Thursday, 22 April 2010

Lamb Cutlets with Yoghurt & Cumin

Here's another recipe which I came across as I searched for new and interesting ways to use Greek yoghurt (kindly supplied by Total). I had been having some trouble finding savoury recipes which included yoghurt in the dish rather than just using it as an accompaniment but this was just what I was looking for.

This recipe, Lamb Cutlets Marinated in Yoghurt and Cumin, comes from Nigella's Forever Summer book and I was really pleased with how it turned out. Lamb cutlets are not something I cook very often but this recipe has encouraged me to put them on my shopping list more often. Marinating them in the yoghurt made the meat wonderfully moist and the hints of onion and cumin coming through made for a very enjoyable dinner.

Lamb Cutlets with Yoghurt and Cumin
(adapted from Forever Summer by Nigella Lawson)

1 450g-500g pot Greek yoghurt
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 large onion
1 head of garlic
1 tsp Maldon salt
20 lamb cutlets

1) Empty the yoghurt pot into a large shallow dish (which will be big enough to accommodate all of the lamb cutlets) and then stir in the cumin. Peel and roughly chop the onion and mix it into the yoghurt. Break up the head of garlic, peel them and squash them slightly then stir into the yoghurt together with the salt.

2) Arrange the lamb cutlets in the dish and slowly stir them and spoon the yoghurt mix over them. Don't worry if there doesn't seem to be enough yoghurt - the lamb only needs to be lightly covered by it.

3) Cover the dish and put it in the fridge for at least 4 hours.

4) When you're ready to eat cook the lamb cutlets on a ridged griddle pan on the hob or under the grill. Wipe them gently with some kitchen towel beforehand to remove the excess yoghurt and bits of onion. Fry or grill for a few minutes each side and then serve hot, warm or cold.

Serves 6-8

Sunday, 11 April 2010

Chocolate & Cranberry Biscuits

Wow, don't you just love this sunny weather? Finally, we can throw open the windows, hang out the washing and just generally get out of the house without needing to put twenty layers on first.

Anyway, here's a great recipe for anyone who still has a post-Easter chocolate surplus and wants to find an excuse to siphon some off and put it to better use. The original recipe calls for dark chocolate but it doesn't matter in the slightest - you can use whatever you have to hand.

This is a great recipe from the beautiful Apples for Jam by Tessa Kiros. The biscuits are packed full of chocolate and cranberries and so you end up with little hilly, knobbly biscuits rather than the neat flat ones. Trust me, this is no bad thing.

Chocolate & Cranberry Biscuits
(adapted from Apples for Jam by Tessa Kiros)

75g/2 3/4 oz butter, softened
50g/1 3/4 oz soft brown sugar
50g/1 3/4 oz caster sugar
1 egg
a few drops of vanilla essence
160g/5 3/4 oz plain flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
110g/3 3/4 oz chocolate, roughly chopped
50g/1 3/4 oz dried cranberries

1) Preheat the oven to 190c/375f/gas mark 5

2) Cream the butter and sugar together in a large bowl then beat in the egg and vanilla.

3) Beat in the flour, baking powder and a pinch of salt until you have a sandy mixture, then stir in the chocolate and cranberries.

4) Spoon teaspoonfuls of mixture on to two lined baking sheets (the original recipe suggests you use your hands to roll the mix into neat balls which you then flatten slightly. I suggest that this is far too much trouble to go to and just plopping the mixture directly on to the baking sheet with a spoon means that you'll get your mitts on the finished article in much less time).

5) Bake for 12-15 minutes until the biscuits are just starting to brown round the edges. Leave to cool for a few minutes before transferring to a wire cooling rack.

Makes about 30

Thursday, 8 April 2010

Rhubarb Cornmeal Cake

The recipe that follows is another great vehicle for yoghurt - something I have had a great deal of recently, thanks to the people at Total, who supplied me with a fridge-filling amount with which to experiment. My previous posts on the subject can be found here and here and there's more still to come!

This also happens to be one of my favourite fruit-based cakes. It's moist and sweet and utterly gorgeous while still warm from the oven. It keeps pretty well too, mind, and makes a great pudding with a bit of ice cream on the side.

Rhubarb Cornmeal Cake
(adapted from How to be a Domestic Goddess by Nigella Lawson)

500g/1 lb 2 oz rhubarb
300g/10 1/2 oz caster sugar
150g/5 1/2 oz plain flour
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
155g/5 1/2 oz fine cornmeal (polenta)
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
125g/4 1/2 oz unsalted butter, soft
250g/9 oz natural yoghurt, prefarably bio (my greek yoghurt worked just fine)
23cm springform or loose-bottomed tin, greased and lined

1) Preheat the oven to 180c/gas mark 4

2) Wash and dry the rhubarb if necessary, and then trim and cut into 1/2cm slices. Put in a glass or china bowl and cover with 100g of the sugar. Leave to sit for up to half an hour.

3) Mix the flour, bicarb, salt, cinnamon and cornmeal together. With a fork beat together the eggs and vanilla and a small bowl or jug.

4) In a large bowl cream the butter and the rest of the sugar, then gradually add the egg and vanilla mixture, beating while you do. Then add the flour-cornmeal mixture alternately with the yoghurt. Don't overmix.

5) Finally, add the rhubarb and any sugary juices and fold together. Pour into the prepared tin and bake in the oven for about 1 hour or until springy to touch. You may need to cover with foil after about 40 minutes so the top doesn't catch. Leave to cool in the tin for a while before unmoulding.

Serves 8-10