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It’s not a good idea to go to the grocery store without a plan, as I did today.  You’ll wind up wasting time wandering back and forth, trying to make up your mind.  Plus, you’ll annoy the guy behind the meat counter who keeps thinking you need help.  After waffling for a long time, I landed on lamb – not the normal chops, which are too expensive most of the time, but an inexpensive shoulder chop.  When I got home, instead of making asparagus to go with it, as I had originally intended, I decided that rice with raisins and almonds would be better.

Mix together equal parts:dsc_00031

  • freshly ground black pepper
  • cumin
  • paprika
  • salt

I used about 1/2 teaspoon for 1 1/2 pounds of lamb.  Sprinkle this mixture on both sides of the lamb chops, and then follow that up with more salt, if you want it, again, on both sides.

To make the rice, you’ll need

  • about 1/2 cup diced onion
  • 1/3 cup almond slivers
  • 1/3 cup raisins
  • 1 cup rice (preferably basmati)

We didn’t have almond slivers, so I just chopped up some whole almonds.  In a medium sized sauce pan or stock pot, heat about a tablespoon and a half of olive oil over medium high heat.  Add the onion and stir this around until it’s translucent, then add the rice.  Stir the rice for a couple of minutes or so, then stir in the raisins and almonds.

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Add the amount of water called for in the directions for the particular rice you’re using, and follow those directions as you normally would.  I found that my rice was a little too moist when it was finished, so try adding a little less than the directions call for.

dsc_0009While the rice is cooking, heat up the broiler and find an ovenproof pan big enough to hold the lamb.  Pour some olive oil into the bottom of the pan – just enough to liberally coat the bottom.  Put the chops in the pan and press them into the oil, then flip them over.

When the rice has 8-10 minutes left to cook, put the lamb under the broiler (about 4 inches from the heat).  If the lamb is 2 inches thick, you’ll want about 4 minutes per side for medium to medium rare.  If it’s 1 inch thick, reduce this time to 2 1/2 minutes per side.  Once the lamb is done, you’ll need to let it rest for 3-4 minutes so that the juices won’t all run out when you slice into it.

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