Lamb chops with sun-dried tomato-basil stuffing

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PREP TIME

20 min

Makes

6 servings

* PLUS Barbecuing Time: 16 minutes, Refrigeration Time: 60 minutes

Ingredients

  • 12 oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes , halved
  • 2 tbsp oil , drained from sun-dried tomatoes
  • 2 garlic cloves , minced
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves , lightly packed
  • generous pinch salt
  • generous pinch pepper
  • 6 large loin lamb chops , or 12 smaller chops, 1 1/2-in. thick
  • 140-g log creamy goat cheese
  • 2 tbsp olive oil

Instructions

  • In a food processor or blender, pulse drained tomatoes, tomato oil, garlic, basil, salt and pepper to a coarse paste. Remove 2 rounded tablespoons (40 mL) to a small dish to be used for stuffing. Set remainder aside in a separate small bowl.
  • Trim any excess fat from lamb. Place 1 chop flat on a cutting board. Make a small horizontal slit, about 3/4 inch (2 cm) wide, in centre of widest side of chop. Widen to form a pocket by inserting tip of a sharp knife to a depth of about 1/2 inch (1 cm), then gently wiggling it from side to side. Remove knife, insert your index finger and gently move it in a circular motion to open pocket at least 1 inch (2.5 cm) wide. Repeat with remaining chops.
  • Spoon enough tomato mixture into pockets to just fill holes, about 1 teaspoon (5 mL) each if filling 6 chops or 1/2 teaspoon (2 mL) if filling 12 chops. Mixture expands during cooking, so don’t pack it in. Set aside at room temperature for up to 1 hour or cover and refrigerate up to 1 day.
  • Mix remaining tomato mixture with chèvre, making sure it is evenly combined. On a sheet of plastic wrap, roll chèvre back into a log shape. Seal wrap and twist ends tightly. Refrigerate until firm, at least 1 hour, or overnight.
  • When ready to barbecue, bring chops to room temperature. Oil grill and preheat barbecue to high. Brush chops with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place chops on grill and barbecue 8 to 10 minutes per side for medium-rare. Remove chops to a platter and cover to keep warm. Slice cold chèvre log into 6 rounds. If using 12 chops, cut each round in half. After placing warm chops on plates, top with a round of chèvre so it will start to melt, then serve right away.

Nutrition (per serving)

  • Calories
  • 269,
  • Protein
  • 21.1 g,
  • Carbohydrates
  • 1.9 g,
  • Fat
  • 19.6 g,
  • Fibre
  • 0.5 g,
  • Sodium
  • 147 mg.

A fresh basil, sun-dried tomato and garlic puree tucked into loin lamb chops fragrantly embellishes the meat without diminishing its delicate taste.

Oven roasting

Prepare chops as you would for barbecuing. Preheat oven to 500F (260C) and place a sturdy baking sheet in oven. Place a heavy-bottomed frying pan, such as a cast-iron one, that’s big enough to hold all chops (or use 2 pans) on a burner set to high. When pan is very hot, add oiled chops and cook for 2 minutes per side. Remove to hot baking sheet in oven and roast from 8 to 10 minutes for medium-rare chops.

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