Lamb Cutlets & Tabbouleh

Growing up our December holidays were spent camping.  Each and every December our parentals would pack up the ol’ Jürgen’s and we would head off, lock stock and pot plant to the same camp site, in the same caravan park near East London.  Once there we would spend three blissful weeks of beaching, night cockling, tennis playing, braaing and following all the social activities run by the camp site’s entertainment crew.  Although my nearly 40 year old self does not consider three weeks of camping to be even remotely blissful, I must admit that I have nothing but fun and happy memories of those holidays.

The highlight of the holiday was the New Year’s Eve dinner dance. (Well there was definitely dancing, but by dinner what they actually meant was bring your own finger food; it was the eighties folks, we were big on putting cheddar cheese and cocktail onions on toothpicks back then).

Anyway, that was the one night that the whole campsite came out to play.  My mom would always pack a special dress just for the night.  One of my favourites was a black strapless dress with a bright floral border, funny how random memories can come flooding back years later.  Once there, mom and dad would dancejive the night away like the true teenagers of the sixties they are.

I am not sure what the other kids and I did exactly while waiting for midnight, but I do remember understanding from very early on that who you chose to kiss at midnight was just as important as the New Year itself.  I would look forward to watching all those first kisses of the New Year, from the old marrieds to the holiday romances, and I would wonder what it must feel like to be so gently lifted from one year into another by a sweet midnight kiss.

Since Pretty Girl and Handsome moved in, our New Year’s Eve celebrations have got somewhat quieter, frankly quite un-party like, but since I am still that girl, who likes to be kissed at midnight on New Year’s Eve, come the next one, I think I may just have to arrange my own dinner dance, but obviously mine will have actual dinner.

Since we are still technically in the festive season, even it’s for just a few more days; it is likely that you still have some entertaining to do.  This dish of lamb cutlets with Tabbouleh is as fresh and delicious as it looks.  It is the perfect dish if you are feeling overindulged as it is heavy on glam, so most impressive, but beautifully light to eat.  Don’t be put off by the long list of ingredients, it is just what summer ordered!

What you need

¾ cup of bulgur wheat
1 tsp. coriander seeds
½ tsp. cumin seeds
½ tsp. fennel seeds
¾ cup red onion, finally chopped
1 tsp. salt
1 cup cucumber, chopped
½ bunch spring onion, chopped
1 cup tomato, chopped
1 cup mixed fresh coriander, mint, Italian Parsley, chopped
¼ cup fresh lemon juice
¼ cup oil
Cayenne pepper to taste
8 lamb cutlets, well-seasoned, braaied or grilled to liking.
  1. Wash the bulgur wheat in several changes of water until the water runs clear.
  2. Place into a bowl and cover the bulgur in fresh cold water and allow it to soak for about an hour until soft.
  3. Place all the seeds into a small frying pan and toast over a medium heat until fragrant.
  4. Allow to cool slightly and pound in a mortar and pestle.
  5. Stir the ground seeds into the onion and add the salt.
  6. Drain the bulgur through a clean tea towel and squeeze out all the water.
  7. Add the bulgur to the spiced onions and mix well.
  8. Add the cucumber, tomato, spring onion and herbs.
  9. Stir in the olive oil and the lemon juice and season to taste.
  10. Serve immediately with the lamb cutlets.
Happy 2013 friends of pomegranate days!  I trust that it will put its best foot forward for you.

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