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The New Grilling Superstar Delicious, lean lamb shimmers with summertime flavors

5/9/2014, 12:23 p.m.
Lamb Loin Chops with Green Bean & Potato Salad

(Family Features) This grilling season, choose lean, tender lamb as the centerpiece for your summer entertaining menu.

Myths behind the meat

“In my career as a cookbook author and cooking instructor, I have never seen a more misunderstood ingredient than lamb,” said Amy Riolo, award-winning author, chef, television personality and culinary educator. “While prized in most other places in the world, lamb remains a mystery to most Americans.”

If you haven’t tried lamb in a while, you may be surprised by this flavorful protein. While often confused for mutton, the tougher meat of older lamb, young lamb is tender. Others may shy away from this choice protein, believing it has a gamey taste. But modern lamb is raised differently than in the past, resulting in a sweeter, succulent taste.

Grill up goodness

Chef Amy Riolo provides these tips for serving up scrumptious, savory lamb on the grill.

Grilling lamb with garlic, mint and olive oil is a great way to introduce lamb for first-timers. Cut slits into the lamb meat and insert pieces of garlic cloves, then rub with oil and dried mint.

Use a meat thermometer to measure the internal temperature. Lamb will continue cooking after you pull it off the grill, so it’s best to remove it about 10 degrees lower than your target temperature.

Lamb is best served medium rare (145°F) or medium (160°F). All ground lamb should be cooked to 160°F.

For more lamb recipes and cooking tips, visit www.leanonlamb.com, www.pinterest.com/leanonlamb or on Twitter @leanonlamb.

Lamb Loin Chops with Green Bean & Potato Salad

Yield: 6 servings

For salad:

1/2 cup fat free plain Greek yogurt

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

1 lemon, zested and juiced

2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill

1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

1 pint cherry tomatoes, cut in half

1 pound green beans, ends trimmed and cut in half

2 pounds small red new potatoes, larger potatoes cut in half

For lamb:

4 cloves garlic, minced

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

2 1/2 pounds lamb loin chops

(or 10 loin chops)

In large bowl, whisk together yogurt, olive oil, lemon juice and zest, dill, chives, salt, pepper and cherry tomatoes; set aside.

In large saucepan bring 6 cups water to a boil. Add green beans and cook until tender, 3 to 5 minutes. Remove with slotted spoon and add to bowl with dressing. Add potatoes to already simmering water and cook until tender, about 10 minutes. Drain potatoes and add to bowl. Toss to coat.

Combine garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper in small bowl. Place lamb chops on large tray and rub garlic oil mixture all over lamb loin chops; set aside while grill heats.

On gas grill, turn all burners to high, close lid and heat until grates are hot, about 15 minutes. Scrape grates clean. Grill lamb chops about 6 minutes per side or until cooked to 145°F for medium rare. Move to clean plate and let rest 5 minutes. Toss potato salad again and serve with lamb chops.