RACK OF LAMB WITH A SHALLOT PURÉE CHILI CRUMBS CRUST FROM JUSTIN BAZDARICH OF PERRY STREET
2 rack of lamb, halved (about 2 pounds; Bazdarich prefers Australian lamb)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon butter
12 sprigs mint, plus additional for garnish
1 Thai chili, split in quarters
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 cups of shallots, peeled and sliced 1/4-inch thick
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup chopped savory (thyme can be substituted)
2 tablespoons olive oil
3/4 cup panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
1 Thai chili, minced
Lamb: Preheat the oven to 225 degrees. Cut each rack in half and season well with salt and pepper. Smear the bottom of a small roasting pan with butter, then layer mint and Thai chili. Place the meat fat side down in the pan and roast for 15 minutes. Turn the meat over, and cook another 15 minutes, then remove from oven. Allow the meat to rest in the cooking fat, turning occasionally for about 10 minutes. Shallot Purée: Heat the oil in a saucepan, add the shallots and salt, cover, and cook over medium heat until the shallots are completely soft. Do not allow them to color. Let cool slightly, then transfer to a blender, add the savory, and purée until completely smooth.
Chili Crumbs: Heat the oil in a small skillet over medium heat. Add the panko and salt, and sauté until the panko turns golden, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and add chili. Set aside. Preheat the broiler, and broil the meat, starting fat side down, until the internal temperature reaches 135 degrees. Spread the 2 or 3 tablespoons shallot purée over the fat side of each half-rack and then coat liberally with the chili crumbs. Brown quickly under the broiler (panko has a tendency to burn). Remove from oven, garnish with fresh mint leaves, and serve.