Grilled Lamb Chops With Muddled Blackberry Salad and Smashed Potato Chips


I love lamb. It’s unique sweetness, gentle gaminess, and sinewy steakiness is just the right departure from beef or pork, and the price of these meaty shoulder chops is always reasonable. My mother didn’t like lamb, and I never remember eating it as a kid, so I’ve been playing catch-up for years.
As I love lamb, so does lamb love savor – and two of the best flavors to create that savor come straight from the garden: fresh rosemary, and fresh tarragon. The former’s earthiness will compliment the meat’s richness, whereas the tarragon’s complex sweetness will temper its gaminess. I divest these sprigs of their leaves…
Which I then chuck, along with my meat, about 1/2 cup EVOO, 1/4 cup of white balsamic vinegar (which will tenderize the meat, and also help temper the gaminess), and some salt and pepper into a large ziplock bag, which I then seal tightly (removing as much air as possible) and throw in the fridge to quick marinate for 20 minutes.
These teensy weency little potatoes are tonight’s starch. I throw about 15 of them…
Into a pan of salted water, which I then put on high heat to boil for about 15 minutes, or until easily pierced with a fork.
Meanwhile, Little Red – our little oven in the sky – is heating up and getting ready to do his job.
Two lovely lamb steaks get laid on his grill, and doused with the marinade left in the bag, before I close the lid and let them roast for 7-8 minutes.
My cooked potatoes are ready for smashing, so I toss them onto a cookie sheet with some EVOO…
And I squish them into rough, flat disks with the tines of a fork. I drizzle them with another little bit of EVOO, stud them with chopped rosemary, sea salt, and cracked pepper, before throwing them into a 350 degree oven to toast into crisp chips for the 15 minutes that my meat needs to grill.
I flip my meat at the 8 minute mark, dipping my nose into the smoking aroma of roasting lamb and sizzling garden herbs. See the lovely grill marks? I lust after those like Casanova lusts after T&A. Another 8 minutes and these will be ready to gnaw on.
Back in the kitchen, I whisk together my salad dressing: 1 cup EVOO, 1/4 cup white balsamic vinegar, the juice of 1 lemon, about 1 tablespoon sugar, sea salt, black pepper, and 1/2 my onion slices and 1/2 my blackberries. I smoosh my berries very vigorously as I whisk, releasing their black juice and flavoring the vinaigrette.
Beautiful buratta cheese – my absolute favorite these days. It’s like a soft-boiled egg replete with a firm outer white casing, and oozing within with a creamy white marscapone ‘yolk’. I layer this over my argulua, then I douse the whole salad with my dressing and the remaining fruit and onion rings.
My smashed spuds are ready when they are a perfect golden brown, and crispy and crunchy.
Tender, tasty, fresh and light lamb steaks are cooked to the perfect medium rare, with just the right amount of charring at the edges to remind you they were grilled in the great outdoors. My salad is peppery from the arugula, but snappy and sweet from the bruised blackberry dressing and red onion relish. And my potatoes are like Frisbee fritters which crack on the teeth and bring happy to the tongue. For Lolita, this is a super-simple easy peasy meal, variations of which we’ll enjoy often this summer under the waning sun and the rising moon, with the wind in our hair, wine glasses in hand, and happiness in our hearts.




Tuesday, June 7, 2011 - 12:19pm


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