We're not what I would consider to be big on Easter in this house. Cheech and I usually celebrate with my family in LA the day before. And by celebrate, I mean we have an egg hunt and a piñata for the kids, and we BBQ. More than anything, it's a time for my mom's side of the family to get together to share food and to drink. It's typically an exhausting day filled with lots of catching up, so by the time we get home to Oakland the next morning, I'm really not up for doing much. And in true Easter fashion, that's exactly how yesterday went down. Joe finished up some work on our bathroom renovation while I cleaned up around our place a little.
This year, I decided to at the very least start making some sort of traditional and festive dinner so that we could sit and have just a small celebration at home as a family. More than anything, Easter has always felt like the true arrival of Spring to me. Extra sun and longer days are things that are nice to recognize, especially considering the warmer weather always inspires us to grill.
Knowing that I'd want to take it easy, roasting a ham was out of the question. I'm not a stickler when it comes to long-established customs (note: Christmas Burgers), so I was more than happy to stray from the norm. Lamb felt like the next best option, and there are few things that are more effortless and quicker than lamb chops. The recipe below is a slight alteration on traditional yogurt-marinated lamb. I had almost a quart of buttermilk in my fridge, and I figured it would be a perfectly fine replacement for yogurt. The result was quite enjoyable, and I'm tempted to marinate everything in buttermilk now.
Buttermilk Lamb Chops
5-6 single cut lamb rib chops
3/4 c. of buttermilk
1 tbsp. of chopped rosemary
1 tbsp. of chopped oregano
1 tbsp. of chopped thyme
1 tsp. of ground cumin
1 tsp. of lemon zest
1 large, or 2 medium garlic cloves, minced
Line a baking dish with your lamb chops and add all of your remaining ingredients on top. Don't be afraid to season your marinade liberally. Use your hands to toss the chops in the marinade, making sure that each inch gets covered. Chill the lamb in the marinade for a minimum of two hours (overnight is best). Once your grill is ready, remove the excess marinade from the chops with your fingers and pat them dry. This will ensure that your lamb actually chars. For medium chops, which is how I like them, grill on each side for three minutes.
Five chops were plenty for a family of three, but this recipe can very easily be doubled if you are cooking for a larger group.