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Pan-Fried Double Thick Lamb Chops with Olive-Anchovy-Orange Butter
A fast and easy recipe that will stand up perfectly at an elegant dinner party

Ingredients:
for the olive-anchovy-orange butter
3 tablespoons shallots
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons water
1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 tablespoons finely chopped Mediterranean black olives
5 anchovy fillets, minced
1 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary
3/4 teaspoon minced orange zest
salt and pepper to taste
for the lamb chops
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 tablespoons butter
4 double-thick loin lamb chops, trimmed and brought to room temperature (each about 2 inches thick and 1/2 pound)
salt and pepper to taste
small rosemary sprigs for garnish

Directions:
1. Make the olive-anchovy-orange butter: Cook together the shallots, balsamic vinegar, and water in a small fry-pan over moderate heat, stirring, until dry, about 3 minutes. Set aside to cool slightly. In a bowl stir together the shallot mixture with the butter, olives, anchovies, rosemary, orange zest, and salt and pepper with a fork until well combined. In a piece of wax paper or plastic wrap, shape the butter mixture into a 1-inch-wide log, and refrigerate until firm enough to slice.
2. Make the lamb chops: In a large, heavy skillet heat the oil and butter over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking. Season the chops generously with salt and pepper and cook, turning occasionally with tongs, to desired doneness, about 15 minutes for medium-rare.
3. To serve, arrange each chop in the center of a plate. Slice the olive-anchovy-orange butter into 8 rounds, and arrange 2 rounds on each chop. Garnish with a small rosemary sprig.

Double-thick loin lamb chops from a great butcher (like ours) are so good that little extra flavor is required. But the pats of butter that go on the chops in this recipe are certainly worth the effort, because they support the flavor of the lamb -- and have the additional virtue of transporting you immediately to the south of France. This is a really fast and easy recipe that will stand up perfectly at an elegant dinner party. Serves 4