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Grilled Lamb Chops with Herbed Yogurt & Sugar Snap Pea Salad

It's amazing how scrumptious such a simple dish can be!

Spinach-Stuffed Turkey Burgers

Grilled lamb chops are not only delicious, but they are affordable. Whereas rack of lamb might be too expensive for a weeknight family meal, lamb chops are much more reasonably priced. They are full of flavor and nearly foolproof to cook. This recipe features a beautifully balanced but simple marinade. Once grilled, the lamb is paired with an herbed yogurt and a raw sugar snap pea salad. The flavors are vibrant and bright, the textures full of contrast. Conveniently, the lamb is the only element of the dish that is actually cooked...everything else is merely assembled. Once you make this dish, you'll want to enjoy it again and again. The following recipe is for four, but this is easily scalable up or down for any number of diners.

Equipment: cutting board; chef’s knife; paring knife; dry and wet measuring cups; measuring spoons; mixing bowls; rubber spatula; spoon; fork or reamer; grill or grill pan; tongs

Lamb Ingredients:

8 lamb chops

3 cloves minced garlic

¼ cup olive oil

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

1 teaspoons dried oregano

zest of half a lemon

kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Herbed Yogurt Ingredients:

½ cup plain Greek-style yogurt

1 tablespoon chopped mint

1 tablespoon chopped thyme

1 tablespoon chopped oregano

Sugar Snap Salad Ingredients:

1 pound sugar snaps, trimmed and strings removed

zest and juice of half a lemon

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 tablespoons mint, chiffonade

kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1. Prepare the marinade by combining the garlic, olive oil, red wine vinegar, dried oregano, and lemon zest in a small bowl. Add a generous pinch of salt and freshly ground black pepper. Pour the marinade over the lamb chops, turning the lamb chops to become evenly coated in the marinade. Cover and set aside.

ILOC tip: marinate the lamb for at least 1 hour up to overnight. If marinating for just one hour, the lamb may sit covered on the counter at room temperature. If marinating for several hours up to overnight, place in the refrigerator.

2. Meanwhile, prepare the herbed yogurt. Combine the yogurt with the chopped fresh herbs and set aside.

3. To make the sugar snap pea salad, carefully halve the sugar snaps crosswise using a sharp paring knife. Place the halved snap peas in a mixing bowl. Add the zest and juice of half a lemon, plus 2 tablespoons of mint chiffonade. Season generously with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Toss well and set aside.

ILOC tip: to make mint chiffonade (thin strips), stack several mint leaves, roll into a bundle and slice crosswise. It's all about technique, not torture!

4. Preheat the grill to 450F. Uncover the marinating lamb chops, turning them in the marinade. Season the chops with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Once the grill is hot, cook the lamb chops 4-5 minutes per side for medium-rare, turning only once. Remove the lamb from the grill and set aside.

"If you turn meat over and over, it will toughen. If the meat is sticking to the grill, it isn't ready. Wait until the meat has seared and released itself from the cooking surface."

5. To serve, place a 2-tablespoon dollop of yogurt on each four plates and flatten using the back of a spoon. Divide the sugar snap pea salad evenly among the four plates, then place two lamb chops on each plate.

Makes 4 servings.

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