February 20, 2012
Dukkah Crusted Lamb Cutlets with Fig and Goat Chese Salad
Some lovely finds at the market this week.
Soft ash goats cheese, tiny lamb cutlets, and beautiful fresh ripe figs. Yumm.... Obviously they needed to be combined together.
This seems like a lot of steps for one dish Dear Readers, but really they don't take long at all.
The dukkah can be made days in advance, and the cutlets can be coated a day ahead as well if you like. The salad is 5 minutes work, tops. So there's no excuses for missing out on a lovely meal even if you're in a hurry, with just these few ingredients in the fridge.
3/4 cup Hazelnuts
1/4 cup sesame seeds
1 tablespoon coriander seeds
1/2 teaspoon sumac
Good pinch of salt flakes
Toast the hazlenuts in a dry pan over medium heat, until starting to change colour.
Add in the rest of the ingredients, and toast until the seeds are a lovely golden colour and the spices are releasing their aromatic oils. Make sure you keep stirring or shaking the pan so they don't burn. Pull out a few hazlenuts to keep as a final garnish.
Let them cool a bit, then pulse them in a food processor until they are roughly- but fairly finely chopped.
That's it, dukkah's done and dusted.
Pat your little cutlets dry with kitchen towel, then dip all over in a lovely olive oil- I used a beautiful smoked olive oil for a bit of extra va-voom!
Let the excess drip off, then dip the cutlet into the dukkah. Make sure it gets into all the nooks and crannies. This coating is not only delicious, but will help protect the meat from over cooking and drying out in the pan.
Pop the coated cutlets into a preheated pan on medium heat. There's no need to oil the pan, as you don't want to burn the dukkah or fry it too hard in oil. The oil you dipped the meat in will be fine.
Little cutlets like this don't require much cooking at all, they should be served nice pink and juicy, so watch them carefully.
If you had quite a lot of meat to cook off, it would be easier to sear them well, then put them all on an oven tray to finish cooking. That way they are all ready and hot at the same time for plating up.
Now, while all the lamb is cooking, it's time to make the salad.
Rip open a packet of pre-washed rocket leaves and scatter them artistically about your serving dish or plate.
Cut some perfectly ripe figs in half so that the luscious pink insides are showing, and pop them about too.
Slice or crumble on your goats cheese for the gorgeous creamy tang it brings to the party, scatter over the reserved hazlenuts, and voila!
Looks like something from a magazine doesn't it?
Now a bit of dressing is lovely to help the greens go down, but I like to serve mine separately, or srizzle it on after you've served your guests. My dressing consists of some scrummy Pukara Estate Fig Balsamic Vinegar whisked with a bit more of the olive oil. It tastes fantastic, but the dark colour stains the food. Please serve it separately, you'll thank me.
So my Dearest Readers, so you like fresh figs, and how do you like to serve them when they're in season?