Monday, February 18, 2008

Garlic and Rosemary Lamb Chops with a Balsamic Reduction

For balsamic syrup
3/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary
1/8 teaspoon black peppercorns

For chard
1 bunch Swiss chard (1 lb)
1/4 cup chopped red onion
1 teaspoon finely chopped garlic
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon water

For lamb chops
8 rib lamb chops (1 1/4 lb total), trimmed of all fat
1 teaspoon finely chopped garlic
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
Make syrup:
Simmer syrup ingredients in a 1- to 1 1/2-quart nonreactive saucepan (see cooks' note, below) over moderate heat until just syrupy and reduced to about 1/4 cup, about 8 minutes. Pour through a sieve into a small bowl, discarding rosemary and peppercorns.

Sauté chard:
Cut stems and center ribs from chard, discarding any tough portions, then cut stems and ribs crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick slices. Stack chard leaves and roll into cylinders. Cut cylinders crosswise to make 1-inch-wide strips.

Cook onion and garlic in oil in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until onion begins to soften, about 4 minutes. Add chard stems and ribs, salt, and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until stems are just tender, about 6 minutes. Stir in chard leaves and water and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 8 minutes.

Broil chops while chard cooks:
Preheat broiler. Sprinkle chops with garlic, salt, rosemary, and pepper, then broil on a lightly oiled broiler pan, 4 to 5 inches from heat, turning over once, for medium-rare, 6 to 7 minutes total. Serve chops and chard drizzled with balsamic syrup.

Cooks' note:
Stainless steel and enameled cast iron are nonreactive, but avoid pure aluminum and uncoated iron.

I got this recipe from Epicurious. It’s a really great website for recipe ideas.

I chose this one for Valentine’s day because lamb chops are good and pretty festive, and also because this recipe looks and sounds really impressive, even though it’s super easy and fast.

It worked out great.

I couldn’t find any Chard, so I used some other greens instead. They came out really wonderfully. The balsamic reduction takes no time at all, but tastes really good like a fancy sauce.

This was a great dish. It was tasty and easy to make and it felt very special. Perfect Valentine’s day fare.

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