Mr. Lello Arpaia is the brains and heart behind Fiorini Italian restaurant in New York’s Upper East Side. His executive Chef, Xavier Quispilema, has been with him for over 20 years. This combination has resulted in multiple successful restaurants and accolades throughout their time together. We asked Fiorini to participate in our Summer Chef’s recipe series. Chef Quispilema graciously shared his Lamb Chops with Fresh Figs recipes. As I happily bit into my chops, I asked Chef Quispilema why it was not on the menu. He said “I would personally prepare this only on a customer request, it is truly my favorite
dish, and hopefully you will share my love for this unique combination of sweetness and Mediterranean touch”. From my lips to yours, it was delish. Quispilema told me that he feels it it the perfect summer “dish because it has a delicate taste of juicy lamb meat and sweetness of figs, which could be prepared for special occasions”.
Try it out at home, send us your pictures, and when you’re at Fiorini, go ahead and ask for it. You may just get lucky and get your wish.
Chef Xavier Quispilema’s Lamb Chops with Fresh Figs
1 lbs Lamb Chops cut in pieces
6 figs cut in halves
1/2 cup of Barolo Wine
Fresh thyme leaves
Garnish with sweet pearl onions, asparagus, and cherry tomatoes
Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Heat a splash of olive oil in a skillet over high heat until just under the smoking point. Add the lamb carefully to the oil and sear for 2 to 3 minutes on each side.
In the separate pan add six figs cut in halves, pinch of salt and pepper, add ½ of cup of Barolo wine, and stir on very low temperature for about 10 minutes . Add lamb into the pan with all ingredients.
Reduce heat and continue cooking until desired temperature (medium rare is recommended). Observe the color, and texture, it should look like a reduction.
Garnish – we cooked asparagus for about 5 minutes. In a separate pan we sautéed pearl onions, salt, peppers and cherry tomatoes, for a couple of minutes until golden brown color was achieved.
At the very end place the lamb on the separate dish, and pour the sauce on the lamb. Garnish it with pearl onions, asparagus and cherry tomatoes, thyme leaves for décor and enhanced flavor.
Fiorini is located near Sutton Place at 209 East 56th Street in New York. For reservations, call (212) 308-0830