There are certain foods where it is expected that we will pick them up with our fingers and either gingerly or greedily press them into our faces, foods like cold canapés or hot fries, artichoke leaves or drumsticks, berries or pizza. Polite society expects us not to eat in a manner that reminds us that we are animals, but will make certain allowances as long as the morsels we select are not too sloppy or show too much bone. I’m sure syrupy, garlicky, herb-crusted lamb chops are not what Miss Manners had in mind, no matter how tiny, tender and tempting they are. I know and appreciate that etiquette is the lubricant of the well-oiled social machine, but I must plead the case for greasy, sticky fingertips with a supremely simple, yet gloriously flavored recipe. I think you will agree that you won’t want to leave any little tidbit behind. A napkin is optional.
Herb-Crusted Lamb Chops - Adapted from DiSalvo's Station Restaurant, DiRoNA, 2004
10 small lamp chops
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 large garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon each: dried oregano, basil, rosemary, mint
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
1/3 cup raspberry vinegar
¼ cup honey
In a large skillet over very low heat, barely sauté the garlic in the olive oil. Scatter all the herbs, salt and pepper into the skillet, then press each side of each chop into the herbs. Turn heat up to medium to brown the chops, turning them every few minutes until there is no visible pink and fat has been rendered from them. Add the vinegar and allow chops to cook another few minutes, turning them a few more times. Drizzle the honey over the entire skillet, turning heat up to high until the juices start to thicken and bubble. Turn chops to evenly coat. Spoon the syrup over plated chops and serve immediately. Serves 2.