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Grilled Lamb Chops
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Grilled Lamb Chops with a Ragout of Baby Artichokes, Olives, & Oven-Dried Tomatoes
From Not Afraid of Flavor (Canada, UK), by Ben & Karen Barker.

This dish is carefully calculated to appeal to lamb lovers, mashed potato lovers, artichoke lovers, and, most important, garlic lovers. The aioli marinade for the chops coats them and gives them a wonderful crust; the buttermilk mashed new potatoes, with which we customarily serve this, contrast fabulously with the artichoke ragout for a wonderful balance of flavors.

Ingredient:

For the Lamb:

8 lamb loin chops (5 ounces each), closely trimmed
1 egg yolk
2 tablespoons white wine
2 tablespoons roasted garlic purée
1/2 cup olive oil
1-1/2 tablespoons chopped rosemary salt and black pepper to taste

For the Artichokes

2 pounds baby artichokes
1/2 Cup Olive Oil
1/2 cup onion, finely diced
1/2 cup carrot, peeled and finely diced
2 ribs celery, finely diced
2 bay leaves
1/4 cup chopped garlic
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 cup Lemon juice
1/2 cup white wine
1 cup chicken stock, plus additional stock if needed
salt and black pepper to taste
1/2 cup chopped oven-dried tomatoes
1/2 cup pitted calamata olives, chopped
1/4 cup fresh thyme or lemon thyme leaves
1 tablespoon rosemary leaves, minced
2 tablespoons flat-leaf parsley, chopped

For the Gremolata Garnish

1 teaspoon freshly minced garlic
1 teaspoon minced lemon zest
1 teaspoon chopped parsley
1 teaspoon chopped rosemary

Optional:

Mashed Potatoes

Instructions:

Prepare the lamb. In a bowl, whisk together the egg yolk, wine, and roasted garlic purée until smooth. Slowly drizzle in olive oil, whisking to form an emulsion. Thin with a little more wine if necessary; the mixture should have the consistency of a loose mayonnaise. Fold in the chopped rosemary and coat the chops with the mayonnaise. Refrigerate for 3 to 4 hours, or overnight; return to room temperature before cooking.

Prepare the artichokes. Trim the stem end of each artichoke and peel the leaves until the pale yellow interior leaves are exposed. Cut the spiny tip off, pare the base with a small knife, and put the artichokes in a bowl of water acidulated with the juice of 1 lemon.

Cook the artichokes. Heat the olive oil in a heavy-bottomed pan over medium heat. Add the onions, carrots, and celery and cook until the vegetables are softened. Add the bay leaves, garlic, and red pepper flakes; cook 1 minute. Add the lemon juice, wine, and stock and bring to a simmer. Drain the artichokes, add them to the broth, and simmer until the artichokes are tender at the base. Season with salt and pepper. Cool.

Prepare mashed potatoes, if you are serving them, and keep warm. Prepare the gremolata by combining all of the ingredients. Light the grill and let the coals burn down to a medium-hot fire. Remove the chops from the marinade but do not wipe off excess marinade. Season with salt and pepper. Grill the chops, about 3 minutes on each side for medium rare. Remove and keep warm.

Assembly. Heat the artichokes over medium heat until hot. Stir in the ovendried tomatoes and olives; check the seasoning. Stir in the herbs. Divide the mashed potatoes between hot plates, mounding in the center. Place 2 chops on each plate on top of the potatoes and spoon artichoke ragout around. Sprinkle the chops with gremolata and serve immediately.

Yield: Serves 4

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