Sometimes you just need to cheat a little. Take a slightly less bumpy hilly path and give yourself a breather. This is one of those weeks, where, as I near the end of it I feel myself dragging, and I know I need to cut a few corners. Or maybe heed Ben Franklin a little better and start getting to bed a little earlier to offset my ‘early to rise’ (the potentially perilous consequences of a good book!!). Or both. My brain is so zonked, I can barely think of what to say. And boy! I wish you could see how hilarious it gets in my kitchen when my brain has gone on the fritz: juices squirting, spices spilling, projectile leaves…and I discovered what an amazing protective device fingernails are if you chop directly on top of your finger (don’t try it at home!). I may not be suave enough for the food network, but sometimes I think my kitchen could be the focus of a reality show, called something along the lines of “The Disaster Zone.”
Anyway, all this is by way of saying, I needed something easy. And – shock and awe! – I was out of Annie’s Mac&Cheese. Luckily, I had lamb chops. They seem fancy, but to me lamb chops feel rather like cheating. Cheating of a magical sort where, in the end, everyone wins. They’re so, so simple to make. And they’re delicious with no effort. All you really need is some salt and pepper; then either broil them or grill them, et voila! they’re fabulous in 8-10 minutes flat. If you want to step it up, first rub on some crushed garlic and rosemary, or some Middle Eastern spices like cinnamon, coriander, and cumin, or curry powder. Or, finish them with a little sauce of crushed (or blended) herbs, garlic, and olive oil. Or maybe a little yogurt with dill or mustard. Or top with chutney. Or a pesto. Ooh, yes! A pesto is a perfect finish for lamb chops, and for some reason or another I had a whole lot of thyme pesto around. Regular basil pesto, or mint pesto, or a cilantro pesto would all be wonderful. Add some vegetables, and dinner is served. Now let’s get ready for the weekend!
Lamb chops with pesto (serves 2)
- 4-6 lamb chops (shoulder or rib chops)
- salt and pepper
- a couple of Tbs. of any kind of pesto (here’s a thyme pesto recipe)
- Preheat the broiler in your oven. Sprinkle the lamb chops with salt and pepper on both side and place in a pan that fits in the broiler (be prepared because if your smoke detector is anything like mine, it will start screeching in just a few moments). Broil the lamb for about 4 minutes per side for medium – you can slice into one and it should be brown on the outside but still pink on the inside.
- Remove from the oven, put on plates and smear a dollop of pesto on top of each chop. Serve with a roasted vegetable or salad, and maybe some sort of grain pilaf or roasted potatoes. Oh, and maybe a nice glass of wine – to help you decompress!