As a child growing up in Paris, Ill., Andrew Patrick gathered hickory nuts with his mother, who cracked them with an old piece of railroad iron. The hickory nut’s shell is so hard that it defies ordinary nutcrackers, and tales of whacking the nut with hammers and meat mallets are not uncommon.Today, as chef of Andrew’s at the Westbrook Farm in Paris, Ill., Patrick prepares hickory nut-crusted lamb—seared rack of lamb coated with a stone-ground mustard mix and hickory nuts, roasted in the ...

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