Cooking Italy: Thin Lamb Chops in Parmesan Batter~

23 06 2010

Cooking Italy is kind of in “catch up” mode.  Many of us have been caught up with real life events that have made cooking on schedule a little difficult.  Personally, it makes me laugh.  Every group goes on vacation about the time I can finally get away from work and put my energy toward them! Oh well.  It’s how it goes!  So I am catching up…as much as I can.

This time around, I was finally able to locate a lamb rib rack to make the thin lamb chops with the parmesan batter.  It’s more of a parmesan crust than a batter, but that’s ok.  It’s darn tasty!  Marcella has us dust pounded lamb chops as thin as the rib bones themselves, just like you would if you were making scallopini, then press grated parmesan onto the meat, dip it in egg wash and crust it with plain bread crumbs…here’s a little East meets West…I used Panko.  It made a perfect crisp crust over the parmesan which was fabulous seasoning.  Just to make sure the coating didn’t fly off the meat when I cooked it, I let the breading set for about 15 minutes after all the pieces were coated.

Then, into a hot skillet with about 1/4 inch of hot vegetable oil to cook the lamb and brown the crust.  Meanwhile, in a grill pan, we had half a pound of asparagus grilling with olive oil and spritzes of lemon juice.  Everything was sprinkled with kosher salt and freshly ground pepper as it completed cooking.

Tasting Notes~
I wasn’t sure what to expect…  I thought it would be plenty salty enough, between the salt in the Parmesan cheese and the kosher salt.  I was wondering if it would need a sauce of some sort…would it need a starch side to pick it up…maybe garlic mashed with a demi-glace…and that wouldn’t have been a bad thing…  However, this dish carries itself quite nicely.  The cheese does a really good job of covering the typical lamb flavor some folks find objectionable.  I had mint jelly ready, but mint jelly wasn’t something that seemed to pair with this.  In retrospect, I’d try a chutney another time.   The asparagus was a great “go with” especially with the lemony seasoning.  We liked this so well, we’d like to try the method on other meats, particularly pork.  Both of us had the same thought.  Pork cutlets done this way could be downright tasty…I’ll post those results when I give that a try.  I’ve got boneless pork loin chops, and they’d be just perfect.

Angela~ This was a wonderful selection!  I think pairing this with parmesan mashed potatoes and a colorful vegetable would be simply fabulous!!   Thanks for this one!!