I’ve always been quite intrigued about polenta. It’s not a food I’ve cooked with often, but my partner is a coeliac and it’s a naturally gluten-free food, so I’m not really sure why I haven’t tried this sooner. I’ve only ever eaten polenta in some kind of fried form at gastro pubs or semi-fancy restaurants so I decided to give that a go. I used an adaptation of a salt and pepper squid recipe and applied it to ready-to-cook polenta. It was rather delicious if I do say so myself. Using the ready-to-serve polenta was so easy and made a simple meat and veg dinner just that little bit fancier. This is a good one to try when you have mates coming over for dinner. They’ll think you’re a kitchen super whizz. For real.
Mint lamb cutlets
with pan-fried polenta and green bean salad
Prep time: 10 mins
Cook time: 25 mins
Total time: 35 mins
- 1kg packet ready-to-serve polenta
- Vegetable oil, for shallow-frying
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 8 lamb cutlets
- 1 tbsp olive oil, plus extra to drizzle
- 1/2 cup white wine vinegar
- 1 bunch mint leaves, finely chopped
- 2 tsp caster sugar
- 500g round green beans
- 1/4 cup pine nuts
- 1/4 cup shaved parmesan cheese
- Open your packet of polenta and cut it into 1cm strips.
- Heat 3cm of vegetable oil in a frypan. When the oil is hot, cook 5 or 6 polenta pieces at a time, cooking each side for 2 to 3 minutes until golden brown. Drain on paper towel, sprinkle with salt and pepper and keep in a warm oven until ready to serve.
- Cook your lamb cutlets in two batches in a frypan with a dash of oil. About 2-4 minutes, each side, or until they’re done to your taste.
- Combine white wine vinegar, mint and sugar in a bowl. Set aside.
- Steam green beans in stovetop steamer for about 5 minutes. Gently pan-fry the pine nuts in a small frypan for 1 minute or until they’re golden brown and crispy. Place steamed beans, pine nuts, parmesan cheese in a bowl and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil.
- Serve lamb cutlets with mint sauce, polenta pieces and green bean salad on a plate. Bon appetite!
Ready-to-serve polenta comes as a pre-cooked brick and is available in the international section of most supermarkets. If you can’t find it, you can make your own by following the packet recipe, pressing it into a brownie pan and letting it cool for several hours.
Carly is the founding editor of Smaggle.com which launched in 2007 back when blogging was weird. She has appeared in The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age, Cosmopolitan and Cleo magazines. She's the co-founder of of blog school Little Blog Big and co-host of podcasts Straight & Curly (for life improvement junkies) and Sweet Teen Club (for those of us who can't leave the '90s behind). Hoop earrings are totally her thing, Benedict Cumberbatch is her Beyoncé and she almost got run over by Myf Warhurst while out jogging one day.