Strip the leaves and flowers from the stems of the broccoli rabe and set aside. Parboil the stems in salted boiling water until tender, drain, and immerse them in a bowl of ice water. Drain the stems again, squeeze tightly to remove all the water, and then coarsely chop them.
Put the garlic in a small microwave container and pour in
Put the panko and parsley leaves in a food processor and pulse until the bread crumbs turn green; scrape into a medium bowl. Put the reserved broccoli rabe leaves and flowers in the food processor with the chopped stems; puree. Add the mascarpone (or cream cheese) and pulse several times, until just combined. Add this mixture, the lemon zest, and the cooked garlic to the bread crumbs and mix well, mashing the garlic to a paste. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Cut the meat with a boning knife from both sides of the T-bone, but leave the meat attached at the top of the “T.” Season both sides of the meat. Press about
Heat a large ovenproof sauté pan over high heat. Add the remaining
* Panko are coarse, crisp Japanese bread crumbs that can be found in Asian grocery stores and specialty food markets.
It’s no secret that I am a meat lover, but no matter how perfectly cooked, how good the quality, or what it’s served with, just seeing a big ol’ grilled chop sitting in the middle of a plate gets boring. So you’ll often find our [Boulevard Restaurant, San Francisco] meat dishes rolled, wrapped, or stuffed in unusual ways. These lamb chops are a good example.
Here we’ve taken an extra-thick lamb porterhouse or “T-bone,” cut the meat away from the length of the bone, but left it attached at the “T.” Then we press a stuffing made from peppery broccoli rabe up against the bone, put the meat back, and tie the whole thing up again, so it looks like an ordinary chop but with a delicious surprise. It’s a deceptively simple way to make something rather ordinary special. Try it for your next dinner party and bask in the oohs and aahs as your guests cut into the meat and find that stuffing.
© 2003 Jeremiah Tower. All rights reserved.