One of my favorite “sneaky little” cooking tricks is to enhance the flavor of just about any stewing meat by surreptitiously slipping a few anchovies into the pot, said Melissa Clark in The New York Times. The fillets dissolve in minutes, yet seem to bring out the full character of all the other ingredients, “adding a salty, complex nuance but with none of the fishiness that the anchovy-averse might expect.” I can’t explain why it took me so long to try my anchovy secret with quickly sautéed meats, but that’s now my favorite new twist. The dish below “comes together in minutes,” but tastes as if it took hours.
Seared lamb chops with anchovies, capers, and sage
6 baby lamb chops (1¼ lbs)
salt and pepper
3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
3 anchovy fillets
3 tbsp drained capers
15 sage leaves
1/8 tsp red pepper flakes
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
Rinse lamb chops and pat dry. Season with salt and pepper, and let rest for 15 minutes. Choose a skillet large enough to hold all chops in one layer. Warm pan over medium-high heat and add oil. When oil shimmers, add anchovies and capers. Cook, stirring, until anchovies break down, about 3 minutes.
Arrange lamb chops in skillet and fry, without moving them, until brown, about 3 minutes. Turn them over, and toss sage leaves and pepper flakes into pan. Cook until lamb reaches desired doneness, about 2 minutes for medium-rare.
Arrange chops on serving plates. Add garlic to pan and cook for 1 minute, then spoon sauce over lamb. Serve with lemon wedges. Serves 2.