PAN-GRILLED RIB LAMB CHOPS WITH RED CHILE ADOBO (for four)
12 to 16 rib lamb chops, ¾ inch thick and trimmed of excess fat
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
6 medium (about 3 ounces total) dried ancho chiles, stemmed, seeded and torn into flat pieces
3 garlic cloves, peeled
1 teaspoon dried oregano, preferably Mexican
½ teaspoon black pepper, preferably freshly ground
¼ teaspoon ground cumin
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
4 teaspoons sugar, or more to taste
1/3 cup cider vinegar
1. Measure the oil into a medium skillet and set over medium heat. When hot, oil-toast the chiles, 1 or 2 pieces at a time, until very toasty smelling and blistered, only a few seconds per side. Transfer the chiles to a bowl. Measure 2 cups hot tap water into the bowl with the chiles; a small plate on top will keep the chiles submerged. Let them rehydrate for about 20 minutes.
2. Place the garlic, oregano, pepper, cumin, cloves, 1-1/2 teaspoons salt, 1 teaspoon sugar and 1/3 cup vinegar in a blender or food processor. Pour in the rehydrated chiles, liquid and all. Process the mixture to a smooth puree. Press through a medium mesh strainer set over a bowl.
3. Brush lamb chops with the marinade and let them sit while you prepare the grill for cooking (or use a ridged grill pan). If using a charcoal grill, open vents on the bottom of the grill, then light the charcoal. When charcoal turns grayish white (about 15 minutes after lighting) hold your hand 5 inches above grill rack. Fire is medium-hot when you can hold your hand there for 3 to 4 seconds. If using a gas grill, preheat burners on high, covered, for 10 minutes, then turn down to moderate.
4. Brush the rack of the grill or pan lightly with oil. Place the chops on the rack and grill, covered only if using a gas grill, turning as needed, until browned and crisp on the outside yet still pink and juicy inside, about 8 minutes total for medium-rare. If you are using a grill pan, heat it over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking and grill the lamb, in batches if necessary, turning once, about 4 minutes per side for medium rare.
5. Transfer to a platter and serve at once.
adapted from Rick Bayless, Mexico One Plate at a Time