Lollipop Lamb Chops, Irresistible Finger Foods That Speak Greek

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Personal chef-caterer Katherine Louis Boucher knows how to turn lamb chops into luscious Greek style “lollipop” appetizers. 

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She says to offer guests napkins and stand back to watch the chops disappear.

Watch this short video to see her marinade and grilling technique. Opa!

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The chops are cut from the lamb rack, and each has a curved bone that is meat-free at the bottom making it the perfect handle for finger food grazing.

occhefkatherineready350Growing up in a Greek-American family in Santa Ana, her maiden name was Louis, an Ellis Island adaptation of the original Louizo. Marinated-then-grilled lamb was a culinary tradition in her childhood home, especially on holidays. Her father often prepared whole leg of lamb before deciding a couple of years ago that grilling the chops was easier and more delicious.

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She riffs on her father’s marinade enhancing the mix with chopped fresh parsley and thinly sliced fresh jalapeno chilies.

“Those jalapenos bring a little more depth to the flavor and by the time they are grilled, they are mellow,” she says.

She adds that similar lamp-chop lollipops will be sold at the upcoming “Taste of Greece” festival held June 21to 23 at St. Paul’s Greek Orthodox Church  (4949 Alton Parkway, between Culver Drive and Jeffrey Road, Irvine). A long list of savory and sweet Greek specialties will also be available at the event.

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Louis Lamb Chop “Lollipops”
Yield: 25 chops
1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Minced zest and juice of 2 lemons, Meyer lemons preferred
2 fresh jalapeños, halved, seeds removed, thinly sliced, see cook’s notes
2 medium shallots, minced
8 garlic cloves, peeled
1/4 cup fresh oregano
1/4 cup fresh Italian flat leaf parsley
25 rib lamb chops, at least 1-inch at bone ends scrapped to clean them, see cook’s notes
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Garnish: 1 lemon thinly sliced, Meyer lemon preferred, and 1 tablespoon chopped fresh Italian parsley
Cook’s notes: Use caution when working with fresh chilies; upon completion wash work surface thoroughly and do NOT touch face or eyes.
The first 2 or 3 ribs off the large end of the rack contain more fat than those closer to the loin.
1. In a small bowl, combine olive oil, lemon zest and juice, jalapenos and shallots. On a cutting board, chop the garlic, oregano and 1/4 cup parsley until coarsely chopped; add to olive oil mixture.
2. Arrange the lamb chops in a nonreactive baking dish; top with the marinade and turn to coat. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 3 hours.
3. Heat grill to medium- high. Season the lamb chops generously with salt and pepper.  Grill until slightly charred, about 3 minutes per side. Remove from grill and allow to rest 5 minutes before serving. Garnish with thinly sliced lemons and parsley.
Source: Katherine Louis Boucher, personal chef, caterer (Chef Katherine Events), consulting chef at Seventh Tea Bar in Costa Mesa

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Here’s a quick tip from Melissa’s …

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An easy, frothy-like-Cappuccino “cream” of mushroom soup!

From “50 Best Plants on the Planet.”

60 calories per serving

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Cream of Mushroom Soup with Green Onions
Yield: 6 servings
6 to 8 green onions, divided use
Olive oil cooking spray
14 ounces sliced cremini mushrooms (about 3 cups)
2 medium-sized garlic cloves, minced
Coarse salt (kosher or sea) and freshly ground pepper to taste
2 cups fat free, low sodium chicken or vegetable broth
1 (12-ounce) can fat free evaporated milk
1. Cut green onions into 1/4-inch thick slices. Make two piles; one with the white and light green slices, the other with the dark green stalks. Use enough onions to make about 1/2 cup of white and light green slices.
2. Spray a 4-quart pan or Dutch oven liberally with cooking spray and place on medium-high heat. Add white and light green slices of green onion, mushrooms and garlic. Cook until mushrooms are tender-crisp and starting to release liquid, about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Season with salt and pepper.
3. Add broth and evaporated milk. Cover and bring to boil; reduce heat to medium-low and gently simmer until mushrooms are tender, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat.
4. I prefer pureeing with an immersion blender – it makes it frothier. BUT, if you don’t have one … Working in 3 batches, puree soup in blender (use caution and hold down lid with potholder), or use a food processor. Ladle soup into bowls and grind a little pepper on each serving. Top with 3 or 4 slices of dark green onion stalks.

Nutritional information (per serving): calories 60; fat calories 0, total fat 0 grams; sat fat 0 grams, cholesterol 0 milligrams; sodium 560 milligrams; total carbohydrates 11 grams; fiber 1 gram; sugars 8 grams; protein 5 grams; vitamin A IUs 8%; vitamin C 6%; calcium 15%; iron 4%.

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…sliced cremini mushrooms …

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