12-14 lamb chops (at least one for each guest attending)
1/2 cup olive oil
Juice from one medium sized lemon
3 tablespoons fresh rosemary
Handful of fresh cilantro
3 medium garlic cloves
1/4 tsp. ground cumin
Pinch of cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 tsp. fresh ground pepper
Trim fat from chops. In a small food processor, mix the lemon juice, rosemary, cilantro, garlic, cumin, cayenne pepper, salt and pepper. Marinate in refrigerator overnight. The evening of the party, take your chops out of refrigerator with enough time to bring to room temperature. Preheat broiler on high heat. Place a stainless steel or cast iron skillet with metal handle into oven to preheat the pan for 10 minutes. Place chops in pan and cook for 5-6 minutes.
*This recipe obviously takes more than 10 minutes start to finish, but is still very easy and impressive.
2 large eggplants (2 1/2 lbs. total)
1/4 cup well-stirred tahini (Middle Eastern sesame paste, found in the bulk section at Whole Foods)
2 to 3 garlic cloves, chopped and mashed to a paste with 1/2 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 to 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (we only used 1 tbsp.)
1 tablespoon chopped fresh Italian parsley
Accompaniment: toasted pita wedges (The prepared olive oil crostini found in the deli section of Whole Foods works well too)
Prepare grill for cooking. Grill eggplants on a rack set 4 inches over glowing coals, turning every 10 minutes, until charred all over and very soft, 20 to 35 minutes. (Or broil in a shallow baking pan about 6 inches from heat, turning occasionally.) Let eggplants cool. Discard charred skins and tough stem ends and purée eggplants in a blender with tahini, garlic paste, lemon juice, cumin, and salt until well combined. Season with more salt if necessary. Transfer to a bowl, drizzle with oil and sprinkle with parsley.