Monday, 11 November 2013

Costeletas de borrego com salata de abobobra piri piri assado ( Lamb cutlets with chilli roasted pumpkin salad)

 All the colours of an autumn palate on the plate

When I left England I thought Welsh lamb would be a hard act to follow,but the exquisite cuts of Portuguese lamb that I have been buying here need little more than a simple seasoning to bring out their best flavour.My butcher, as always, did me proud and I wanted to  showcase the freshness and quality of the meat with simple flavours and unfussed cooking.Grilled lamb chops always bring together the flavour, tenderness and texture of the meat.For me a perfectly seasoned lamb cutlet would be with rosemary and anchovy.This time I removed these two elements and used them to enhance the flavour of the supporting salad.
Not cheap I know. The price of lamb has risen to almost unaffordable prices all over Europe but at this time of year, especially with the austere measures our governments are imposing on us, a small luxury for an autumnal Sunday lunch or a pull all the stops out dinner for friends makes light of all that and transports us to a culinary arcadia.This dish is really easy in its preparation,simply delicious and displays all the colours of an autumn palate on the plate.

FOR THE MARINADE (3 hours or overnight)
3 lamb cutlets per person
Piri piri chilli flakes, cumin seeds, crushed garlic,olive oil Flor de sal, 
cracked black pepper black pepper

CHILLI ROASTED PUMPKIN SALAD
serves 4
400g (14oz) Butternut pumpkin,peeled and sliced
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2-3 dried red chillis
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
3 large juicy cloves garlic
Flor de sal and cracked black pepper
400g (14oz) can of chickpeas (grao bica) drained and rinsed
1 cup coriander leaves
1 long red chilli,thinly sliced
1 cup baby rocket leaves ( Rucola selvagem) 
Put the coriander seeds and dried chillies in a Mortar and pestle.Bash them to a rough powder.place the butternut squash in a roasting pan.Toss to coat with olive oil and then sprinkle with the chilli powder.Season with salt and pepper.Roast for 15 minutes or until the pumpkin is cooked and golden.Place the pumpkin, chick peas,coriander,chilli and rocket in a bowl.When ready to serve gently toss with the dressing and transfer to serving plates.
 
ROSEMARY AND ANCHOVY VINAIGRETTE
2 teaspoons fresh rosemary chopped finely
1 teaspoon chopped anchovies
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 garlic clove crushed174 teaspoon cracked black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons lemon juice 
Combine all the ingredients in a processor and blend until creamy

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