We had a pretty subdued New Year’s Eve here at home. It was frigid outside, and gray; today is in fact the first time the sun has come out this year. We got some lamb chops as an indulgent treat, and I did what I could to make them interesting for dinner. Honestly, though, I could have used more time; the extra steps that make a meal special usually require me to knock off working an hour earlier than normal if I want it all to succeed. But such is life. And it was just us, so there wasn’t much need to get fancy.
I gave the rack a rub of garlic mashed with herbs, pimentón, cumin, salt, and pepper and let it sit for a couple of hours. Then I browned it hard all over in the iron skillet. I steamed some Yukon Golds with kale, then puréed them all together with yogurt, preserved lemon, basil pesto, and olive oil. Then I cut the chops apart- still completely rare in the middle- and kissed each side of them with the hot pan before plating. I deglazed the pan with wine and left the sauce broken for visual effect (and because it was less work). And that was dinner, along with mesclun: a suitably half-assed conclusion to a year of epic fail.
But now the sun is out, and prospects loom on the horizon, and it looks like I might be able to get the kitchen done for roughly what the wine sold for, so there’s reason to feel better- even excited- about what’s around the corner.