Rack of Lamb with Fig-Port-Shallot Sauce

This is my all time favorite way to prepare lamb. I save it for special occasions and always receive accolades from my family and friends. This recipe was inspired by one in Food & Wine magazine. It's dramatic presentation makes for an incredible dinner that is sure to impress. The fig sauce turns a gorgeous amber color. The flavors come together in a way that makes you feel like you've just dined in the most expensive restaurant, without ever leaving your driveway.

• 4 TBSP olive oil
• 2 tsp dried rosemary
• 2 tsp dried minced thyme
• 2 shallots
• 2 racks of baby chops, 8-9 chops per rack; have butcher French the bones
• 1 cup port wine, divided
• 8 fresh Mission figs or dried figs, cut into quarters
• 1/2 cup chicken stock

Pre-heat oven to 450 degrees. In a food processor fitted with a metal blade, process 2 tablespoons olive oil, rosemary, thyme, and shallots 30-45 seconds or until a thick paste forms.
Rub the herbed paste into the lamb. Heat tablespoons olive oil in a medium oven-proof skillet. Add the lamb, fat side down, and cook over a high heat for 5 minutes. Turn the lamb and cook for an additional minute so that both sides are brown.
Add 1/2 cup port to skillet. Place the skillet in the oven and roast for 18 minutes. If your skillet is not oven-proof, cover the handles with foil.
Remove the skillet from the oven. Place the lamb on a platter; cover with foil to keep warm. Add the remaining 1/2 cup port wine and the figs to the skillet. Bring to a simmer. Use a spatula to loosen the brown bits from the pan. Add the stock and simmer for 3-4 minutes. The sauce will thicken and be a nice amber color. Pour sauce over the lamb and serve.

Yield: 4 servings

Every aspect of a table setting adds to its appeal and ambiance. Scatter rose petals, real or silk, for a gorgeous touch to any table. Or completely cover a table with autumn leaves, then top with a clear plastic cloth. Try using an old-fashioned quilt or silk scarf as a table both. Pieces of training ivy draped across the table or cut into napkin rings also work beautifully.

Courtsey of Kosher by Design