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Rack of Lamb with Roasted Brussels Sprouts, Toasted Anchovy and Meyer Lemon Crema

Photo: American Lamb Board
From: Chef/owner Holly Smith, Café Juanita, Kirkland, WA. Yield: 8 servings.

3 lamb racks, frenched, fat cap removed
2 cara cara or navel oranges, zest only, with vegetable peeler
4 large sprigs rosemary, needles removed and lightly crushed
12 sprigs fresh thyme, lightly crushed by hand
½ tsp. chili flakes
20 cloves garlic, lightly crushed
6 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
to taste, kosher salt and cracked black pepper

Roasted Brussels Sprouts:
1½ lb. Brussels sprouts
as needed, unsalted butter
as needed, extra virgin olive oil
to taste, kosher salt
to taste, cayenne pepper
3 Tbsp. finely chopped garlic
20 anchovy filets, rough chopped
to taste, piments d’Argile or Espelette
1 to 2 lemons, juice only

Meyer Lemon Crema:
20 Meyer lemon peels (preferably cookers)
8 to 10 Meyer lemon centers
 to taste, simple syrup
to taste, kosher salt
½ cup Ligurian olive oil

For lamb: Trim excess fat from lamb racks, leaving thin fat cap. In a bowl, combine zest, rosemary, thyme, chili flakes, garlic and oil, crushing the herbs, zest and garlic lightly to release oils. Rub mixture on lamb racks. Marinate, refrigerated, for 24 hours, rotating every 6 hours to ensure best distribution of aromatics.

Remove lamb from marinade. Season lamb generously with salt; lightly with black pepper. On preheated grill, render and roast, fat cap down, turning and continuing to grill to desired doneness; be careful not to burn the bones. Let rest before serving.

For roasted Brussels sprouts: Clean and trim sprouts, cutting 1¼ lb. in half, peeling the remaining ¼ lb. to leaves only. In two large heavy-bottomed sauté pans, heat butter and oil together over medium heat. Add halved sprouts; toss and season lightly with salt and cayenne. Arrange cut-side down. Reserve the leaves. Cook over medium-high heat until golden brown. Flip sprouts; continue to cook until tender. Add leaves; toss together with cut roasted sprouts. Cook for 1 minute longer. Pull sprouts to one side of the pan; add additional 1 Tbsp. butter and 1 Tbsp. oil; divide garlic and anchovy between the two pans. Stir to combine, letting anchovy and garlic melt together. Continue to cook until toasted. Toss to combine. When ready to plate, heat sprouts and adjust seasoning as desired. Add Piments d’Argile/Espelette and finish with lemon juice.

For Meyer lemon crema: In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, combine lemon centers with lemon peels. Cover with cold water and bring to a boil; drain. Repeat this process 3 to 4 times until lemons are tender and not bitter. Drain; transfer lemon mixture to blender. Process until smooth. Season with salt; add small amount of simple syrup to balance. While processing, drizzle in up to ½ cup oil; adjust seasoning as necessary. Hold at room temperature.

To plate: On a rectangular plate, place a swoosh of Meyer lemon crema with Brussels sprouts scattered alongside. Cut racks into chops and plate 2 or 3 chops per guest. Garnish with preserved cara cara oranges and Meyer lemon, if desired.

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