The Gant in Aspen is a condo complex and a hotel. Because they are operated by a hotel management company, all amenities one would expect from an upscale hotel are available. In addition, because it is a condominium apartment, a well-equipped kitchen is also available and there are gas grills strategically located around the property. The one drawback of this set-up is that if you are only staying for a couple of days and want to cook you need to anticipate what staples you might need. When we embarked on our brief road trip we didn’t anticipate cooking so didn’t bring staples. The challenge, then, is to cook a tasty meal without provisioning an entire pantry. The only pantry items available were salt and pepper. With the thought a poolside dinner of tasty grilled lamb chops, we made our shopping list. Fortunately, Aspen has a superb butcher and a couple of decent supermarkets so it was relatively easy to get our ingredients and prepare dinner so that the end result was a delicious meal that was relaxing to prepare.
To cook the potatoes, start with young new potatoes. Wash them and cut into lengthwise quarters. Put in a saucepan with salted water and bring to a boil. Boil for 12 minutes. Remove from heat and cool in cold water. At this point they should be not quite cooked. Put in a bowl with olive oil, chopped garlic and fresh rosemary. Gently toss so that all surfaces are covered. Cover and refrigerate until you are ready to cook them. When ready to cook, put directly on the grate over the
hottest part of the fire. Cook for two minutes on each flat side. When all potatoes are cooked, keep them in warm at the side of the grill. If you are having asparagus, drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Put on the grill and cook for two minutes. Turn them and cook for two more minutes. Asparagus should be bright green and al dente. If you are having spinach, start with young leaves. Rinse and drain. In a sauté pan heat olive oil or bitter. When oil is hot add the leaves in batches and quickly toss, adding more spinach as the leaves wilt. Work quickly and don’t overcook. Remove from heat and season with salt and pepper. Bring to the table and serve at room temperature.
Grilled Lamb Chops with Lemon and Rosemary
4 loin lamb chops, 1 inch thick
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
4 stems fresh rosemary, leaves removed and coarsely chopped
Juice of 1 lemon
1 lemon, sliced
2 TBS olive oil
8 sprigs fresh rosemary
Rub lamb chops with olive oil and season to taste with freshly ground black pepper. Put lamb chops in a baking dish and cover with rosemary, lemon juice and olive oil. Using tongs, toss well so that all surfaces are covered. Cover chops with rosemary sprigs. Cover dish and refrigerate until ready to cook. These can marinate for a couple of hours to overnight. Prepare a hot grill. Put chops on the grill with rosemary sprigs on top. Close grill and cook for three minutes. Set chops aside and put rosemary sprigs directly on hottest part of cooking surface. Put chops on rosemary sprigs, close lid and cook for three more minutes. Remove from grill and let sit for five minutes. Serve with rosemary grilled new potatoes and grilled asparagus or wilted spinach.