Lamb with Salsa Verde Sauce and Chilli Cheese Potato Croquettes

So here I am, watching the final of Masterchef feeling pretty inadequate. Or am I?  No, sod it, I am what I am. A fat fingered cook who likes good food rather than pretty plates.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAlthough not Masterchef quality, my plates do look rather goodish though. I’m a victim of time. I’d love to create a 3 dish course now and again but the demands of two kids wanting to be ferried here there and everywhere puts a damper on that. So I have developed a kind of Bistro style of  the one plate meal. That’s my kind of food. I’m not a lover of desserts which emanates from my strict no sugar diet of my football/squash playing days.  Now that I’m a fat bastard I really should explore that avenue a bit more.

The lamb is a rump which Tesco sell in a packet with instructions to cook in in it’s plastic bag for 45 minutes for a medium finish. I never follow those instructions and pity the people that do. They must end up with tough overcooked lumps of leather sometimes.

I used skills derived from telly watching and fried briefly the skin side for a minute then cooked it in the oven for 30 minutes and gave it 10 minutes resting time. Instructions are soooooooo twentieth century!

Of course planning was needed as I needed to make breadcrumbs for the croquttes and also I needed to make the sauce.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe croquettes were a way of using old mash. My mash however has the skin still in and I’m sure Torode and Wallace would baulk at the idea of a mash that wasn’t velvety white. So with that in mind I decided to hide it behind a mask of breadcrumbs, not before I’d added a good grating of Parmesan and Cheddar to it along with a fairly mild chilli that was rolling around my veg drawer in the fridge.  I formed the potato cheese mixture into a long sausage shape and after cutting into croquettish  shapes I rolled  them in egg and then breadcrumbs as you would. After frying I kept them warm in the oven along with the lamb that was cooking.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI have a basil pot. I’ve had it for nearly 3 months now. It’s like an old friend that I feed on a regular basis. Some of it’s stalks are getting a little woody now but I picked off the best of these with some lovely fat leaves to originally make a Basil and Lemon sauce, which it was. I blitzed some basil with the rind and juice of a lemon and then added chicken stock and reduced it to a nice consistency. Then, I had an epiphany and remembered I had a few capers left in a jar. That is your Salsa Verde sauce.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe whole lot came together beautifully. Carol was well impressed. To be honest, so was I. It was a lovely flavour combination. The Chilli, Cheese and Earthiness of the Salsa Verde and the succulence of the lamb was a total winner. I’m sure I would have got a semi final place on this one.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAUtterly Piggin’ Gorgeous! Nicely washed down with…. hold on……. an Indian wine. Yes. M&S now sell a lovely Tempranillo/Shiraz from India. I can really recommend it. I can also recommend that you not only give this dish a go but at least take bits of it and use them somewhere else.

Chilli cheese croquettes. That’s genius that is! Genius.

Now to study my Masterchef book of desserts.


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