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Rach coats these lamb chops with a super-flavorful spice mix and pairs them with cheesy polenta and broiled tomatoes for an easy and impressive dinner that’s perfect any time of year. She likes to use a special kind of polenta that’s a combo of cornmeal and buckwheat, but you can use whatever type you like, including quick-cooking polenta, which is a huge timesaver. 

If you’d like to add a first course and dessert for a special occasion (or just because!), Rach’s Pumpkin Soup and her sister Maria’s Chocolate Almond Torte are two great choices.


For the Polenta: 
  • 2 quarts stock or water and stock combined
  • 2 ½ cups (500 grams) coarse polenta or cornmeal and buckwheat combined
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 2 cups grated fontina or Gruyere cheese
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
For the Chops:
  • 8 bone-in loin of lamb chops
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 tablespoon smoked sweet paprika
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder, urfa and Aleppo or a blended chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons each granulated garlic and onion
  • 1 teaspoon each dried oregano and fenugreek leaf and seed OR ground cumin  instead of fenugreek
  • Non-aerosol cooking spray 
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 cup white wine
  • ½ cup chicken stock or bone broth
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • Watercress, upland cress or arugula, to serve
For the Tomatoes:
  • 4 beefsteak tomatoes
  • EVOO
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 teaspoon granulated garlic
  • 2 tablespoons fresh thyme, chopped


Serves: 4


For the polenta, bring stock to simmer and whisk in polenta. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to lowest setting and cook about 40 to 45 minutes, adding water, if necessary, until creamy and very soft. Stir in butter, then cheese and season to taste.    

For the lamb chops, mix the salt, pepper and spices together into a spice blend, then season chops evenly, reserving 1 teaspoon, and let stand 30 minutes. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat and spray with oil. Cook chops 5 minutes to brown and crust them, then turn and cook 2 to 3 minutes more to 140°F. Remove to platter and squeeze lemon on top. Add the last teaspoon of the spice blend to the hot pan and let toast for a couple seconds, then add wine and stock and reduce by half. Add butter, whisk or swirl, then turn off heat and return chops to the pan.  

14-Inch Nonstick Frying Pan

14-Inch Nonstick Frying Pan

Rachael Ray

For the tomatoes, trim tops and arrange on a platter or baking sheet. 

Switch broiler on high with rack 1 above center notch. 

Dress tomatoes with EVOO, salt and pepper, granulated garlic and thyme and broil about 5 minutes to char edges. Serve with any extra pan juices poured on top.  

Serve chops on top of a bed of greens with sauce poured over them and polenta and broiled tomatoes on the side.