An introductory side note: Last summer, a friend introduced me to the deliciousness of chutney. At first, I wasn't sure how such a strange word could be associated with anything that tasted decent... Of course, I was proved wrong and my culinary horizons were broadened (thanks, Brad!). His homemade chutney (cantaloupe, I believe) made for a fantastic pizza topping! Who would have thought? This is why I have cultured friends.
Back to more recent history: A couple of weeks ago, I had "one of those days." The kind where I had about 15 unappealing items on my to-do list. So naturally, my prioritizing skills lead me to online recipe searching. As I was skimming through foodnetwork.com, "Cranberry-Serrano Chutney" caught my eye faster than something shiny. In front of it, were the words "Grilled Lamb Chops" and "Cranberry Sauce." Instinct told me that it had to be good. Because several cooking blogs out there have already failed to recognize the recipe's origin, I figured it would be most appropriate to give credit where it is due. Thank you, Bobby Flay, for your flavor combination expertise. His full recipe can be found here.
We followed his Cranberry-Serrano Chutney and Cranberry Sauce recipes exactly. In addition to what is mentioned, we recommend not using just "red wine," but "cheap dry red wine." If you're not a fan of red wine, save yourself the effort of picking out a decent bottle. For the connoisseurs out there, go ahead and get good red wine. It pairs well with the lamb!
*See the link for the Cranberry-Serrano Chutney and Cranberry Sauce Recipes
Here's the recipe for perfectly grilled lamb loin chops:
Lamb Chops (typically plan on 2 chops per person; I used shoulder chops)
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Sea Salt (to taste)
Freshly Ground Pepper (to taste)
Substitute garlic salt for sea salt (again, to taste)
Garnish with fresh whole cilantro leaves
Side dish: We highly recommend serving fresh grilled asparagus with the lamb. For whatever reason, the sauce and chutney were delicious on the asparagus also! I imagine that grilled zucchini, onions, and yellow squash would be great too.
Start by firing up your grill. In order to properly cook the lamb, it needs to be adequately preheated (I cooked mine on medium-high heat). You will easily be able to tell if you have done so if the meat immediately sizzles. Also, for those of you that are uninterested in cleaning the grill, cook on thick foil. It just simplifies life.
Prepare the chops by sprinkling them with the salt and pepper. Then, rub a thin layer of olive oil on all sides. Place them on the grill, turning only once. For medium-rare, this took about 6 minutes per side with the lid open. Lid down, the process would have been quicker. Because few grills cook the same way, remain on standby.
This right here... That's what it's all about!
Allow the chops to rest once they have been removed from the grill. Even though you are going to be really tempted to, avoid cutting into the meat!!! This drains the juices, leaving the chops dryer than necessary. If you must check to see if they should cook for a little bit longer, make a very small incision towards the center of the chop.
In the meantime, get the asparagus cooking on the same piece of foil that was used for the lamb. I coated the asparagus in an Italian herb olive oil marinade while the lamb was on the grill. The asparagus took about 5 minutes to cook.
I recommend plating the chops rather than serving on a platter. This way, you can arrange the sauce and chutney in a way that you like and none is left at the bottom of the serving dish. This stuff is too good to waste!
The final result! Go ahead; impress your friends (and yourself) with less effort than they expect.