See shot-by-shot commentary of photos that led up to the money shot.
Rock Star Chef Kerry Simon
A couple of weeks ago during a trip to Los Angeles, I bumped into rock star chef Kerry Simon at every kitchen fanatic’s dream bookstore, The Cook’s Library. What elevates Kerry to rock star status? Well, how about the fact that Rolling Stone tagged him with the unofficial title “Rock ‘n’ Roll Chef.” OK, that reason ALONE is enough for me to swoon all over him.
Chef Kerry Simon
My brother Jay and I met up with one of Jay’s friends, who has a Hollywood job so bizarre HE HAD TO WHISPER IT IN MY EAR, and so our hodgepodge group – a food writer, a cardiologist and a … um … let’s call him a “gay reality show researcher,” dined at Simon LA, Kerry’s signature restaurant.
I have a love-hate relationship with restaurant reviews. I love it when it’s a great restaurant and the critic’s eloquent trail of words tickles my taste buds and seduces me onto the plate. But you know what? It’s like the biggest frustrating tease when the restaurant is 2,471 miles away, and there’s no way to actually enjoy the meal in person!
I’m not going to tantalize you with play-by-play of my four-course meal, which would be cruel because it was totally rock-star phenomenal. Instead, I’m doing one better. I called Kerry up and asked for a recipe. He obliged and sent along his Lamb Chops with Curried Pears.
One thing about restaurant chefs giving you recipes is that they normally feed, like, 50 people, and some of the cooking techniques may be a bit difficult for home cooks. So, I’ve simplified his recipe and scaled it down so you’re not inviting all the families within a 2-mile radius to dinner.
I think you’ll really enjoy it. Chef Kerry is a master of taking a few simple ingredients and coaxing the flavors and textures into something so sublime, surprising and sexy.
To core a pear, lop off the top and the very bottom of the pear. Cut the pear in half, starting from the top at the stem end. Since I don’t have a melon baller, I used my measuring spoon – the 1-teaspoon spoon was the perfect size and shape to remove the core. Cut cored pear into wedges, lengthwise. You can cook with apples instead of pears; just increase the cooking time by 10 minutes.
The jalapeno pepper is to flavor the butter so that you get a subtle, spicy tingle on your lips instead of a jab-in-the-mouth type of spicy. If you want spicy, add another jalapeno.
Lamb Chops with Curried Pears Recipe
inspired by Kerry Simon
12 single lamb chops
2 teaspoons plus 1 tablespoon olive oil
1 sprig rosemary, leaves torn off stem
1 teaspoon kosher salt (1/2 teaspoon table salt)
For the spicy pears:
21/2 tablespoons butter
1 jalapeno pepper, quartered, seeds removed
1 teaspoon curry powder
1 tablespoon fresh-squeezed lime juice
3 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons soy sauce
3 pears, cored and cut into 6 wedges each
Slather the lamb chops with 2 teaspoons of olive oil and rosemary. Let marinate at room temperature for 15 minutes to overnight in the refrigerator.
In the meantime, make the spicy pears. Heat a frying pan over medium heat. Add the butter, and when the butter is bubbling add the jalapeno pepper and the curry powder. Saute for 1 minute, until the curry and pepper is fragrant. Take care not to burn the mix; you may have to turn the heat down. Whisk in the lime juice, honey and the soy. Add the pears and stir to coat the pears. Cover, turn the heat to low and let simmer for 10 minutes until the pears are softened. Discard the jalapeno peppers.
Season the lamb chops with salt. Heat a frying pan over high heat. When the pan is very hot, add the 1 tablespoon of olive oil and swirl to coat. Add the lamb chops in a single layer, not touching. Fry for 2-3 minutes each side, depending on thickness of the lamb chops.
Serve with spicy pears. Makes 4 servings.
Food Styling and Photography
I have more posts where I show slideshows of food styling and photography
Love your photos Jaden! They sure look yummy!
I really like following the in-process shots, as I’ve always tried to imitate your style anyway. Of course, now I’m using stills from my 72dpi video camera until my good camera gets fixed, so I still need to drool over your photos instead of my own anyway. Please keep posting these processes!
The curried pears sounds soooo delicious!
had this over the weekend….yum
My husband LOVES his lamb chops but other than dressing them with some teriyaki sauce or Worcestershire sauce, I’ve run out of ideas on how to prepare them. Until now…it’s enough to make me wanna run out and buy some chops! Thanks for sharing this delightful recipe.
rock star chef looks hot! lol. actually your lamb chops are amazing and the curried pears are totally genius. i’m hoping to use this recipe some time soon and impress everyone. x
those lamb chops are truly amazing!!! i could just imagine how the exotic flavor of curry and the sweetness of pears will play around my tongue… Jaden, you truly continue to amaze me… cheers to you!!! ๐
So its 11:23 am here and I am battling to make until lunch and then I bump into this!! Jaden… simply amazing. Love the pear combo with lamb… oh dear. I must stumble!
oh, happy autumn! this looks fantabulous!!
I really admired your food styling and photography skills. Your tips are really useful to me. Tks for sharing.
This has inspired to make some curried lamb ๐
Jaden, thanks for visiting my site. Last night I spent a few hours pouring over your photography tips. Awesome material, but not great for me when I have to work the next day. I enjoy reading about the process you go through to get the money shot, as with the lamb chops photo.
It’s always a feast for the eyes to come visit your blog.
Love your play by play on the photos, please keep it up! You are really rolling with the big guys now huh?
i made these for dinner last night. it’s a veryy forgiving recipe ๐
somehow the curry powder never made it from my shopping basket and onto the register and instead of lamb chops (expensive!) i used lamb breast ribs. it was still deeelicious. thought because i was using breast of lamb and there was more meat, i needed to sear the meat then bake it at 450 degree for about 20 min in order to thoroughly cook the meat. i definitely recommend pouring the sauce over the lamb…even without the curry, it was spicy and deliciouuus!
Man, those look good. I could almost serve them for dessert with sea salt ice cream. Yum.
By the way, I added you to my blogroll; hope you don’t mind.
Wow! Jaden, I interviewed him a while back on my site, actually I hadn’t seen him since he worked at the Drake Hotel with Jean George Vongerichten; You see I was an up and coming cook and Kerry used to always pass by my station and I would make he and Jean George breakfast, I sure did wanna work in that great culinary temple, alas I didn’t! He is very nice and a good lookin fella too?
Very cool–thanks for getting the recipe!
I so appreciate your step by step photos that you link to. It’s nice to see that others go through as much agony as I do in trying to find shots that ‘work.’ I did have some trouble with pop up ads interfering w/ my trying to view the writing underneath each photo though.
great post! I don’t know if I can get some trust-worthy lamb in the town I live in right now (nor do I have the budget for it) but I would love to try these pears. Yum!
That looks amazing. I have to wipe the drool off the keyboard now. Lovely. I always do apple, but pears–now that sounds unbelievably good. Bravo.
ooooh! I’m so envious of your hob-nobbing with famous people all the time! That, and you can coax yummy recipes out of them too! I love lamb and the pears look fantastic this way!
If any of these ridiculously good looking and talented boys you keep meeting up with are single, send them my way, quit being so selfish!
That’s a great photograph Jaden, and the pears seem like a really interesting combination with the lamb!
I live down the street from Simon LA, but it’s not so much in my budget! How cool to get recipes from the man himself!
Nice food shot, though I’d like to see a bit more of the meat on the right hand side…
The portrait is Marvelous! Rock Star Chef Indeed!
Great stuff overall!
What a gorgeous recipe, Jaden! Since we raise sheep, I’m always on the lookout for interesting new lamb recipes, and I have a line on some homegrown pears that should be ready for picking right about now. I bet this dish is delicious! : )
Jaden, you had a celebrity sighting in LA! Who would have thunk it! ๐ You’re lucky it was Simon, who is a rock star in the kitchen. I’m impressed that you just picked up the phone and asked him for a recipe. You’re a rock star too! BTW, the photo is beautiful as always but those were some skimpy pork chops! ๐
I just have to tell you that I love it when you do the shot-by-shot commentary. I learn so much from you (and realize that I have A LOT to learn!!)
This is a beautiful dish, and I’m sure tastes even better than it looks!
This looks amazing! Thanks for getting the recipe for us! I tried out your sweet and sour chicken recipe last week and loved it! So I’m super excited to start trying some of your other recipes!
So I guess, pears are to Lambchops what apples are to porkchops. This dish looks delicious – I do prefer pears over apples. All that hair….he probably has it in a ponytail when he is in the kitchen. That’s why I’m growing my hair long so I can tie it up instead of wearing the blasted hairnet whenever I bake my orders.
Sooooo my type. Sexy, yes. The, um recipe?!
I hope he wears a hairnet in the kitchen. That’s one of the things that freaks me out about food network. The people with long hair swing it around like whatever. Bleh.I guess they defy the laws of sanitation.
Hmm curried pears sounds like a really good idea!
Pears is an unusual touch, though I’ve seen peach being paired with spinach and lamb chops in Australia. Great pic.
Mouthwatering! Leaving the skin on the pears made them hold their shape beautifully!
You are the Master of the… Oh, By the way story.
Remember, One call to Kerry for a recipe is fine.
A dozen calls a day?
You’re stalking him!
Kinda made Dave Lieberman look kinda DULL, huh?
As for the dish, I’m not into that curry flavor so I’d substitute allspice or cardamon, but keep the pears and jalepeno.
How fun that you met him! And what a combination–it’s an elegant upgrade to pork chops and applesauce.
The pears are definitely the star of the dish. Lovely!