I have arrived back in Australia and one of the first things on my wish list was a barbeque with some Australian lamb. It was a case of lots of Christmas happy-happy-joy-joy to discover on the doorstep a review copy of The Silver Spoon with a recipe by Karen Martini for chargrilled lamb cutlets. I love it when life works in serendipity like that.
The Silver Spoon is the bible of Italian cooking and it has just been revised. Although it has over 1,500 pages of recipes I was still pleasantly surprised to find a perfect BBQ recipe by an Australian chef amongst all the pasta and risotto. One of the features of the new edition, besides the addition of glossy photos and a rather Christmassy red cover, is the addition of a set of menus by chefs including Ruth Rogers, Georgio Locatelli and Karen Martini. The only criticism I could make is that I would have preferred more photographs as there is only 400 so the majority of the recipes still don’t have a photo. Other than this though the book is every bit as comprehensive and iconic as you would expect. I imagine you could spend years cooking from it and still not run out of recipes.
|The cook book – it’s a hefty one|
Karen Martini’s recipe turned out to be one of those perfect, easy to make meals which required minimal preparation and could be served up in a big platter for everyone to help themselves. One of the things I particularly love about this dish was the way the lamb is served on top of the potatoes so the juices from the meat and the hot feta dressing trickle down to flavour the rest of the meat. I know I am teasing those of you reading from the Northern hemisphere with a BBQ recipe but you could easily make this using a grill pan on top of the stove.
|The Silver Spoon now comes with glossy photographs|
2 racks of lamb with enough for 2 or 3 cutlets per person
6 garlic cloves chopped
1/2 bunch of fresh oregano
100ml extra virgin olive oil plus extra for drizzling
1 lemon juiced
4 tsps sherry vinegar (I didn’t have any so substituted red wine vinegar)
12 potatoes sliced lengthway
2 bunches of baby leeks (I substituted 1 large leek and sliced it into 2cm pieces)
2 tbsp white wine vinegar
6 tbsp olive oil
80g Ligurian olives
200g soft marinated feta cheese
Salt and pepper
|The finished lamb chops with hot fetta dressing drizzled over the top|
1. Trim the racks of lamb, leaving a layer of fat, then score the fat in crisscross lines. Cut the racks into separate cutlets.
2. Combine the garlic, half the oregano, the oil, lemon juice and sherry vinegar and season with pepper in a large non-reactive dish. Add the lamb and let marinate for 1 hour, covered in the fridge.
3. Meanwhile, cook the potatoes in a pot of boiling until tender (around 15 mins), then take out the potatoes with a slotted spoon, slice them lengthways once slightly cooled, drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Cover and set aside.
4. Preheat the grill or BBQ and put the leeks in the pot of boiling water for 2-3 mins then drain. Slice into 1-2cm thick rings and scatter over the potatoes.
5. Drain the cutlets, season with salt and cook for 4-6 mins until browned.
6. Pour the white wine vinegar, olive oil, olives, remaining oregano leaves and the feta into a shallow pan. Stir gently over a low heat to warm through but do not bring to the boil.
7. Place the warm potatoes on a platter, top with the leeks, lamb cutlets and spoon the hot feta dressing over the dish. Season with a little black pepper and serve.
Serves six. Adapted from The Silver Spoon (currently £18.69 on Amazon).