8 lamb loin chops
250 g frozen peas
20 mint leaves + extra to garnish
50 g smoked almonds
Zest and juice of 1/2 lemon
25 g Parmesan, grated
125 mL olive oil
1 large kumara (Maori for sweet potato)
Sea salt & freshly ground black pepper
1/2 lemon juice to serve
Bring a medium sized saucepan of salted water to the boil. Add the frozen peas and cook for 2 minutes or until just done. Strain through a sieve and run under cold water until cool. Place the almonds, mint, lemon zest and juice and peas into a food processor then puree.
While the machine is running add the olive oil in a slow and steady stream so that it incorporates and makes a nice smooth pesto. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Transfer to a serving bowl, cover and refrigerate until needed. This can be made the day before.
Preheat the oven to 175°C. Wash and dry the outside of the kumara. Cut the kumara into chips approx. 1cm square and 8cm long. Toss in a large bowl with olive oil, salt and pepper then place in a single layer onto a tray lined with baking paper. Place into the oven and cook for 20 minutes then turn over and cook for another 15 minutes until golden and slightly crisp.
Preheat a BBQ or pan to a high heat. On a tray season both sides of the lamb chops with a little olive oil, salt and pepper. Cook for 4-5 minutes either side (depending on thickness) and then rest on a rack for 5 minutes. When ready to serve place them back on the BBQ for 2 minutes either side to reheat.
Remove pea pesto from the fridge at least 30 minutes before serving to allow it to come to room temperature. Neatly arrange the lamb chops onto a serving platter and drizzle with a little olive oil, squeeze of lemon juice and mint leaves. Place the kumara chips into a bowl and sprinkle with a little salt. Allow your guests to serve themselves.
Trim any excess fat off the 'tails' of the chops - this will stop excess flare-ups.
When the chops are almost done stand them up on the fat side to render some of the fat out and crisp it up.
As you reheat the lamb after it’s rested, cook the lamb chops a little bit less than what you think they need, then give them a good couple of minutes on each side to reheat after resting.
Aioli is a fantastic condiment to go with the kumara chips.
Credits: Australian Lamb