As someone who loves a good meal, cooking one, came to me as a natural passion. I belong to a family where meal times consisted of not just food, but also noisy conversation centered around the events of the day and discussing the menu for the next. (ah yes, we are a greedy lot! )

For the most part of my life so far, my contribution in the kitchen was assisting mom and my duties were limited, to chopping veggies and laying the table. Then along came the great Indian wedding, and I was suddenly the queen of my very own kingdom. My curiosity about this magical world, coupled with an enthusiastic sous-chef (my husband, Vineet), led me to take on the challenge of preparing meals on a daily basis, and not succumbing to the convenience of hiring a cook.

This blog is a product of my experiments with food (not all are life threatening :D) for my fellow culinary enthusiasts - especially the newly weds and hungry bachelors and is dedicated to the women who've inspired me in the kitchen;
Aji (s),Ma and Nigella Lawson.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Lamb cutlets with Olives, Chillies and Garlic

Hmmm... January 1, 2011... The most FAQ being, "So,How did you guys celebrate New year's eve?", and I sense an almost disappointed reaction when I reply saying, 'We stayed home and cooked!". I for one, have never been the kind of person to be hyper-excited about New year's eve parties... OK, may be I was for a few years in my teens, but even then it wasn't as much about 'new year's' as it was, about it being once chance when there was an extended deadline and hanging out with friends...
So we figured, that we'd prefer to relax at home... whip up a feast, and bring the new year in with the best company we know in Singapore, each other :)

I have been proud to acknowledge that I am an absolute fan of Nigella Lawson... I love the way she feels about food. She (like so many of us) is an untrained cook, and I find it so easy to relate to her greedy, and non-chalant ways of getting fab things onto a plate!

So we rang in the new year with her Lamb cutlets with olives, garlic and chillies. To go I made a simple salad with no specific name, and made these mind-blowing (yes I'm tooting my own horn!) Dates-wrapped Bacon....

So here goes the 1st post of the year!! Happy New year everyone!!!

(Serves 02 Greedy people)

600 g Rack of lamb 
10-15 Black Olives ( preferably 'kalamata' olives)
1 long Red Chilli - chopped very finely
2 tbsp Garlic - finely chopped
6 tbsp Extra virgin Olive oil
2 tbsp Dried Oregano leaves
1 tbsp Dried Red chilli flakes
Salt (as per taste)
1. Carve the rack of lamb (ribs) as shown in the picture below.  (Do not stress if you can't find rack of lamb. I'm saying this as I know it might be difficult/expensive to buy in India. So feel free to use a boneless shoulder/ leg. Ask the butcher to slice the piece for you into 1/2" think slices - these will be easy and quick to cook, and also look better on a plate than chunks!)

 2.  In a bowl lay the out the lamb pieces and drizzle about 3-4 tbsp of the extra virgin olive oil and a pinch of salt and coat the meat nicely using your fingers. 

3.  Next, add in the chopped (de-seeded) Red chilli, chopped garlic and chopped up black olives (use some of the brine from the olive jar as well for added flavour!). Add the Oregano leaves, dried chilli flakes. Coat the lamb nicely in all the ingredients using your hands, and cover and leave it to marinate for atleast 20 mins.

4. Once marinated, heat the remaining olive oil in a frying pan. Shake off the marinade stuck to the the lamb pieces and pan fry the meat in the hot oil till its browned and tender. Retain the marinade in the bowl - this will become the 'dressing'.

5.  Pour the left-over juices from the pan onto the meat and serve the lamb cutlets, garnished with the remaining marinade (garlic,olives,chillies,oregano etc). Eat up! 

We enjoyed this with some Salad... You could use the receipe for the 'Chef's Salad' from the Salad's section of this blog. I especially LOVE this recipe, as it is excessively simple to put together, yet looks delightfully elaborate, and fit for celebration! :)

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