Crispy grilled lemongrass and chilli lamb cutlets
CHRIS’S KITCHEN | The hot summery weather has inspired our resident Aussie chef in London to marry a couple of his favourite foods and create a salivating dish to die for.
THE cracking weather of late has quelled the appetite but left me craving two of my favourite ingredients. My fave go to food, the sweet lemony/limeyness of Thai lemongrass, always raises its head when the sun comes out.
Found in most Thai dishes, lemongrass adds freshness and citrus notes to dishes and gives us a sense of coolness when combined with chillies and ginger. Buying lemongrass is pretty easy these days with major supermarkets holding a few bunches in the fresh herb section. Lemongrass looks like firm grass stalk-like sticks, light green on the upper stalks and a soft yellow on the base root area. Grab a few bunches and choose one with a distinctive and fresh citrusy aroma.
The flavours of crispy grilled lamb cutlets are never too far from my all time favourite foods. These tiny cutlets with their juicy tails of the all-important fat marry beautifully with lemongrass. In this weeks recipe we throw in a few fiery chillies and shavings of fresh ginger. I like to look for lamb cutlets that are thinly sliced for this recipe. This not only reduces the cooking time, but also allows us to cook the cutlets to a crisp crackling on the surface. Ask your butcher to slice them thinly to avoid any nasty accidents in the kitchen.
We are also going to make a marinade, which is rubbed over the cutlets and rested to allow the flavours to marry with the lamb. In this method we use a mortar to pound the ingredients together. A mortar is well worth investing. They can be found in most Asian food import shops or online. Once you get started making your own marinades you won’t stop!
So lets get cracking on this week’s recipe. Happy cooking and enjoy!
Chilli lamb cutlets and grilled lemongrass
What you need:
2 good quality lamb cutlets
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 stems lemongrass, peeled, sliced into fine rounds
3cm piece fresh ginger, chopped
1 teaspoon sea salt
3 tablespoons chopped coriander leaves
3 tablespoons chopped mint
60ml extra virgin olive oil
Plus extra freshly ground pepper
Lemon wedges, to serve
What to do:
Remove the cutlets from the refrigerator one hour before cooking.
To marinade: put the garlic, lemongrass, ginger and sea salt in a mortar and pound into a rough paste with the pestle. Add the herbs and pound for a further minute, then stir in the extra virgin olive oil and mix together well.
Mix the cutlets with the marinade and leave for at least one hour to infuse.
Preheat the grill plate on the BBQ or grill on the stove.
When hot, put the cutlets on the hottest part. Cook for about two to three minutes on each side until they develop a crisp skin.
Give a good grind of fresh pepper, place a lemon wedge on each plate and serve to your mates ASAP.