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Wednesday, May 4, 2011

More Dirty Little Secrets

(New York Times)
I've now been writing this blog for seven months and to be honest, I can't always remember what I've already written about.  Yes, I have an index but like many things in my life, it doesn't work quite as well as it should.

So, you'll have to excuse me if I've already written lovingly about anchovies.  I love them so much that they're worth the extra shout out anyway.  There, I've said it.  I am an anchovy lover and I am not ashamed to admit it.  For heaven sakes, it's not like I've just announced that my favorite food is ketchup.

So many people shrink away from menu items if they mention even an essence of anchovies.  They order caesar salad sans the anchovies.  All I can say is that you're missing out.  I, on the other hand, get very excited when a recipe includes anchovies.  They're salty and pungent and add the most delicious flavor to everything they touch.  I also love capers for the same reason.  Unfortunately they suffer from the same bad reputation as the much maligned anchovy.

This morning Melissa Clark had a recipe for baby lamb chops with anchovies and capers.  She was certainly singing my song and I made fast work of a trip to see Mark the Butcher.  Mark set me up with some beautiful chops.  I spent the rest of the day looking forward to dinner and I really love it when I'm looking forward to dinner.

So, can I just tell you that this is a winner of a recipe.  It's quick, which is always a bonus on a "school night" and it tastes as though it cooked for hours.  It's so good that I would serve it to guests, although I would have to do some quick talking to avoid the dreaded "A" word.

So, here it is.  My dirty little secret.  I love anchovies.  I feel lighter than air having unburdened myself of this secret.  Anchovy lovers unite!  Tell your friends!  Make this recipe!  You'll be glad you did.

Recipe:  Seared Lamb Chops with Anchovies, Capers and Sage
(Melissa Clark, New York Times, 5/4/11)


6 baby lamb chops (1 1/4 pounds)
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3 anchovy fillets
3 tablespoons drained capers
15 sage leaves
1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
Lemon wedges for serving


Rinse the lamb chops and pat them dry.  Season them with salt and pepper and let them rest for 15 minutes.

Over medium-high heat, warm a skillet large enough to hold all the chops in one layer.  Add the oil and when it shimmers, add the anchovies and capers.  Cook, stirring, until the anchovies break down, about 3 minutes.

Arrange the lamb chops in the skillet and fry, without moving them, until brown, about 3 minutes.  Turn them over and toss the sage leaves and the red pepper flakes into the pan.  Cook until the lamb reaches the desired doneness, about 2 minutes for medium-rare.

Arrange the chops on serving plates.  Add the garlic to the pan and cook for 1 minute, then spoon the sauce over the top.  Serve with the lemon wedges.

1 comment:

  1. Each time I type this comment and lose it, it gets shorter! Love lamb; want to eat this dish. Used to think capers were a chef only ingredient. Discovered shortly before our move that I could use them myself. Improved a lot of dishes. Re anchovies - feel really matters to me, and I don't like the way whole anchovies feel. But I love the taste when they are cut up or whatever as in some salad dressings.