Lamb Chops Scottaditi
2 (8-rib) lamb chops, trimmed of excess fat and bones frenched
5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
For the rub:
5 ounces salt
3 ounces brown sugar
1 ½ ounces black pepper
½ tablespoon chile flake
2 ounces dried mint
For the Gnocco Fritto:
12 ounces whole milk
8 ounces heavy cream
3 ounces semolina
1 egg yolk
3/4 ounce Parmigiano-Reggiano
3/4 ounce pecorino Romano
½ cup Wondra flour
2 tablespoons olive oil
Cut each rack down the center, to create 4 portions, each with four bones.
Mix the spice rub together in a large bowl. Sprinkle the chops liberally on both sides and shake off any excess. Ideally you would let the chops chill in the refrigerator for 6 hours after applying the spice rub.
For the Gnocco Fritto:
Line a sheet tray with parchment paper and spray with vegetable spray.
In a large pot set over a medium-high flame, combine the whole milk and heavy cream and bring to a simmer. Season with salt and pepper and add the semolina in a steady stream, whisking continually. Cook over low flame, whisking often for about 15 to 20 minutes. As the gnocco thickens, it may be necessary to switch from a whisk to a rubber spatula. The semolina is ready when the consistency is thick and smooth and pulling from the edges of the pot. Remove the gnocco from the heat. Add the egg yolk and whisk vigorously to incorporate as quickly as possible. Add both cheeses, whisking to incorporate thoroughly. Pour the gnocco paste onto the prepared sheet tray.
Using a rubber spatula, spread the gnocco to a uniform thickness, approximately ½-inch. Refrigerate for several hours until very firm.
When the gnocco is very firm, use a circular cookie cutter approximately 3 inches in diameter to cut the gnocco into four rounds. Keep chilled until ready to use.
Finish the lamb:
Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
Heat a large cast iron skillet over high heat. Add 5 tablespoons of olive oil and heat until hot but not smoking. Season the lamb with salt and pepper and sear fat side down until golden brown, about 2 to 3 minutes. Flip the lamb and cook bone side up for another minute. Place the cast iron with the lamb in the oven for 10 minutes until an internal thermometer reads 115 degrees. Remove the lamb and allow to rest for approximately 10 minutes or until the temperature has raised to approximately 130 degrees.
While the lamb is resting, heat a large non-stick skillet over high heat. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil until hot, but not smoking.
Dredge the circles of gnocco with wondra flour and sear in the hot oil, until golden brown, approximately 1-2 minutes. When golden brown and crisp, carefully turn the gnocco, taking care not to splash the hot oil. Cook for approximately 1 minute on the other side until golden brown and crisp.
Remove the gnocco from the oil and set on paper towel to drain the excess oil. Place each on one of four warmed dinner plates. Slice each of the chops directly in half and arrange 2 chops each amongst the four plates.
Finish with a sprinkling of sea salt, a drizzle of olive oil and serve.
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