Wednesday, July 25, 2012

The same but different

I've had stuffed lamb cutlets (p131) on the 'to do' list for several months - ever since I bought a pack of three cutlets on special one day and stuck them in the freezer.

These are lamb cutlets, slit through the middle, stuffed with ham and cheese, then coated in breadcrumbs and fried. Very similar, in fact, to the cordon bleu I made a week or so back, just with lamb instead of beef. To my mind, this is a terrible thing to do to a beautiful (and expensive) little cut of lamb. Then again, those lamb cutlets weren't looking all that beautiful after a couple of months in the freezer: they were starting to get a bit freezer-burnt around the edges, so I figured I'd better get this recipe out of the way before the cutlets became totally unusable.

The recipe is for six large cutlets; I was using three small ones, but the recipe would adjust to any quantity quite easily. I cut each cutlet through horizontally, then opened them out to place a small piece of ham, and a tiny handful of grated cheese in each, before closing each one over the filling.

I didn't expect the stuffed cutlets to hold together very well - after all, they were so tiny there wasn't much lamb to press together around the edges of the filling - but to my surprise, they showed no tendency to fall apart. Once dusted in seasoned flour, dipped in egg, then coated in breadcrumbs, it was not even that obvious that they'd been cut open.

I heated some oil in a pan and fried them for a few minutes on each side while I organised some vege to go with it. Before long I was sitting at the table with a decent-looking plate of food in front of me.

Warning: take care when eating these. Biting straight into one can result in greasy juices squirting out all over the place. I've never claimed to be an elegant eater, but I can't remember another occasion when I've had to sponge off the wall and curtains after finishing my meal!

I'll happily say that the stuffed lamb cutlets were really nice. You can't really go wrong stuffing a bit of meat with ham and cheese, I guess. Then again, they did not taste all that different from the aforementioned cordon bleu, since the flavour of the meat tends to take a back seat to the ham and cheese. I reckon if I'm going to treat myself to lamb cutlets, I want to cook them in a way that enhances the lamb flavour instead of disguising it. My advice: if you're going to do the ham/cheese/breadcrumb thing, just use schnitzel. It's just as tasty and a fair bit cheaper.

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