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Kare Arniou se Krousta Fountoukion: Hazelnut-Crusted Rack of Lamb

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Hazelnut-Crusted Rack of Lamb - Lamb Chops

Hazelnut-Crusted Lamb Chop

Photo © N. Gaifyllia, licensed to About.com, Inc.

Kare Arniou (καρέ αρνιου, say: kah-REH ahrn-YOO) is Greek for "rack of lamb" and φουντούκια (say: foon-DOOK-yah) is the word for "hazelnuts." The crust on the lamb is made with a wonderful combination of hazelnuts and thyme, and the result is a delicious dish that is elegant in presentation.

Prep Time: 45 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 55 minutes

Ingredients:

  • rack of lamb (usually 8 lamb rib chops)
  • 5 teaspoons of crushed thyme
  • 1 cup of ground hazelnuts
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon of pepper
  • 1/4 cup of olive oil
  • 1/2 cup of butter (1 stick)
  • olive oil for sauteeing

Preparation:

Preheat oven to 480F (250C).

Clean lamb and remove tough outer skin, if any. Pat dry. Pan sear in very little oil until the lightly browned. Remove and drain.

In a mixer/chopper, combine thyme, hazelnuts, salt, pepper, oil, and butter and mix until it forms a thick paste (do not liquefy). Place the rack, bone side up, in a small oven-proof dish. Coat the top side with a thick coating of the hazelnut mixture and roast at high heat - 480F (250C) - for 10-12 minutes until the butter melts and the crust hardens.

Note: This recipe is for rare lamb chops. If you prefer your lamb more well done, sauté them for an extra minute or two. Slice and serve.

Yield: serves 2-3

I first had a version of this recipe at Kyma in Atlanta during the course of a chef's tasting, so the serving size was one thin chop (see photo), garnished with trahana pasta cooked with tomatoes in lamb stock, I believe. They also go wonderfully with boiled new potatoes.

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