Christmas Eve dinner

Night before Christmas Eve, I took out twelve small lamb chops, drizzled them with extra virgin olive oil, sprinkled them with chopped garlic, and laid them to marinate between sprigs of rosemary. Turned them over once in the morning.

Evening of the day itself, put a big pan on medium high heat, poured off the olive oil, scraped off the garlic, put aside the sprigs, seasoned the chops with kosher salt and fresh-cracked pepper, then panfried them in their own oil marinade, two minutes on each side, four at a time. While cooking the second side I added a bit of the chopped garlic and rosemary to cook a little. Set the chops aside, and garnished them with the garlic, now toasted, browned rosemary sprigs, and the oil they cooked in.

Served with hot french bread and butter, and a salad made of baby spinach, mandarin orange slices, and a dressing of extra-virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegar, kosher salt, fresh-cracked pepper, mustard, honey, a splash of orange juice and a crushed garlic clove.

Easy to prepare, and quick to cook (if you don't consider the marinade time). The lambs came out a crusty brown with a juicy dark-pink interior and a fragrant herbed-garlic scent. Went well with the hot, crusty bread (perfect for sopping up the garlicky olive oil) and crisp salad.

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