Rack of Lamb With Toasted Hazelnut Butter

Rack of Lamb With Toasted Hazelnut Butter

4 New Zealand Lamb racks

1/2 cup hazelnuts

1/3 cup butter

Pinch hot pepper flakes

1/4 cup Dijon mustard

1 tsp. coarse salt

Toast hazelnuts in dry, heavy skillet for 5 to 8 minutes or until they become fragrant. Place in clean tea towel and rub to remove some of the skins. Puree to smooth paste in food processor or blender with butter and hot pepper flakes; Form into 1-inch (2.5cm) cylinder and wrap in waxed paper. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour to up to 2 days. (Freeze for up to 2 months if making ahead).

Set shallow roast pan in oven and preheat to 450°F (230°C). Mix mustard with salt and coat lamb well. Place racks in not pan fat side up and roast for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 350°F (180°C) and roast another 20 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 130°F (54°C). Transfer to cutting board and let stand, covered with tent of foil, for 5 minutes. Carve between ribs and top each chop with slices of hazelnut butter.

Makes 6 to 8 servings.