When ever I’m in San Francisco I make sure to dine at Kokkari Restaurant. It is without question the best Greek restaurant I have ever been to. They have combined the familiar flavors of Greece with a contemporary flair. I was so excited when their cookbook came out, I cook from it often. My very favorite dish, Grilled Lamb Chops with their famous potatoes! If you happen to be in the bay area and have the pleasure of dining at Kokkari start with the grilled octopus, it’s insane!
GRILLED LAMB CHOPS
- 2 8″ inch racks of lamb about, 1-1/2 pounds each
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 2 teaspoons dried Greek oregano, crumbled
- 2 tableSpoons extra virgin olive oil
- Sea Salt
- 2 lemons , halved, plus 4 lemon wedges for garnish
- Kokkari Dressing
- Fresh oregano sprigs for garnish
- 6 tablepoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablepoons fresh lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons capers, rinsed and minced
- 2 teaspoons shallots, minced
- 1 teaspoon garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon flat -leaf parsley, minced
- ½ teaspoon oregano, chopped
- ¼ teaspoon dried Greek oregano, crumbled
- Sea Salt, and freshly ground pepper
Ask the butcher to trim the fat cap (the thick sheet of fat on the outside of each rack) but to leave a thin layer of fat. Some butchers like to “French” the ribs, trimming away the meat between the rib ends to leave the bone exposed, but this meat is tasty and should be left in place. Ask the butcher to cut between the ribs to make a total of 16 single-rib chops.
Put the chops on a work surface and pound the meat lightly with your fist to make it evenly thick and to crack the external band of fat. Combine the garlic powder, pepper, and oregano in a small bowl. (You may have to make more) Press this seasoning blend onto both sides to the meat, including the meat on the bones. You can grill the lamb immediately, or cover and refrigerate for up to 12 hours: bring to room temperature before grilling.
Prepare a hot charcoal fire or preheat a gas grill to high. Just before grilling, drizzle the seasoned chops with the olive oil, using your fingers to coat the meat evenly, then season generously with salt. Grill the chops, turning once, for about 3 minutes on each side for medium rare. Squeeze the lemon halves over them just before taking them off the grill. Serve hot, drizzled with dressing and garnished with lemon wedges and oregano sprigs, if using.
FOR THE KOKKARI DRESSING
In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, capers, shallot, garlic, parsley, and fresh oregano. Add the dried oregano and whisk in alt and pepper to taste.
Makes 1/2 cup
- 3 large Yukon Gold Potatoes, 10 to 12 ounces each, peeled and each cut lengthwise into 6 wedges
- 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- ½ teaspoon dried Greek oregano, crumbled, plus more for garnish (if frying)
- Sea Salt, and freshly ground pepper
- ¼ cup fresh lemon juice, plus more for garnish (if frying)
- 3-½ quarts canola oil , plus 2 cups extra virgin olive oil for deep frying
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Put the potato wedges in a large bowl. Add the olive oil, oregano, 1-1/2 teaspoons salt, and several grinds of pepper. Toss to coat evenly. Arrange the wedges in one layer in a 9-by-13 inch nonreactive dish. Drizzle with the lemon juice. Pour 1/2 cup of water around, not over the potatoes.
Bake until the potatoes are browned in spots and tender when pierced and the water has evaporated, about 40 minutes, rotating the pan halfway,through baking for even browning. If you intend to serve them without deep-frying, let cool for at least 15 minutes before bringing them to the table..
To deep fry the potatoes, lift them out of the pan juices and set them on a rack or platter. In a large pot, heat the oil until it registers 350 degrees on a deep-frying thermometer, Fry the potatoes in batches until they turn a rich golden brown, 1-1/2 to 2 minutes. Using a wire-mesh skimmer, transfer to paper towels to drain briefly then transfer to a serving platter. Sprinkle with additional salt, oregano, and lemon juice. Serve immediately.