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Tuesday, April 14, 2009

And the Main Course: Recipe

To many, the question of "what would Easter be without lamb" is easy to answer...incomplete. That's what I say! This recipe comes largely from a Bon Appetit magazine recipe but I added some little tweaks to ensure it was my own creation. The lamb got rave reviews - it was tender, it was incredibly flavorful, and it was beautiful. It was actually easier to make than I was expecting it to be - meaning, it took less time than I had imagined. It was not at all difficult!

I very much enjoy rack of lamb so these were enjoyable to make. The breading added an extra dimension to an already delicious food. I highly recommend this...just do yourself a favor and remove the smoke detectors from the house first - with heat at 400 degrees, the house will surely get hot and ours set off all three alarms.

** Be sure to begin this one day ahead of time...

Pecan Crusted Rack of Lamb
8 racks of lamb with 8 chops - about 1 1/2 lb. each (frenched)
1/2 cup kosher salt
3.5 oz. rosemary
3.5 oz. mint
1/2 cup olive oil
3 large shallots
2 large garlic cloves
1 cup dijon mustard

20 oz. potato bread, crusts removed, and torn into pieces
1 large garlic clove
2/3 cup parsley
1 1/2 cup pecans
1/3 cup olive oil

Rub each rack of lab with a good, large, pinch of salt - both sides. In a food processor, combine the shallots, garlic, rosemary and mint until well chopped. Then add in the olive oil in the stream tube. With your hands, rub each side of the rack with a good large handful of the herb mixture. Place two racks in large ziplock bags and place in the fridge for at least 24 hours.

In the food processor, combine the bread, parsley, pecans, and garlic until little crumbs form. I actually made the bread "crumbs" first before adding the parsley, garlic and pecans. Next add in the oil in the stream tube until moist clumps form.

In a large frying pan (I used two at a time), over high heat, sear each rack about 5 minutes total - until they are well browned. You will be taking the racks from the zip bag directly into the frying pan but I recommend bringing the racks out of the fridge about 20 minutes before you sear them. Place each rack onto a hefty cookie sheet. Allow the racks to rest 15 minutes before moving ahead.

Preheat the oven to 400. Again with your hands, spread a hefty spoonful of the mustard onto each rack - just the tops, not the underside - and then coat the rack with the breadcrumb mixture. Bake until desired temp - 28 minutes for medium rare. Remove and allow them to rest for 15 minutes under lose foil tent. Slice and serve.

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