The vibrant coconut milk-based sauce Jeff Smith serves with this simple roasted lamb is a great example of his homespun Mediterranean-Asian cuisine. Substituting brown sugar for white when glazing vegetables is a trick Smith discovered during a cooking experiment: "It adds a deeper kind of sweet note."
More Lamb Recipes
Two 1 1/2-pound racks of lamb (16 chops), frenched (see Note)
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup unsweetened coconut milk
1/4 cup mint leaves
Three 1/4-inch slices of fresh ginger
2 garlic cloves
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 jalapeño, seeded
1 tablespoon cilantro
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 shallot, minced
10 ounces frozen baby peas, thawed
1 tablespoon brown sugar
How to Make It
Preheat the oven to 400°. Set the lamb racks in a medium roasting pan. Season the lamb generously with salt and pepper and drizzle with olive oil. Roast until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center registers 125° for medium-rare, about 35 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board and let rest for 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a blender, combine the coconut milk, mint leaves, ginger, garlic, lime juice, jalapeño and cilantro and puree until smooth. Season the sauce with salt and pepper.
In a medium skillet, melt the butter. Add the shallot and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until softened, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the peas and brown sugar, season with salt and pepper and cook until the peas are lightly coated, 2 to 3 minutes longer.
Carve the lamb into chops and serve with the coconut-mint sauce and peas.
The coconut-mint sauce can be refrigerated for up to 2 days.
Have your butcher french the lamb by scraping the fat and gristle from the bones.
For this impressive rack of lamb, Smith likes to pour his own Hourglass Cabernet Sauvignon, which plays nicely off the minty sauce. Happily for Smith, but unfortunately for wine buyers, Hourglass sells out almost instantly upon release; other worthy Cabernet substitutes are available.
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