Notes From Swan's Nest

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Back In The Kitchen

I’m back in the kitchen this week after a break to take care of my mother in Illinois following her hip surgery. My sister, Lynn joined me for the week and we worked as a team to care for our parents – one who had had surgery, and the other who was exhausted from his “night nurse” duties.

Our two younger sisters Nancy and Judy were in Illinois the week prior, and brilliantly handled Mom’s immediate post-operative days. By the time Lynn and I arrived, our mom was starting to move into the next level of care – frequent, but not constant. As she grew stronger and started to take an interest in other things, my sister and I began to spend more time in the kitchen. For three and a half days, we cooked like wild women, not only preparing nutritious daily meals, but also filling Mom’s freezers with meals for weeks to come.

So here I am, once again in my own kitchen, or should I say kitchens. Swan’s Nest has two kitchens – the smaller “old” kitchen that was once the home office of 1800’s gold baron Ben Revett, and the “new” kitchen we added on while restoring the house these past three years.

For months, my husband Randy and I have been working to complete the new kitchen in time for a mid-March photo shoot, and we’re almost finished. Today, I’m wiping down the cabinet exteriors and interiors – not a very glamorous job, but a necessary one if I’m going to move all my cookware and “pretties” into the cupboards in time for the photo shoot. But it could be worse. Randy has the job of washing the wall of windows on the South side of the kitchen. Better Randy than I! After doing windows much of the morning, he took off for an afternoon of downhill skiing in fresh powder at Keystone.

One would think after whipping up 32 meals with my sister in just under four days, I would turn to frozen dinners now that I’m home, but I love cooking no matter what the circumstances. Last night, I created the most divine Colorado lamb chop recipe with a blackberry glaze, and it was so easy, I want to share it with you. You’re going to love it!

-Christy

Colorado Lamb Chops with Blackberry Glaze:
2 to 4 lamb shoulder arm chops
  Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper mélange
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 large cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1/2 cup dry red wine
1/2 cup beef broth
1 tablespoon seedless blackberry preserves
1 sprig fresh rosemary

Season the lamb chops with coarse salt and pepper. Preheat a large skillet over medium heat, add the oil, and swirl to coat the bottom of the pan. Add the meat to the pan and cook 4 to 5 minutes until the meat is brown. Turn the meat over and cook 4 to 5 minutes to brown the remaining side. Turn the meat over again and cook until it is pink inside, about 4 minutes, depending on the thickness of the chops.

Transfer the meat to a platter and cover to keep it warm. Add the garlic to the pan and sauté 1 minute. Deglaze the pan with wine and beef broth, stirring to loosen brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Add the blackberry preserves and stir until the preserves have melted. Cook the sauce several minutes until it has thickened and reduced by half. Season the sauce with salt and pepper to taste.

To serve, spoon the sauce around the lamb chops and garnish them with fresh rosemary.

Yield: 2 to 4 servings