Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Dukkah Dusted Lamb Cutlets with Quinoa & Aubergine Salad

I saw this recipe at www.britishlarder.co.uk which lassifies itself as an “inspirational recipe diary designed to inspire creativity and passion among likeminded foodies”. Fair enough although I actually hate the term foodie. But anyway, I had in fact stumbled upon this recipe by mistake as I’d actually been looking for the website of the restaurant so-named in Suffolk as I wanted to eat there.

The website is very good though and I would recommend checking it out as it has a wealth of really interesting recipes for when one is up for a bit more of a culinary challenge: perfect dinner party stuff.

Dukkah itself, by the way, is an Egyptian side dish, typically a dip, made up of a mixture of herbs, nuts, and spices. The word itself is derived from the Arabic for "to pound" since the mixture of spices and nuts are usually pounded together after being dry roasted to a texture that is neither a powder nor paste. As ever with these sorts of things the actual ingredients can vary wildly: it is reasonably easy to get hold of readymade blends these days (I know both Tesco & Waitrose sell it) or of course you can make your own, as here.

A few words on the recipe itself (the original is here). I actually forgot to use zest in the dukkah wet rub which was a bit of a shame but probably not the end of the world as there are quite a lot of acidic flavours anyway and rather than the pomegranate & apple blossom vinegar of the original I used a mix of verjus and apple balsamic vinegar. I also used a red & white quinoa with bulgar wheat mix. Standard white quinoa is fine.

Unfortunately I managed misread my own version of the dukkah recipe when I had scaled it down and it was rather too clove-pungent but luckily when it was cooked it mellowed somewhat. And as for the dukkah cooking: don’t be afraid of it getting very “toasty” - it may look as though it is burning but it will actually taste divine.

The lamb by the way was probably a little underdone for my tastes (I generally prefer lamb cutlets and the like more cooked than steak) so if you’re like minded do cook it for a little longer (and heed my point about the dukkah, above).

I would definitely use this rub again, perhaps on some chicken or even pork chops, as it really is delicious so do give it a try. All quantities below are for two people.

Dukkah Spice and Nut Blend
¼ tsp whole cloves
½ tsp whole fennel seeds
½ tsp coriander seeds
½ tsp cumin seeds
½ tsp paprika
¼ tsp salt
pinch ground turmeric
pinch crushed dried chillies
freshly cracked black pepper
15g chopped roasted hazelnuts
20g chopped pistachio nuts
15g roasted white sesame seeds

In a pestle and mortar crush the cloves, fennel, coriander, cumin, paprika, salt, pepper, turmeric and dried chillies to a powder.

Add the hazelnuts, pistachio nuts and sesame seeds and mix lightly. Store in an airtight container until needed.

Dukkah Crusted Lamb Cutlets
4 lamb cutlets
50g dukkah
1 tbsp toasted sesame oil
1 tbsp honey
zest and juice of 1/2 lemon
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

In a small mixing bowl mix the dukkah with the oil, honey, lemon juice and zest.

Season the lamb cutlets with salt and black pepper then dip each cutlet into the dukkah mixture and rub the mix in, ensuring that the cutlets are evenly coated on both sides.

Set the cutlets aside for 10 minutes to marinate.

Heat a griddle pan and cook the cutlets 3 minutes on each side (as I mention above this will be pretty rare). Leave to rest for 5 minutes before serving.

Quinoa and Grilled Aubergine Salad
100g quinoa
1 tsp turmeric
sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper
1 tbsp honey
1 tbsp olive oil
10ml apple balsamic vinegar
15ml verjus
1 aubergine, sliced into ½ cm thick rounds
100g green beans, blanched and halved
1 tbsp parsley, finely chopped
1 tbsp fresh chives, finely chopped

In a medium saucepan place the quinoa, turmeric, salt and pepper and cover with twice as much cold water. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat to a gentle simmer and cook until the quinoa is tender to the bite. Once cooked, drain the quinoa in a sieve . Refresh under cold running water, drain again and put to one side.

Measure the honey, olive oil, verjus and apple balsamic vinegar into a small bowl and whisk together to make a vinaigrette. Season to taste and set aside.

Meanwhile heat a griddle pan. Season the aubergine rounds with salt and black pepper on both sides and then griddle the aubergines on the hot griddle pan, without oil, for approximately 2 minutes on either sides so that you have dark griddle marks.

Place the hot aubergines on a large plate and pour the vinaigrette over. Leave to soak and absorb the vinaigrette for 20 minutes, turning after 10.

Now mix the drained quinoa, green beans and chopped herbs together, season to taste and then drizzle the vinaigrette from the plate over to bind it all together, add further vinaigrette to taste.

Saffron Yoghurt
100ml natural yoghurt
pinch of saffron strands
juice and zest of half a lemon
sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper

In a small bowl whisk together the yoghurt, saffron, lemon juice and zest, season to taste and leave the mixture to infuse for 20 minutes before serving.

When everything is ready and rested or infused as necessary arrange the quinoa salad with the aubergines on two plates, place the lamb cutlets on the opposite side and spoon the saffron yoghurt into a small dipping pot and serve.

No comments:

Post a Comment