Ishan Jain

Morrocan Lamb Bites with Preserved Lemon Chutney and Roasted Garclic Hummus

Ishan Jain
   

I love making bite size appetizers and this Moroccan lamb recipe is one of my favorites. If you can’t find lamb tenderloin or lamb loin, you can buy a small rack of lamb and trim the loin off of the bones. Save the bones to make a flavorful stock if you have time. These are great for entertaining and are easy to assemble once the recipe’s components have been prepared. You can make the roasted garlic hummus and preserved lemon chutney a few days in advance – just let them both come to room temperature before serving. Lay the pita chips out on a platter for easy assembly when your guests arrive.

Active Time: 1 hour
Makes about 32

Ingredients

Moroccan Spice Blend

½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon ground coriander
½ teaspoon ground allspice
1 teaspoon paprika

Lamb

1 lb lamb loin or tenderloin
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon Moroccan spice blend

Toasted Pita Chips

2 6-oz bags mini pitas, cut in half
½ cup olive oil
Salt
Pepper

Preserved Lemon Chutney

2 tablespoons olive oil
¼ cup shallot, diced
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
¼ cup sun-dried tomatoes in oil, diced
¼ cup roasted red peppers, diced
2 tablespoons preserved lemon, finely diced
4 to 5 green olives, pitted and diced
2 tablespoons white wine
4 scallions, white and light green parts finely chopped
1 tablespoon fresh mint, chiffonade

Roasted Garlic Hummus

1 15-oz can garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
1 tablespoon tahini – sesame seed paste
2 to 3 cloves roasted garlic
2 to 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons olive oil
½ teaspoon salt

Micro arugula or fresh mint for garnish (optional)

Preparation

Moroccan Spice Blend

Combine all ingredients together in a small bowl – it will equal 1 tablespoon.

Lamb

Drizzle the lamb loin with olive oil, coating all sides. Sprinkle with salt and Moroccan spice blend and rub to evenly coat. Set the lamb aside until the pita chips, chutney and hummus have been made.
Heat a non-stick pan over medium-high heat. Add the lamb and cook for 2 to 3 minutes on each side for medium-rare. Let the lamb loin rest for 5 minutes before thinly slicing.

Toasted Pita Chips

Preheat the oven to 400° F.
Place pita halves on a parchment paper lined baking sheet and brush with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Toast pitas until golden at the edges and crispy, 6 to 8 minutes.

Preserved Lemon Chutney

Heat the olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the shallot and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally until soft – 4 to 6 minutes. Add the sundried tomatoes, roasted red peppers, preserved lemon and green olives and cook for 1 minute. Add the white wine and simmer for another 3 to 4 minutes, or until the wine has reduced and the shallots and garlic are soft and golden. Remove from the heat and let cool for a few minutes before adding the scallions and mint.

This chutney gets better with time. It will keep for up to a month, chilled in an airtight container. Re-warm before serving.

Roasted Garlic Hummus

Put all ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth. If the hummus is too thick add more lemon juice, olive oil, or a little bit of water. Transfer the hummus to a piping bag or large resealable plastic bag for easy assembly. Cut a small corner of the tip off of the bag, about the size of a dime.

To roast a garlic bulb, cut the top third off of the bulb. Place it on a piece of tin foil and drizzle with olive oil. Tightly wrap the garlic in the foil and roast for 45 min to 1 hour at 400°F. The roasted garlic will keep for weeks in an airtight container in your refrigerator.

To Serve

Place the pita chips on a serving platter. Pipe a quarter size dollop of hummus on each pita chip. Top with a piece of lamb, a teaspoon of chutney and a few sprigs of micro arugula or fresh mint.