During these days of sheltering in place, avoiding crowds, and making the most out of what’s available at the supermarket, I’ve grown more flexible in the kitchen. This short post is one example of an old dog learning new tricks.
More often than not, when it comes to lamb chops, I opt for baby lamb chops cooked scottadito (Italian for burnt finger). Thin, lightly marinated chops are placed on hot grill pan, cooked on high for two minutes a side, and then served with a dollop of green sauce or pesto. I’ve written about them here.
Lately, however, I’ve been unable to procure these baby chops and have had to settle for thicker loin chops, which until recently weren’t turning out quite right for me. Because of their size, they were coming out either dry and over cooked or too rare and chewy.
A recipe from The New York Times, along with its readers’ comments, came to my rescue. Below is my version of it for a grill pan. The original provides instructions for an outdoor grill as well as for a grill pan.
Searing the chops on the stove top yields the perfect texture and finishing them in the oven cooks them to perfection.
Grilled Lamb Chops (adapted from a recipe by Sam Sifton in The New York Times.)
1. Bring the chops to room temperature for about an hour.
2. During this time, season the chops with salt and pepper and marinate them in some extra-virgin olive oil, smashed garlic cloves, and parsley for about an hour.
3. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
4. Heat a grill pan over high heat.
5. Blot off excess marinade, remove any garlic, and place the chops on the grill pan.
6. Sear the chops on one side for about 2 minutes.
7. Then, turn the chops and place in the oven on the middle rack for 5 to 6 minutes.
8. Remove from the oven; allow to rest for about a minute.
Serve on warmed plates, with an optional dollop of pesto on each chop.
Wine Pairing: Pinot Noir