Yesterday we went to Sam's Club where they had packages of very nice lamb chops. We bought some. I cooked the first batch tonight for supper. We were sufficiently pleased that we plan to buy more. While not cheap at a per-pound rate, it does break down to an affordable per-serving rate at 2 chops per person. Last year one of the farmer's market vendors sold lamb and goat meat; we shall have to watch for them again too.
4 thick-cut lamb chops
fine sea salt
dried sweet basil flakes
dried sweet marjoram flakes
Turn electric skillet on medium-high, about 250-300ºF.
Arrange 4 lamb chops close together on a cutting board. Sprinkle top sides sparsely with fine sea salt and freshly ground green peppercorns. Shake generously with dried sweet basil flakes and dried sweet marjoram flakes. The chops should have a fluffy green coating on top.
Into the skillet, pour enough olive oil to cover the area where the lamb chops will go. Put the lamb chops into the skillet, seasoned side down, arranged so their sides are not touching. Quickly repeat the process of seasoning the upper, unseasoned side of the lamb chops.
Cover the skillet. Set timer for 3 1/2 minutes.
When the timer goes off, turn the lamb chops and re-cover the skillet. Cook for another 3 1/2 minutes.
Remove lamb chops from heat. Allow to rest for 5 minutes. Then serve.
Lamb chops should not be overcooked. They usually turn out best at medium-rare, but are good rare or medium. Take care not to let them dry out. That's why they're cooked briefly at medium to high heat. This method also creates a nice flavorful brown coating on each side.
4 thick-cut lamb chops will serve two people, with 2 chops per serving. You can just as easily halve this recipe to cook for one person, or expand it for however many people you're serving. We paid just over $14 for a package of 8 lovely little lamb chops. That's about $3.50 per serving of main dish. Even with sides, supper probably came to just under $5 per person.
Plain table salt will work if you don't have sea salt. You can also use a fancier salt like Australian pink salt.
Plain black pepper will work if you don't have green peppercorns. Crushing peppercorns with a mortar and pestle is also fine if you don't have a grinder.
The sweet basil and sweet marjoram create a majority of the flavor, spritely green notes. Don't substitute those and don't skimp on them.
If you don't have olive oil, vegetable oil or similar oils will do, but the olive does contribute to the Greek flavor. Do not use butter -- it will burn at the temperatures used for quick-cooking lamb chops.
This recipe should go well with delicate dishes such as spring salad, asparagus, snow peas, or fresh fruit. It also works with heavier, savory sides. My partner requested mashed potatoes and mushroom gravy; it tasted great with those too. However, it's not intended to go with the traditional mint sauce or jelly.