Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Lamp with Orzo in a Clay Pot (Youvetsi)

In Greece lamp with orzo in a clay pot is often served on Sunday, which is the special day of the week among Greek Orthodox Christians. I usually cook this dish on a special occasion too. This month I made this dish twice for serving two of my good friends.

One of them is my new friend, Akiko, who is a professional nutritionist and recently moved to the USA from Japan. She is also an expert on Japanese cooking. Her ideas and tips about cooking are always fun and useful. Also her professional advice regarding diet and many kinds of food products are very valuable.

Since Mediterranean cuisine is totally new to Akiko, I decided to cook this special dish for our lunch. Unlike her tiny figure, she ate up the big portion of a lamb chop, Greek salad that I additionally made, and a big piece of crispy ciabatta bread. She congratulated my cooking and enjoyed my dishes very much.

Therefore, when Peter, who is a good friend of mine from New York City, decided to visit me in Louisiana in the middle of June, I immediately chosen to cook lamb with orzo in a clay pot, too. He is a gourmet, coffee lover and also good cook. Furthermore, his parents and sister are amazing cooks. Their creative table settings and fabulous ways to present food are incredible and astonish me any time I visit them.

Thanks to the tender and juicy lamb chops and ripe tomatoes, I was glad that Peter liked this dish very much.

Two food experts plus my husband, who is a native Mediterranean and foodie, applaud this dish. Thus, I proudly recommend you to try for your special events.

I already decided to cook this dish for my next guest and I started thinking what I am going to cook when Akiko and Peter visit me next time.
4 pieces of lamb chops
1 finely chopped onion
3-4 cloves of garlic
3 cups chopped ripe tomatoes
2 tbsp tomato paste
1 and 1/2 cups of red wine
1 lb orzo
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
A pinch of cloves
1/3-1/2 cup Ground Parmesan cheese
Extra virgin olive oil

1. Season the lamb chops with salt and black pepper.
2. Heat 3-4 tbsp of olive oil in a large fry pan. Place the finely chopped onion and garlic in the pan and fry them for 3-4 minutes. Add the lamb chops and fry them till the surfaces of the lamb chops become slightly brown and crispy.
3. Add the chopped tomatoes and tomato paste. Add 1/2 cup of the red wine. Season with salt, black pepper and a pinch of clove. Simmer them for 30 to 40 minutes.
4. Transfer them into a large clay pot.
5. Preheat the oven to 370 F degrees. Bake the clay pot for about 20 minutes.
6. Add the orzo, 1 cup of the red wine and about 1/3 cup of extra virgin olive oil. Note that the orzo should be covered with the lamb chops and sauce.
7. Bake in the clay pot for 15 minutes. Sprinkle the ground Parmesan cheese when it is almost done.
8. Bake them for another 5 minutes. Transfer them into serving plates.


  1. looks very strange but thos ingrediants togther has to be good.


  2. New to Mediterranean food? It is very good :) I hope you to try and wish you enjoy it!

  3. Looks like a great recipe! I'm not a very good cook though. I'll have to convince my sister to make some one of these days.

  4. Imee,
    I hope your sister agreed to cook for you!
    I am sure she will be glad to taste this dish, too :)