked or grilled. We find that it also matches well with grilled lamb and the spice and herb aromas pair well with the floral and spice notes of our Peay Syrahs.

Ingredients

1 teaspoon caraway seeds
1 tablespoon cumin seeds
1 cinnamon stick
1 tablespoon coriander seeds
3 whole cloves
2 tablespoons sweet paprika
Pinch of cayenne pepper
3 tablespoons olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons grated ginger
Juice of 1/2 a lemon
1/4 cup honey
2 8-rib racks of lamb, frenched and each rack cut into 4 double chops
1 1/2 tablespoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Finely chopped cilantro for garnish

Preparation

1. Toast the spices (caraway seeds, cumin seeds, cinnamon stick, coriander seeds, and cloves), in a dry heavy skillet over moderate heat, stirring until they are fragrant and a shade or two darker – no more than a few minutes. Finely grind the toasted spices in a coffee/spice grinder. Stir together with the paprika and the cayenne pepper.
2. Blend the olive oil, garlic, ginger, lemon juice and honey in a large bowl. Add the lamb and toss to coat. Season with the salt and pepper and toss with the spice mixture. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and marinate in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours to overnight.
3. Prepare a charcoal or gas grill for medium-hot coals. Take lamb out of the refrigerator and allow to come to room temperature. Season the chops with a little salt and pepper and grill 3 to 4 minutes per side for medium rare: 125°F with an instant-read thermometer. Transfer to a platter and loosely cover with foil. Take each double chop and cut it into two single bone chops. Garnish with the chopped cilantro and serve with a couscous mixed with brown spices, pine or almond nuts and raisins.

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