Day 17 of 31 days of pumpkin. We’re on a roll, people. Yesterday, I made these spicy, savory pumpkin seeds and today we get to coat lamb chops with them and fry them up. I have a confession to make. While I coated lamb chops for me, I coated chicken breast strips for my children. They absolutely loved them. So coat and fry whatever you want. Lamb, chicken… I bet eggplant slices would be great fried this way too.
One of the things that I like about doing these recipes every day is the fact that my kitchen tools are really getting a workout. I like that I’m finally making a dent in my cinnamon, ginger, allspice, cloves and mace collection and that my small appliances are making it out on to the counter. Like this one, my Cuisinart mini-prep, which got a workout today chopping and grinding the roasted pumpkin seeds.
The trick to frying pieces of meat like this, is to have the pan hot enough to sear the coating right onto the meat, browning nicely, without burning the coating before the meat itself has had time to cook. Here are some tips:
1) Let the meat sit out while you are preparing the coating so that it has time to approach room temperature. Let the coating sit on the lamb (to sort of soak in) while the pan is heating.
2) Heat the pan first, then add the oil and let it heat up too.
3) Then add the meat being careful not to crowd too much meat into the pan. If you add too many pieces, the moisture will overwhelm the pan and start to steam the meat and your coating won’t brown correctly.
4) Watch the pan to make sure that there is enough fat in the pan to keep the whole operation well-oiled (without drowning the pieces in oil). You can add a little dab here and there towards the end of the frying time if you need it to keep things from drying and burning.
Pumpkin Seed Encrusted Lamb Loin Chops
6 lamb loin chops
salt and pepper
1/2 cup Spicy Roasted Pumpkin Seeds
2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
1/4 cup Panko crumbs
2 Tbsp milk
2 Tbsp of peanut oil for frying
1. Trim excess fat from lamb loin chops. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
2. In a food processor, grind the toasted seeds into crumbs. Transfer to a bowl. Add flour and Panko crumbs and mix.
3. In another bowl, whisk together the egg and milk.
4. Dredge the chops in the egg mixture first and then coat on both sides with the seed-flour mixture. Transfer to a rack or plate.
5. Preheat 2 medium sautée pans on medium-high heat for several minutes. Add oil to each and continue to heat. Add three lamb chops to each pan. They should sizzle as they enter the pan. Fry on one side for 3-5 minutes and then flip with tongs to cook the other side for 3-4 minutes more. Remove to a plate covered with paper towels before plating immediately.
I served my lamb chops with mashed yams, one of my seasonal favorites. They are made the same way I make regular mashed potatoes, which is to roast the yam first, then with a potato masher or fork, mash with a couple tablespoons of whole milk.