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My wife and I love making these lamb chops since they are so simple. I based the recipe on a Northern Italian preparation, scottadito (which means burns the fingers). It's indeed quite fun to eat them by hand and you may have trouble waiting for them to cool too.
Using a mallet pound the meat portion of the chops until about doubled in size. This will both tenderize the chop and allow them to cook more quickly and evenly.
Season the chops on both sides with Ayala and either shio koji or salt, pressing the spices into the meat. The enzymes and sugars in the shio koji will produce better browning and slightly more tender meat.
Spread a generous layer of olive oil in a large dish and lay the chops in the oil in one layer, flip to coat the other side, then place the dish in the freezer for half an hour (the olive oil should thicken and solidify). You can also use a more solid fat like lard, in which case you can skip the freezing step.
Heat a large skillet or griddle over medium high heat. Or prep a broiler or grill on high.
Cook the chops for about 2-3 minutes per side, until browned and shrunk back to around their original size before you pounded them. The olive oil coating will help with heat transfer and browning. They will be cooked medium-rare to medium, but you can cook them further if you like also, they will still be tender and delicious.
Serve on a cutting board and enjoy piping hot. A squeeze of fresh lemon juice is optional, but delicious.
• I like to serve this with a simple salad of greens dressed with olive oil and lemon, rice with toasted almonds, and/or some simple crispy potatoes (mix a bit more Ayala with lemon and mayonnaise for a great dip for these).
Food images and recipe © Christian Leue.
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