Originally created 02/02/05

Yummy lamb chops can be made quickly

This lamb dish is quick to make, but its 15 minutes or so of preparation include combining well-chosen ingredients and flavors to memorable effect - perhaps even to permanently enhance the cook's reputation.

The simple secrets to how to do it? The recipe is from "Food Network Kitchens Making It Easy" (Meredith Books, 2004, $24.95), a smart cookbook that shares the know-how of the teams who run the Food Network kitchens. These cooks plan, make and present all the food for the shows the network tapes, and for parties and cooking classes, from start to finish. They've learned how to do it smoothly and speedily, and their book includes loads of tips, as well as recipes and color photos.

For this recipe, a shopping note explains that there are three kinds of lamb chops: rib, loin, and shoulder. "Loin chops with their telltale T-bone are our favorites," the note says, "because they are tender, low in fat, and have a mild flavor."

Gremolata is the Italian word for a topping or garnish that's usually made with lemon peel and is often used with osso buco; this aromatic version uses orange to complement rosemary. The game plan for this dish: Make the gremolata while the lamb chops broil.

Lamb Chops With Rosemary-Orange Gremolata

(Preparation and cooking about 15 minutes)

For the lamb:

Eight 6-ounce lamb loin chops

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper

For the gremolata:

2 garlic cloves, peeled

½ teaspoon salt

1½ cups flat-leaf parsley

2 sprigs fresh rosemary, leaves stripped

2 teaspoons finely grated orange zest

2 teaspoons red wine vinegar

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

For the lamb: Position a broiler pan on a rack 4 to 6 inches from the broiler and preheat to high. Brush the chops with the olive oil and season with salt and pepper to taste. Lay the chops carefully on the hot pan and broil, turning once - 7 minutes for rare, 8 minutes for medium, and 9 minutes for well-done. Remove from the oven and set aside for 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, for the gremolata: Smash the garlic cloves, sprinkle with the salt, and, with the side of a large knife, mash and smear the mixture to a coarse paste. Chop the parsley and rosemary leaves with the garlic paste; put the mixture in a small bowl and stir in the orange zest, vinegar and the 2 tablespoons olive oil.

Divide the chops among 4 plates and spoon some of the gremolata over them; serve.

Makes 4 servings.


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