Lamb and mint is a classic combination, but add a little something extra and the flavours take on a whole new dimension.

The cutlets can be barbecued or grilled in the oven. I love them served with couscous as well.

MARINATED LAMB CUTLETS

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1 tsp whole fennel seeds

1 tsp whole coriander seeds

1/2 tsp cardamom seeds

1/2 tsp sea salt

handful fresh coriander leaves, chopped

handful fresh mint leaves, chopped

1/2 tsp sea salt, extra

1/2 tsp ground chilli

1 tsp ground turmeric

2 tsp garam masala

1 tbsp fresh lemon juice

3 tbsp plain yoghurt

12 x 80g trimmed lamb cutlets

Serves 4

In a non-stick fry pan, roast the fennel, coriander and cardamom seeds over medium heat until fragrant. Use a mortar and pestle or spice grinder to grind roasted seeds and salt to a fine powder.

In a separate bowl, mix coriander and mint leaves with extra salt, roasted seeds, chilli, turmeric, garam masala, lemon juice and yoghurt until well combined. Marinate cutlets in spiced yoghurt mixture for about 2 hours.

Heat a large, clean saucepan to hot, ensuring it is well oiled. Cook cutlets on each side for 2 minutes or until done to your liking.

Allow cutlets to rest a few minutes then serve immediately on a platter, with pumpkin purée (see below) on the side.

PUMPKIN PUREE 

400g peeled pumpkin, cut into 4cm cubes

50g unsalted butter, softened

15ml extra virgin olive oil

sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Steam pumpkin for about 20-30 minutes until very tender.

Purée with butter and oil until smooth.

Season with sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste.

 

HOT TIPS

• The pumpkin purée is also amazing with roasted chook and barbecued fish.

• I like to serve these cutlets with a simple salad: shaved cabbage dressed with extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar, for example.

 

STRAWBERRY AND YOGHURT CAKE

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200g polenta

200g self-raising flour

1 tsp baking powder

275g caster sugar

110g butter, melted

500g natural yoghurt

200ml warm water

600g strawberries, chopped icing sugar, for dusting

Serves 12-16

 
Preheat
oven to 170°C.

Line and grease a 20cm spring-form tin. Place dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Stir to combine and make a well in the centre. Add the butter, 300g yoghurt and water and beat until well blended. Stir through half the strawberries and pour into the tin.

Bake for two hours or until a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean.

Remove from oven to a cooling rack and stand for 15 minutes before removing from tin. Once completely cool, top with remaining yoghurt and strawberries.

Dust with icing sugar before serving.=

HOT TIP

• Any seasonal berries or stone fruit are great to use in the cake. It's also nice finished with whipped cream instead of yoghurt and topped with different fruit.

SOMETHING TO DRINK

Tempranillo
The 2011 Telmo Rodriguez LZ Tempranillo ($30) from Spain's Rioja region is a lesson in less is more. The organically harvested tempranillo fruit is allowed to shine, with berry flavours and fuzzy, delicious tannins making it the perfect accompaniment for the lamb.

 

Photography William Meppem. Styling by Hannah Meppem. Food preparation by Kirsten Jenkins.