Feb 22, 2012

Lamb with haloumi and chickpea salad

This midweek dinner installment was completely designed around using lamb cutlets. More specifically, the butcher in our local village has the best lamb cutlets I have ever had and every time we eat them, Mr Shady Pine and I are planning the next time when we can devour them again.

Our butcher is a lovely country butcher who gets in some of the best quality meat I've yet to see. The best thing is that he is no more expensive than the big supermarkets but the quality of the meat is streets ahead of anything you will see in the supermarket.

Every week when we go to get our meat supply, we are greeted warmly and asked about how we found the meat the previous week. This butcher shop is tiny, the range is not huge but we wouldn't buy meat anywhere else. There is even a shelf stocked with locally made goodies like marinades, chutneys and sauces.

I really like the recommendations I will get here if I am cooking for a dinner party too. For example how long to cook a roast to get it to medium or different flavour variations to try. I hope shops like this can continue to thrive in the future. That is why I am a big supporter of our small local retailers and producers.

Anyway, back to the lamb. When deciding what to pair with these little cutlets, I couldn't go past grilled haloumi cheese and chickpeas. This dish is completely full of flavour yet it still meets the midweek criteria of being ready in a flash.

Where do you buy your meat or other produce? Do you try to support smaller retailers and producers or do you rely on supermarkets for your core food supplies?

Lamb cutlets with grilled haloumi and chickpea salad
Serves 2

4-6 lamb cutlets (depending on their size and your appetite)
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp cumin
50gm haloumi, sliced
Olive oil spray

Chickpea salad:
140g canned chickpeas, rinsed
½ red capsicum, diced
1 small carrot, diced
½ avocado, diced
Juice of half lemon
1 Tbs olive oil
¼ cup coriander, chopped
S&P to taste

1. Combine all the chickpea salad ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Set the salad aside.
2. Spray the lamb cutlets with olive oil. Sprinkle the paprika, cumin and S&P on each side. Cook the lamb on in a hot pan to your liking (I like mine around medium). Remove the lamb from the pan and allow to rest for a few minutes.
3. In a non stick pan, fry the haloumi on each side until golden brown.
4. To serve, place some chickpea salad on the centre of a plate. Arrange haloumi and lamb cutlets on top. Serve with a wedge of lemon if desired.


Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella said...

Your butcher sounds amazing! My local one is a bit too busy and doesn't tend to help with that sort of thing but I still buy from them because the meat is better quality :)

yummychunklet said...

Yum. Simply love haloumi.

Anna @ The Littlest Anchovy said...

You are so lucky to have a great butcher nearby. This dish looks amazing and I love the haloumi - always a welcome addition!

lisa is cooking said...

What a great butcher shop! I love hearing of small businesses still doing things the right way.