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Guest Chef Gisselle's Spring Recipe: Lamb Chops, Panzanella, and Herby Brown Rice

Guest Chef Gisselle Madariaga joins our In The Kitchen Series to show you applications for our Mojo Garlic Sauce and highlight seasonal ingredients. Chef Gisselle is a former cooking instructor for Sur La Table, and currently is a Program Director with Wellness In The Schools which teaches healthy eating to students in New York City.  . 

You can view this special event on YouTube, and don't forget to subscribe! 


Lamb Chops Sizzled with Sauce


What’s the secret to cooking the best lamb chops? Make sure to take your chops out of the fridge for about an hour before cooking to remove the chill off the meat. This will encourage even cooking so the chops cook the chops to perfect doneness. Remember to start “fat cap” down so the meat turns beautifully golden and caramelized. These perfect lamb loin chops make a quick and easy dinner that the whole family will love. 



Kitchen Tools:

  • Cutting Board
  • Measuring Spoons
  • Mixing Bowl
  • Large skillet, cast iron is preferable
  • Serving plate
  • Optional: meat thermometer



8 1/2-inch-thick lamb loin chops (about 2 pounds fatty tips trimmed)

Salt and freshly ground pepper

3 tablespoons mojo garlic sauce

5 small garlic cloves (smashed)

3 tablespoons water

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

2 tablespoons minced parsley and mint. 


Yield: 4


Cooking Process: 

Season the lamb with salt and pepper. Place a very large skillet under moderately high heat for a couple of minutes. Meanwhile, season the lambs well with salt and pepper.  Add the lamb chops fat cap side and cook over moderately high heat until fat has rendered off and is golden brown on the bottom, about 3 to 6 minutes. Turn the chops to their side and cook until the chops are browned, about 2-3 minutes per side. Transfer the chops to plates, add smashed garlic to the hot pan. Once garlic is fragrant, lower heat. Add remaining ingredients and stir, scraping up any browned bits stuck to the bottom, until sizzling, about 1 minute. Pour the garlic and pan sauce over the lamb chops and serve immediately.


Springtime Panzanella 

Panzanella has got to be one of my all-time favorite salads. No need to wait until the summertime. This recipe showcases the season’s harvest with leafy greens like radicchio, fennel, and parsley. This hearty salad goes together effortlessly in almost no time. Chef’s tip, not a fan of raw onion? Soak sliced onion in ice water for 10 minutes. The ice water will remove the bite from the onion. 

Kitchen Tools:

  • Cutting Board
  • Chef’s Knife 
  • Whisk or Large Jar with Lid
  • Measuring Spoons
  • Mixing Bowl
  • Serving Plate



4 cups country-style bread, torn into bite-size pieces 

1 tablespoon lemon zest

½ cup olive oil, divided

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 small red onion, finely sliced

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

4 tablespoons mojo sauce

1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano

1 small head radicchio, torn into bite-size pieces

1 small fennel bulb, thinly sliced

1 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves chopped

½ cup green olives, pitted, halved

3 oz ounces smoked mozzarella cheese

3 oz. hard salami, thinly sliced


Yield: 4 


Cooking Process: 

Preheat oven to 400°. Toss bread with lemon zest and ¼ cup oil on a sheet pan. Season with salt and pepper. Bake, tossing occasionally, until crisp on the outside, 8–10 minutes. (Alternatively, you can toast on the stove top on a very wide skillet.) Let cool on a flat surface.

Whisk mojo sauce, vinegar, and oregano in a large bowl; season with salt and pepper. Whisk in remaining ¼ cup oil.  Add radicchio, fennel, parsley, olives, cheese, salami, onion, and bread to dressing; toss to combine.

Herby Brown Rice 


Switching to brown rice from white can be intimidating. Rice is comfort, cultural, and personal. Do consider the switch though. Brown rice has a big advantage over white rice when it comes to nutrition. Brown rice has more fiber and antioxidants, as well as a lot more important vitamins and minerals. Plus, it helps keep you feeling fuller longer. Inspired by an April Bloomfield recipe, this recipe is a “non-recipe”. Mix in whatever herbs you like and have on hand. While rice is best simple, it should never be plain. 


Kitchen Tools:

  • Cutting Board
  • Measuring Spoons
  • Medium pot or Dutch oven. 
  • Serving bowl



3 tablespoons olive oil

1 medium onion, diced

1 cup jasmine or long grained brown rice

1 garlic clove, minced

2 cups water

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup chopped mixed herbs, such as parsley, chives and tarragon


Yield: 4


In a medium saucepan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion, cover and cook over low heat until translucent, 5 minutes. Stir in the rice and garlic. Add the water and salt and bring to a boil over high heat. Cover and cook over moderately low heat according to package directions. When the rice is cooked, do not open the lid, allowing the rice to sit in its own steam.

Remove the rice to a large bowl. Lightly fluff the rice. Toss fluffed rice with mojo sauce and chopped herbs. Season to taste with salt.



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