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Shish Hold-The-Kabob: Spiced Lamb Chops on Sauteed Peppers and Onions with Garlic and Mint Couscous


  • 8 rib lamb chops

  • Coarse salt and coarse black pepper

  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin, (1/3 palmful)

  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander, (1/3 palmful)

  • 1 teaspoon sweet paprika, (1/3 palmful)

  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, (EVOO)

  • 3 green bell peppers, seeded and cut into 1 inch pieces

  • 1 large yellow onion, cut into 1-inch pieces

  • 1 cup grape tomatoes

  • 1/2 cup flat leaf parsley leaves, chopped

  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped

  • 1 1/2 cups chicken stock

  • 1 1/2 cups couscous

  • Handful golden raisins

  • 5 or 6 sprigs fresh mint, finely chopped, about 3 tablespoons

  • 3 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted


Cover the chops with wax paper or plastic and whack each chop with the heel of your palm to flatten it out. Season chops with salt and pepper on both sides. Combine cumin, coriander and paprika and sprinkle the mixture evenly over chops. Pat the spices in place and wash up. Let chops stand 15 minutes. Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Add 2 tablespoons EVOO, 2 turns of the pan. Add peppers and onions. Season the vegetables with salt and pepper and cook together 5 minutes, then add grape tomatoes and continue to cook until skins begin to burst on tomatoes. Add half the flat leaf parsley to the skillet and toss. Transfer vegetables to a platter and cover with loose foil to hold heat. Place a tablespoon of EVOO in a small saucepan for couscous, just eyeball the amount. Heat oil over medium heat and add garlic. Sauté garlic 1 minute then add chicken stock and bring it up to a boil. Add couscous and cover the pot. Let stand for 5 minutes. Over medium-low heat toast the pinenuts in a small pan until they begin to give off their aroma, stirring them frequently to prevent them from burning. Return skillet to stove and add another tablespoon EVOO, a turn of the pan. Add lamb chops to skillet and sear 2-3 minutes on each side for medium rare, cook 4 minutes on each side for medium-well chops. Place chops on top of the peppers and onions. Fluff couscous with a fork and stir in the raisins, mint, remaining parsley and the pine nuts. Pass couscous at table. It makes a nice bed for the veggies and lamb to catch all the juices.