Here's a great recipe to start with if you're just learning how to cook lamb chops on the stove—which is, in my opinion, the easiest method. Not least because, when you've got a protein as small and as delicate as this, you really only need to pan-fry them for a couple minutes per side. This means, too, that you won't stink up your 250–square foot shoebox studio with meat fumes, nor will this short of a cooking time make much of a mess in terms of oil splatter.
My pan-fried lamb chops start with a spicy, herbaceous marinade, which lends nice flavor and tenderizes the meat. Then, they go straight into a heated nonstick or cast-iron skillet (no additional oil because there's oil in the marinade), followed by a cup of frozen peas you warm up right in the rendered lamb fat left over in the pan. This is a special but easy dinner for dates nights in ... with yourself. —Eric Kim
In a food processor or blender, blitz the jalapeño, garlic, mint, olive oil, salt, pepper, sugar, and vinegar until smooth. Place the lamb chops in a resealable plastic bag or glass container with about 1/4 cup of the marinade. Shmoosh around. Let sit overnight in the fridge if possible, or for at least an hour at room temperature.
When ready to cook, heat a skillet over medium heat and brush excess marinade off lamb chops. Fry chops, 1 to 2 minutes per side, or until nicely charred on the outside and just cooked through on the inside (120°F for rare and closer to 145°F for well-done; add an extra minute per side if you prefer the latter). Plate, then prepare the pea salad.
Throw peas into the now empty, dirty pan (where the lamb chops have cooked) and season with salt, pepper, sugar, and vinegar. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes, or until peas are warmed through. Garnish with the mint.
Serve lamb chops alongside peas and the remaining marinade.
Eric Kim is the Table for One columnist at Food52. Formerly the managing editor at Food Network and a PhD candidate in literature at Columbia University, he is currently working on his first cookbook, to be published by Clarkson Potter in Spring 2022. His favorite writers are William Faulkner, John Steinbeck, and Ernest Hemingway, but his hero is Nigella Lawson. You can find his bylines at Saveur, Bon Appétit, and The New York Times and follow him on Twitter @ericjoonho. Born and raised in Georgia, Eric lives in a tiny shoebox in Manhattan with his dog, Quentin "Q" Compson.