Hazelnut Crusted Lamp Chops with Rosemary Cream Sauce
Whether cooking is a hobby, passion, or career, it continues to bring people together. For the purpose of this newsletter, it introduced me to some amazing former clients with even more astounding culinary skills! Entering into the kitchen design and remodeling industry, I knew I would run into foodies or people who enjoy cooking, but what I discovered was nothing that I could have anticipated. For the relaunch of our newsletters, we thought it would be a great idea to express our appreciation to past clients by showcasing some of the culinary skills that they’re fine tuning in their new kitchens. For our first issue, I was given a recommendation for someone who is said to be “a marvel in the kitchen,” and “a joy to work with.” Thankfully, I got to find out for myself.
Phippi Garrison is exactly that and more. In the short time we merely e-mailed, she was entertaining to chat with and we cracked e-jokes along the way. She exceeded my expectations with her recipes and seemed eager to get started on the task I gave her. After specifying that I’d like a recipe that was average in skill level (so everyone could attempt it), she quickly responded with a signature shrimp pasta recipe and got to work. Later that week, I received an e-mail explaining that she and her husband discussed the original recipe and had a change of heart. Her husband suggested that the original recipe was a little too simple, and said they should come up with “one that’s more gourmet in keeping with the kitchens they design and build.” Hence, the Hazelnut Crusted Lamb Chops with Rosemary Cream Sauce! Even the name sounds gourmet and beautiful, and we are flattered by the compliment.
Both recipes were wonderful, but with a unique one such as this, I felt that this was the perfect way to kick-start Woodways’ newsletters. Needless to say, the Garrisons set the bar high. Consider it a challenge (maybe just keep a fire extinguisher around and a close friend nearby for step 5)! From beginners to pros alike, enjoy.
Lamb Chops in a Hazelnut Crust with Rosemary Cream Sauce
3 T Dijon mustard (2 T for the lamb, 1 T for the sauce)
8 thick lamb loin chops (1 ½”), approx. 4 oz. each, trimmed of fat
Freshly ground pepper
½ C toasted hazelnuts (without skins), very finely chopped
½ C plain bread crumbs
¼ tsp salt
3 C rich beef stock, or good quality canned broth
1 sprig fresh rosemary, plus 2 tsp minced fresh rosemary for the sauce
1 C heavy whipping cream
¼ cup mild vegetable oil, such as safflower
2 T brandy
Fresh rosemary sprigs for garnishing
1. Using 2 T of the mustard, brush on all surfaces of the lamb chops. Generously pepper both sides.
2. In a medium-size bowl, mix together chopped hazelnuts, breadcrumbs, and salt. Press an even layer of the dry mixture onto all surfaces of the lamb chops.
3. Pour beef stock and rosemary sprig into a medium-sized saucepan and heat on high. Bring to boil and reduce to one cup, about 20-30 minutes. Whisk in the cream and remaining 1 T of mustard, reduce the heat to medium and simmer until mixture is slightly thickened, about 10 minutes.
4. Heat the oil in a large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat. When it is hot, but not smoking, add the lamb, but do not overcrowd the pan (may have to be done in two batches). Saute’ the lamb chops until they are golden on the outside, but still pink in the middle, about 3 ½ to 4 minutes per side. Transfer chops to a double-thickness of paper towels on an oven-proof plate and keep warm in 250’ oven. At this time, place four dinner plates in the oven to warm them, as well.
5. Remove skillet from heat and pour off any excess oil. Add the brandy, light it with a match, and when flame has subsided, pour the stock mixture through a strainer and into the skillet. Place the skillet over medium heat and simmer until the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon, about 10 minutes. Stir with a spatula, scraping up any brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Stir in the 2 t of minced rosemary, and season to taste with salt and pepper.
6. To serve, arrange 2 lamb chops on each of four warmed dinner plates and pour the sauce over them.