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Lamb Chops with Garlic Custard

  • ACTIVE: 45 MIN
  • TOTAL TIME: 1 HR 20 MIN
  • SERVINGS: 4

This recipe was inspired by the luscious garlic flan that executive chef Cindy Wolf serves at Charleston in Baltimore.

Custard

  1. 6 large garlic cloves, halved
  2. 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
  3. 1/2 teaspoon chopped thyme
  4. 3 large yolks
  5. 2 large eggs
  6. 1 1/2 cups milk
  7. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  8. 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

Salad

  1. 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  2. 1/2 ounce pancetta or lean bacon, finely chopped
  3. 1 medium shallot, thinly sliced
  4. 10 ounces frozen peas, thawed (2 cups)
  5. 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
  6. Salt and freshly ground pepper
  7. 1 tablespoon chopped mint
  8. 2 ounces arugula (4 cups)

Lamb Chops

  1. 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  2. 8 lamb loin chops, trimmed of excess fat
  3. Salt and freshly ground pepper
  4. 1/4 cup Riesling
  1. Preheat the oven to 325°. Lightly butter four 2/3-cup ramekins and place in a small baking dish.
  2. Bring a small saucepan of water to a simmer. Add the garlic and cook over moderate heat until very tender, about 10 minutes. Drain and transfer to a medium bowl. Smash the garlic to a puree. Stir in the olive oil and thyme. Whisk in the egg yolks and whole eggs, then whisk in the milk, salt and pepper. Pour the custard into the ramekins and add enough very hot tap water to the baking dish to reach halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Bake for about 25 minutes, until the custards are just set and slightly jiggly in the center. Remove the ramekins from the water bath and set aside.
  3. In a medium skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Add the pancetta and cook over moderate heat until lightly browned, about 3 minutes. Add the shallot and cook until softened, about 3 minutes. Add the peas and cook until heated through, about 2 minutes. Add 1 teaspoon of the vinegar and season with salt and pepper.
  4. In a medium bowl, combine the remaining 1 tablespoon each of olive oil and vinegar and season with salt and pepper. Add the mint and arugula and toss well.
  5. Increase the oven temperature to 425°. In a very large ovenproof skillet, heat the olive oil. Season the lamb chops with salt and pepper, add to the skillet and cook over high heat until browned, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer the skillet to the oven and bake the chops for about 6 minutes, until medium rare. Meanwhile, reheat the garlic custard in the oven for 2 minutes.
  6. Transfer the lamb to warm plates. Set the skillet over moderately high heat, add the Riesling and cook for 1 minute, scraping up any browned bits; season with salt and pepper. Drizzle the pan sauce over the chops.
  7. Run a thin knife around the inside of the ramekins and invert the custards onto the plates. Toss the peas with the salad and serve at the table.
Make Ahead The garlic custards can be refrigerated overnight. Bring to room temperature and reheat in a microwave oven for about 15 seconds.

Suggested Pairing

A red Bordeaux with herbal nuances is the classic match for lamb. Choose a medium-bodied example with good fruit.

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