Author Notes: Some days ago I was at the supermarket and found a small packet of lamb cutlets. Lamb is rather infrequent in Italian supermarkets, except on Easter time (last year I had to order minced lamb from the butcher to make Shepherd’s Pie). Obviously, unlucky as I am, lamb is one of my favourite dishes, so whenever I find it, I buy up a large amount and deep freeze it so that I can use it any time I feel like.
This time I wanted to cook it a bit differently from the usual way – fried or roasted. I had some fresh ginger root at home and I thought it matches perfectly with lamb. So I opted for a simple marinade that enhanced the rather wild taste of lamb meat; moreover, ginger – together with chili and lime – adds a spicy and piquant touch to the whole and it is superbly harmonized by the delicacy of the Apple and Avocado Cream I made to serve the lamb. For this recipe I used 1.8 oz of ginger root but you can add more according to taste.
As for the Apple and Avocado Cream, the idea sprang from my prodigality with avocados. I had bought too many to make Guacamole and I really didn’t know what to make of them. Then I thought that blending avocados with cream would turn out to be a delicious sauce to serve with Ginger Lamb Cutlets, to which I also added a cooking apple for a smoother and more delicate texture.
Besides being a lovely accompanying sauce to meat, this cream can also be served on slices of toasted bread, as my husband genially pointed out. Just drizzle some extra vergine olive oil over the bread, pour the cream and add a little salt to taste on top (be sure to drizzle oil over the bread and not over the cream, because otherwise it will slide off). —Rita Banci
Ginger Lamb Cutlets
- 1.5 pounds (about 7) lamb cutlets
- 1.8 ounces fresh root ginger, peeled and sliced
- 1 shallot, chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder or 1 garlic clove
- 1/2 teaspoon chili pepper flakes
- 8 tablespoons extravergine olive oil
- 2 limes, juice and zest
- 2-3 tablespoons water
- salt to taste
- In a bowl combine ginger, shallot, garlic, chili flakes, lime and six tablespoons of oil. Add the cutlets and stir well so that the lamb is evenly covered by the marinade. Salt to taste and stir again. Let the meat marinate in the fridge for an hour or so, stirring now and then.
- In a large frying pan heat the remaining two tablespoons of oil. Scrape the marinade – that you’ll reserve for later use – off the cutlets and fry them over a medium-high heat for about 3-4 minutes on each side until they become golden. Turn the heat down and pour the marinade over the cutlets. Add two or three tablespoons of water and cook for about 5-10 minutes, until water is reabsorbed. Cooking time depends on tastes: if you prefer well-done cutlets you need to cook them for about 10 minutes (check with a knife: if blood comes out, the cutlets are still too rare).
- Serve with Apple and Avocado Cream.
Apple and Avocado Cream
- 1 cooking apple, peeled, cored and cut into chunks
- 1 avocado
- 1 shallot, finely chopped
- 200 milliliters cream
- 2 tablespoons apple cooking liquid
- knob of butter
- salt and pepper to taste
- Cook the apple chunks in some water for about 10 minutes until they soften. In the meantime, melt the butter in a frying pan and cook the shallot until it becomes lightly golden.
- Peel, stone and cut the avocado into pieces. Drain the apple and set the cooking liquid aside. Blend the apple, avocado and shallot in a food processor until you have a smooth mixture; add two tablespoons of the apple cooking liquid for an even texture.
- Melt a little more butter in a frying pan (the same cleaned or another one) and pour the apple-and-avocado mixture. Stir in the cream and bring to a simmer. Cook for about 1-2 minutes. Salt and pepper to taste.