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Rack of Lamb with Rosemary Scallion Crust

1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 teaspoon dried red hot pepper flakes
1 clove garlic -- minced
3 tablespoons thinly sliced scallion including the green
1 teaspoon dried rosemary crumbled
1/2 cup fresh bread crumbs
1 1/2 pounds (7 or 8 ribs) single rack of lamb -- trimmed & frenched
watercress sprigs -- for garnish

In a small skillet heat the oil over moderate heat until it is hot but not smoking, add the red pepper flakes and cook them, stirring, for 10 seconds. Add the garlic and cook it, stirring, for 30 seconds. Add the scallion and the rosemary and cook the mixture, stirring, for 10 seconds. Stir in the bread crumbs and salt and pepper to taste and remove the skillet from the heat.

Heat an ovenproof skillet over moderately high heat until it is hot and in it brown the lamb, seasoned with salt and pepper, turning it, for 5 minutes, or until the sides and the ends are browned evenly.
Pour off any fat from the skillet, arrange the lamb, fat and meat side up, and pat the crumb mixture evenly on the fat and meat side of the lamb. Bake the lamb in the middle of a preheated 475 F. oven for
15 minutes, or until a meat thermometer registers 130 F. for medium-rare meat.

Transfer the lamb to a platter, let it stand, uncovered, for 10 minutes and garnish it with the watercress.

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