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Dinner Tonight: Lamb Chops with Crème Fraîche Beans

[Photograph: Blake Royer]

I don't cook with lamb chops often because they're expensive, but sometimes nothing else will hit the spot. Maybe it's something to do with spring and all the usual clichés about lamb this time of year. All I know is I found myself with a couple of gorgeous, deep-red "lamb T-bones" as they're sometimes called, the loin chops with a T-bone through the middle. They need nothing more than a sear on the grill or a trip under the hot broiler, seasoned with plenty of salt and pepper and drizzled with olive oil.

Bean salads go particularly well with lamb, and I had a can in the cupboard. My go-to recipe is simple, just a few fresh herbs, fruity olive oil, and lemon juice, all heated through gently to preserve the flavor of the herbs and the character of the oil. This time I went to the bookshelf and pulled down Chez Panisse Vegetables, taking the secret to this recipe. It's crème fraîche: you add it to the beans and then raise the heat so that it reduces and clings to the beans, turning into a thick and creamy gloss. They are the creamiest beans I think I've ever eaten.

The herbs in this recipe make the dish, and it also doesn't matter which you use. I had some rosemary and basil in the fridge, so that's what ended up in this recipe.

Lamb Chops with Crème Fraîche Beans

Adapted from Chez Panisse Vegetables.
About the author: Blake Royer founded The Paupered Chef with Nick Kindelsperger, where he writes about food and occasional travels. After a year in Estonia, he's now living in Chicago.

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