Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Lamb cutlets and salad ... a very simple dinner

I can't believe that it's Wednesday again! I'm working on a schedule of posting Sunday / Monday, Wednesday, Friday - which gives me 3 posts and week and I have to admit, it feels very frequent. Not only have I just posted and I turn around, it's time to post again. :-) Where does all the time go?

I recently did one of those simple dinners that did not require much thought or effort at all.

I looked around in the freezer and found a lovely four-pack of some lamb cutlets that were already marinated in a rosemary sauce. I took it out of the freezer (but I had to dig to the bottom of the shelf for it - that's where the effort came from!! LOL) and defrosted it early on in the afternoon.

The meal for the night? Pan fried lamb cutlets and side salad.

When it came time to eat, I heated up a saucepan and tossed in some olive oil. Put the lamb into the pan and let it cook. I also sprinkled some salt and pepper onto the lamb for some added seasoning, because I just roll like that.

While the lamb was cooking (I did turn it over a few times so it didn't burn) I pulled out a four lettuce salad leaf mix that I got from the grocery store and tossed it with some light Caesar dressing. That's all I did with the green stuff. Added some flavor but kept it simple.

After the salad was done, I stuck a meat thermometer into the cooking lamb cutlets and watched it until it got to about 68 degrees C and took the lamb off the heat.

Then, it was on the plate with some of the salad and mint sauce on the side, and it was ready to eat.

As simple as this meal was, I learned a few things that might have made it a little better.
  • I should have used a square grill pan so that the juices (and fat) did not collect at the bottom of the pan and the meat did not sit in it. Plus, you get those lovely charred lines across the meat that look wonderful. Cooking it this way though, I can only turn the meat once because I do not want to end up with funky criss-crossed lines across the meat.
  • I should have taken the meat off the heat at about 62 degrees C and let it rest for about 5 minutes before serving it. Yes, even for such a small piece of meat as the lamb cutlet. It was a little stringy when I cut into it, from the meat still being too tight from cooking.

We accompanied the meal with a 1995 Yarra Yerring Dry Red Number 1, which was a superb wine. It went beautifully with the lamb.

What do you do when you want a simple meal that you cook up at home in a hurry? Do you cook or do you order take out? What's your favorite quick cook meal? Do share. 

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