Here’s an award-winning lamb recipe from Rhett Blankenship, a 33-year veteran with the Dallas Fire-Rescue department. He won out against all competitors in the Tabasco Cook & Ladder Recipe competition, whose judges included Mario Batali.
- 2-3 serrano peppers, quartered lengthwise and seeded
- 1 small tomato, quartered
- 1/2 small onion
- 4 slices prosciutto
- 1/4 Cup molasses
- 2 Tablespoons cilantro flakes
- 1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1 Tablespoon brown sugar
- 1 Tablespoon chili powder
- 1 Tablespoon ground cumin
- 1 Teaspoon Tabasco habanero sauce
- 1/2 Teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/8 Teaspoon ground clove
- 1, 1/2-2 Pound French-cut rack of lamb (eight ribs total)
- 1 Cup chicken broth
- 3/4 Cups half-and-half
- 2 Teaspoons Tabasco chipotle pepper sauce
- 1/2 Cup quick grits
- 1/2 Cup shredded Cheddar cheese
- 1/4 Cup finely crushed blue and yellow tortilla chips
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
Set up a smoker with your favorite wood chips. Smoke the serrano peppers, tomato, and onion for 20 minutes. Remove from the smoker and let cool. Arrange the prosciutto in muffin tins to form 4 small cups and place in the oven for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool. Keep the oven on.
In a small bowl, combine the molasses, cilantro flakes, mustard, brown sugar, chili powder, cumin, habanero sauce, cinnamon, and clove. Mix well with a fork and set aside.
Cut the fat on top of lamb in a crisscross pattern. Put the lamb on a roasting rack and place in the oven until it has browned somewhat and the juices begin to run, about 15 minutes.
Remove from the oven and brush the molasses mixture over the top of the lamb; place back in the oven and reduce the temperature to 400 degrees. Do not overcook. Use a meat thermometer and adjust the oven temperature if necessary to ensure the lamb is served rare (125 degrees) to medium-rare (130 degrees). Remove from the oven and spoon excess juice over it.
Peel the skin off the tomato and purée with the serrano pepper and onion in a blender or food processor. Combine the purée, chicken broth, half-and-half, and chipotle sauce in a medium-sized saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Add the grits and cook for 5-7 minutes, stirring frequently until done. Remove from the heat and stir in the cheese.
Spoon equal amounts of the grits in to the ham bowls and place on plates. Sprinkle tortilla chips over the top of the lamb and then slice between the ribs. Place 2 ribs on each plate. Drizzle a small amount of glaze on plate and serve.