28 March 2013

Minty mustard lamb's liver pitta bread - a spur of the minute lunch

I'm currently going through a phase of loving pitta bread.

Now I've always liked pitta bread, but just recently I seem to have taken to them in a big way.  I suppose the fact that my tummy seems to accept them more readily than ordinary bread (~sob~ I love my bread!) has made all the difference.

There are a number of other benefits to pitta bread, as I've discovered.  For instance, there's very little on this earth that can't be put into one for a yummy and fairly portable lunch.  Everything from steak and chips, through stew, to trifle can be contained in a pitta bread.  Although why anyone would want to put trifle in a pitta, is another matter.  Anyway - I do think that soup is really the only thing that won't go into a pitta bread - but you can dip your pitta bread into soup, so it still wins!

Pitta bread is also self-limiting, quantity wise.  As an example, I was making scrambled egg to go in my pitta this morning.  As I was just scrambling the one egg, I used just the one pitta.  Now had I have been making scrambled egg on toast, I might have felt I should just use the one slice of bread - but you could guarantee that I'd have put two into the toaster because of habit.  With pitta, just one comes out of the packet at a time and just one does the job with no reason to feel hard done by.

Creamy, minty, mustardy - what's not to like?

The whole butter question is another thing that is improved by the use of pitta bread.  With a sandwich, you would butter both slices of bread.  Not so with a pitta.  Very often it isn't necessary to use butter at all - but if you do, then just butter the one side and the job is done with half the amount.  How good is that?

With regard to quantity, putting a whole bucket load of salad into a sandwich just results in your having to use two hands to hold the whole collapsing mess.  Not so with a pitta.  Jam the salady loveliness in there as hard and fast as you can!  You might need two hands as you go, but only because of the sheer weight of health giving salad inside your cheese or egg pitta.  *wink*

So, when we picked up a little pack of fresh lamb's liver from the Ferndene Farm Shop at Bashley, Hampshire the other day, it got me wondering what to do with it.  Naturally, "put it in a pitta" was right up there as a suggestion.

I was in two minds whether to go down the "devilled, mustardy" route with it, or the "redcurrant and rosemary" route.  They both seemed as enticing as one another, but I could tell from the way my mouth was watering at the idea of the mustardy version, that this was the one.

I love mint sauce with lamb and felt that just the mustard sauce wasn't going to be quite enough.  I didn't have any fresh mint (the awful weather has terminated our mint plant's delusions of grandeur) but suddenly remembered putting mint sauce onto cooked new potatoes and how good that is.  So, if I use Dijon mustard for its piquancy, then add a little mint sauce for the sweet/sour thing it brings with it, hmmmn.  What can I use to lengthen and de-intensify the sauce with?  Aha!  I've a teensy tiny bit of double cream in the fridge looking for a home.  Perfect!  And it was.  The cream - only a dessertspoonful at the most - was sufficient to just saucify (is that a word?  If not, it ought to be) all the lovely flavours.

My friend Suzy Bowler entitled her brilliant food blog "Sudden Lunch" and I had her in mind all the time I was making this lunch, as apart from a little thought, it came together in a twinkling.


Ingredients :

1 pitta bread
1 tbsp rapeseed or olive oil
sufficient lamb's liver for one person, trimmed and sliced
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp Dijon mustard
half tsp Mint sauce (the vinegary kind, not Mint jelly)
1 dessertsp of double cream
small handful of rocket leaves.

Method :

1.  First of all, put your pitta bread in the toaster - put it in diagonally (or as diagonally as you can muster) so that as much as possible of it sees the heat.  Once toasted, split down one side and turn your attention to the liver.

2.  Heat a little rapeseed oil in a frying pan and chuck in the liver pieces.  Fry hard and fast - I like mine to have completely stopped bleeding, but I know there are others who can cope with a little red stuff, so it's up to you how long to cook it for.  A few seconds before finishing and adding the sauce ingredients, throw on a little sea salt and a lot of black pepper.  Then turn off the heat and leaving the pan on the hot plate, add a teaspoonful of Dijon mustard, half a teaspoonful of mint sauce and a dessertspoonful of double cream.  Stir to combine.  Pack the rocket leaves into the pitta and pour in the liver mix.

I can recommend either something tangy to drink with it, or a nice big mug of tea or coffee.  Mmmmn, glorious!

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