Friday, February 18, 2005

Lamb Chops with Lemon Basil Sauce

from Tyler Florence

3/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for sauteing
6 sprigs fresh rosemary, bruised
1 clove garlic, peeled and crushed
2 teaspoons kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
8 rack lamb chops, trimmed (about 3 ounces each)
1/2 cup white chicken stock
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup loosely packed basil leaves, plus additional for garnish
1/4 cup kalamata olives, pitted and coarsely chopped

In a dish large enough to hold the lamb chops in a single layer, combine half the lemon juice, 1/3 cup olive oil, the rosemary, garlic, 1 teaspoon of the salt and pepper. Add the lamb, turn to coat with the marinade and set aside for about 15 minutes at room temperature or up to 2 hours in the refrigerator.

Preheat a large skillet over medium-high heat, for about 1 minute. Pat the chops dry and season on 1 side with salt and pepper. Add enough oil to lightly coat the surface of the pan. Working in batches if needed, add the chops seasoned side down to the pan. Cook until crisp and brown, about 2 to 3 minutes. Season the top side with salt and pepper, turn, and continue cooking until just firm and an instant-read thermometer registers 130 to 135 degrees F, about 1 to 2 minutes. Allow the chops to rest for 5 to 10 minutes.

Pour off any fat left in the pan. Return the skillet to medium heat. Add the chicken stock, and scrape up the brown bits on the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon. Add remaining lemon juice and simmer until the mixture is reduced to a glaze, about 4 minutes. Add 2 tablespoons of butter and transfer the whole mixture to a blender. Add the basil and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Puree until the basil is finely chopped. Then with the blender running, gradually add 1/2 cup olive oil. Serve the lamb chops drizzled with sauce and garnished with basil leaves and the chopped olives.

Serves 4

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