Sunday, 13 April 2014

Lamb Noisettes with Feta, Chilli, Thyme and Lemon Zest (plus some sides)

This is a fancier dish than my usual style; for a start I tend to hand my guests a plate and get them to serve themselves rather than me prettily plating it up for them. Sometimes the meal suits this kind of treatment, and I am happy to do it on occasion. In this instance I had bought some very nice lamb noisettes, and I wanted to make more of an event of the meal. The pan juices on the plate does look quite messy, but never mind- I have never pretended that presentation is one of my strong points.

The photo above shows all the components- the lamb noisettes topped with a mix of feta, chilli, lemon zest and thyme, sweet potato mash and roast cherry tomatoes with whole garlic cloves and coriander seeds. I was really pleased with the combination of flavours, everything complimented each other wonderfully.

For the whole meal I used 10 noisettes  for 3 people (3 each, plus one left to fight over). I went about it as follows:

Mixing together some roughly chopped/crumbled feta (about 100g), a finely chopped and deseeded medium heat red chilli, the zest of one lemon, and about a tablespoon of finely chopped thyme leaves. I then added a scant teaspoon of lemon juice, and a drizzle of olive oil, just to lubricate it all. I added some freshly ground black pepper (no salt, as the cheese is salty enough). I set this aside while I got on with the sides.

Sweet Potato Mash
I peeled some sweet potatoes- I can't remember the exact quantity, 'enough for three' is the best description I can think of- and cut them into equal sizes. Put in a saucepan, bring to the boil and simmer until tender. When they are tender, mash with a good amount of butter, some sea salt and black pepper. Once the mash is done, it'll sit happily, covered with the saucepan lid, while you get on with the lamb.

While the potatoes are boiling,put the oven onto 200°C. Put some (again, enough for three, or however many of you are eating) cherry/baby plum tomatoes in an oven proof dish. Lightly crush about a teaspoon of coriander seeds, add to the dish, along with some whole, unpeeled cloves of garlic. I like a lot of garlic, I used a whole,small head of garlic in this. Add black pepper and sea salt and drizzle over enough olive oil to lightly coat everything. Briefly mix it all together with your hands.  Roast for about 20 minutes, until the garlic is tender and the tomatoes are slightly blistered.

Heat some olive oil over a medium-high heat in a large frying pan. Pat the lamb gently with some kitchen paper to remove any excess moisture. When the oil is hot, add the lamb noisettes, and cook for about 2 minutes a side- of course, how long you cook them for depends on to what degree of rareness/well-doneness you like lamb. Remove the lamb to the plates, and spoon over the feta mix (I actually get someone else to do this while I do the next step). Put the frying pan back on a low heat, and deglaze with some white wine- about half a glass. I found the juices tasted rather sour, so I recommend adding a little honey or sugar to the pan with the wine. When the harsh alcohol smell has disappeared,pour over the pain juices. Ideally, a helpful friend will have already put the sweet potato mash and the tomatoes on the plates. If not, sigh a martyed sigh, and do it yourself, and then serve.

No comments:

Post a Comment