The love of my life has been screaming at me for the past three days. At first I thought he was just over me, but when he started screaming at his dad too I figured it’s not just me. After a particularly long bedtime wind down, which is in fact a wind up for me, all I wanted was comfort food.
I am an emotional eater, aren’t we all, and usually emotional eating equals chocolate, but this week it equaled beautiful tender lamb cutlets with a thick crusting of breadcrumbs and mint from the garden, slowly fried in macadamia nut oil (oh yes). Somehow sucking on a cutlet bone takes all the baby blues away.
Crumbing anything at home can be a little messy, but it’s so worthwhile. You can of course, buy your cutlets already crumbed, but then you miss out on the pleasure of adding your own flavours. Parmesan is a great addition to the crumb mixture, as are any herbs you have on hand, and spices – chilli anyone? I haven’t given exact measurements below – you need enough to cover the amount of cutlets you’re crumbing.
mint – fresh is best, but dried will do
salt and pepper
3 cutlets per person (2 to serve, and an extra one to suck on later)
macadamia nut oil
Chop mint finely and mix with breadcrumbs and salt and pepper – spread on a plate. Lightly beat the eggs together in a bowl. Spread flour on another plate. Dredge each cutlet in the flour, then the egg, then the breadcrumb mixture, making sure they are well coated. Put crumbed cutlets in the fridge for 20 minutes to set.
Heat enough oil to cover the base of your largest fry pan – the temperature should be about medium, not so hot that it smokes, just hot enough for a light sizzle. I used half macadamia and half olive oil, mainly because I have a bottle of macadamia nut oil that’s 6 months past its useby date and I’m desperately trying to use it up before it goes rancid. However, it is still suprisingly good and gave the cutlets a really sweet, nutty tone.
The key here is to cook your cutlets slowly, browning the breadcrumb mixture slowly so nothing burns. Place cutlets in the hot oil and cook, about 3 minutes on each side.
Line a plate with absorbant kitchen paper and place cutlets in a single layer to drain. Cover with another layer of kitchen paper and then a couple of tea towels to keep everything warm. Leave to rest for about 10 minutes. This is really important, the kitchen paper soaks up a lot of the excess oil and the resting, well, it’s meat. Be patient. It’s always worth it.
ps … this month I’m channeling Nigella