Recipe by TOOLBELT DIVA
One of my favourite cooking styles is Italian. Many years ago, I had the privilege of becoming acquainted with, and lived among Italians families from the region of Calabria. I was therefore delighted when, upon reading this recipe, (as it appeared in "Saveur Magazine"), I recognized it as one which was created by Marcella Hazen "the acknowledged godmother of Italian cooking in America". Marcella has very quickly become my personal "Maven of Italian Cuisine". I do confess, however to "tweeking" blends of seasonings and ingredients to suit personal taste, but that is the essence of proficient cooking, isn't it? I believe that is the goal to which we all aspire to achieve; I am sure Marcella would agree. Marcella says "This is a recipe that starts out as two before becoming one. The chops and sauce... are cooked separately. Small rib chops should be cooked very briefly to a moist, flaming pink. Cook them too long, and they will turn gray and lose all their juice." I concur.
- 1 large red bell peppers or 2 small red bell peppers
- 8 lamb rib chops, about 1 inch thick
- fine sea salt
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1⁄2 cup chopped onion
- 2 cups peeled ripe fresh plum tomatoes
- 3 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf Italian parsley
- 1⁄4 cup pitted green olives in brine
- black pepper, ground fresh from the mill
Directions See How It's Made
- Cut each pepper lengthwise along the creases, remove the stem, seeds, and pithy core, and skin with a swivel-blade vegetable peeler. Cut into approximately 1-1/2" squares.
- Sprinkle the chops on both sides with a little salt.
- Put the olive oil into a 12" skillet and turn on the heat to high. When oil is hot, slide in the lamb chops. Brown them throughly on one side, turn over, and brown thoroughly on the other side. Remove from the pan to a plate and set aside.
- Put the chopped onion into the pan and cook it over lively heat, stirring frequently, until it becomes a rich gold colour. Add tomatoes with their juice, turning them over in the pan once or twice, and cook for 5 minutes.
- Add the cut up peppers, parsley, olives, salt and generous grindings of black pepper. Turn heat down to medium; cook, stirring occasionally, for about 8 minutes, until the peppers are tender but firm.
- Sprinkle the chops with pepper and return them to the pan with the sauce. Turn the chops over several times to coat well and after about a minute or so, empty the full contents of the skillet onto a warm serving platter and promptly serve to hungry diners.