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Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Lamb Cutlets with Mushroom Rice

Aren't they pretty?

               I learnt this way back in 2001 and this year for CNY eve reunion dinner, I thought, instead of the tedious affair of cooking many Nyonya dishes and with hubby's "consent", I would make these instead and when I learnt them, the Chef didnot included smoked turkey to be fried in the rice but I thought to myself, I would add them for first, more taste in the rice but ultimately, it was for the colour that it would give to the rice.  One tip is that for picky children you could do the rice then put them in moulds, turn it onto a platter & I am sure the children would look the "dress up version" of an ordinary lunch/dinner :) Ophelia

                         Lamb Cutlet with Mushroom Rice

          Ingredients for the Mushroom Rice

          200 gm              Freshly cooked Rice
            50 gm              Smoked Turkey, dice into small cubes
            50 gm              Dried Black Mushrooms
             3 pips             Garlic
                                     Ground Black Pepper to taste
                                      Pinch of Salt
              1 Tabsp          Oil


                       As the portion for the Mushroom Rice is small, I could only get 3 moulds of rice as seen in the picture.

                   Wash the dried black mushrooms then soak them in hot water for 1 hour.  Then dice them into little cubes.

                    Heat the oil & saute the Garlic until light brown.  Add in the mushrooms, black pepper & smoked turney.  Stir fry for 1 minute then add in the cooked, cooled Rice; mix the rice well before adding the salt.  This process is done quickly. Remove onto plate & straight away while it is hot put them in little timbles & press it with a spoon to compress rice [If this is left to cool, it might be more difficult to compress same:) ] & then *turn it over onto plate.  Set aside.
                     Ingredients for Lamb Cutlets


              12                          Lamb Cutlet
                1 packet             Choy Tam
                1 packet              Young Corn
           200 gm                     Carrots
                3 pips                  Garlic
                3                           Shallots/small onions
            200 ml                      Red Wine [for my Muslim visitors, use Chicken stock
                                                 see below how to prepare same]
                2 Tabsp              Mint leaves, chopped
                                            A little fresh Thymn
                                            A little Butter
                                            Ground Black Pepper

                   Method for Lamb Cutlets
  1. Wash & dry the lamb cutlets with paper kitchen towel. Marinate with ground Black Pepper & crush some fresh Thymn to release its oil & place in the cutlets.  Cling wrap & let it marinade in the fridge for 2 hours. [Tip: Do not add salt at this stage.  Salt is only added just before you want to cook as by adding salt early, alot of juice will ooze out from the meat].
  2. Remove meat from fridge & let it thaw for 40 minutes.
  3. In the meantime cut & wash the vegetables & blanch in hot water short while till it is tender.  Remove & immediately place them in ice cold water for 2 minutes, to stop cooking process.  Remove & drain on a siever.
  4. In a pot boil the red wine/*chicken stock with shallots & garlic, let this reduce to half [this process is called "Reduction" in cook books] then add in whipping cream, chopped mint leaf, pepper, salt & butter.  Check for seasoning.  Leave this in the pot till it is needed
  5. Add the salt to the lamb cutlets & mix it well in order to incorporate the salt well into the meat.  Pan fry the meat till it is cooked.  [This you have to gauge yourself.  For me I like to pan fry in some oil then I like to grill it in the oven for a short while.  For me, the whole process of pan frying and grilling is approximately 8 minutes as you can over cook as it would then be tough].
               To assemble

               (a)  Warm up the red wine reduction.
               (b)  Warm up the Mushroom rice in micro oven;
               (c)  Place a mould of the mushroom rice on a plate;
               (d)  Arrange the vegetable round the plate; place the cooked lamb by the side of the rice;
               (e)  Drizzle the red wine reduction on the  cooked lamb.

                   This is specially for my Muslim friends & visitors.  To make the chicken stock just put 500 ml of water, 1 chicken carcass, chop the carcass, 2 carrots, 1 rib/stalk of Australian Celery, 1 Big Onion & bring it to a boil then reduce fire to medium low & simmer for 1 - 2 hours. Then use 200 ml of this chicken stock in place of the red wine.  Any excess of this stock, do not throw away you can freeze same and for those who are gungho like yours truly here to get an even more flavourful chicken stock, you can place on a tray lined with foil, the chopped carcass, the carrots, celery & big onion & bake it in the oven for 1 hour or slightly more than 1 hour and you can see that some of the veg have charred a bit, then remove from oven & place them all in a pot together with 500 ml of water, bring it to a boil.  Once it has boil, reduce the fire to medium low & simmer it for  1 - 2 hours. By baking them in the oven first & then boiling & simmering it, you will find that your chicken stock is more richly coloured & you will be rewarded with a stock ten times more flavourful & more deeply coloured.

                        Tralla, your meal is ready.  Till my next post, xoxo, Ophelia

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