Earlier this year, I vowed to make a healthy version of a favorite food from each of my trips. My last trip was Istanbul and while we loved everything that we ate there, ever since S and I got back, we’ve both been craving another döner kebab. Unfortunately, we don’t have a döner wheel (hello wedding registry) or the ability to eat that much lamb, so I opted for a lamb loin chop, instead, and some tzatziki. Yogurt dips similar to tzatziki are common in Istanbul, but are not often served with a döner unless you ask for it, which we always did. I know Tzatziki is Greek, but I’m still using it here because (1) it’s easy, (2) it’s delicious, and (3) we’re planning to go to Crete in July, so this meal is both a tribute to our recent trip and a warm up to a future one. Plus, I’ve been obsessed with dill recently. Germans use a lot of fresh dill and I LOVE it. I even put some in my eggs this morning with shallots, purple onion, and chanterelle mushrooms (and a little quark, which is a thick and creamy German cottage cheese). Amazing!!
Here’s the recipe. It’s super easy and super delicious. The Germans say “super” a lot and I think it’s a word that should come back in style in the US.
Ingredients for Lamb:
- 1lb Lamb Loin Chop
- 2 shallots, chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, diced
- 4-5 slices of ginger, or as much as you want. Actually, I don’t really know how much I used, but I love ginger, so the more the better.
- 1 handful of cilantro
- 4 sprigs of mint
- zest of one lemon
- 3/4 tablespoon sea salt
- freshly ground pepper
Ingredients for Tzatziki:
- 1 cup coconut yogurt (I haven’t found coconut yogurt in Germany yet, so I used Chobani)
- 1/2 cucumber, peeled and chopped
- 2 tablespoons of lemon juice
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- salt and pepper to taste
- dill, as much as you want
- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Combine the shallots, garlic, ginger, lemon zest, cilantro, mint, and salt on a plate if already chopped or run it through your food processor, if you have one.
- Once the mixture is chopped, rub it over the lamb.
- Place a skillet, preferably cast iron, over medium heat. Add some fat. I used coconut oil.
- Sear the lamb chops for about 3-4 minutes on each side. Then stick it in the oven until done to your. Alternatively, this would be great on the grill. S had a still recent run in with the Mainz fire department, so we’re on a time-out from the grill….
- For the Tzatziki, mix all ingredients in a bowl and refrigerate until ready to serve.
This goes great with some eggplant, seasoned with salt, rosemary, and oregano, fried in a pan with some olive oil, and topped with fresh basil.