Monday 21 May 2012

Lemon Pepper Cashew Cutlets

Lemon Pepper Cashew Cutlets
 Beautiful lemony cashew cutlets lightly fried in extra virgin olive oil.

Lemon Pepper Cashew Cutlets
 Before frying

Lemon Pepper Cashew Cutlets with Smoked Paprika Roasted New Potato Wedges
Served with Smoked Paprika Roasted New Potato Wedges and Steamed Broccoli.

These are so incredibly delicious and packed with flavour they don't need any sauce whatsoever. The mild sweet cashews go so well with the tart lemon - they are seriously heavenly. Yeah, I can't believe I just called a nut cutlet that either.

If you follow the daily food diary you'll know I made these quite awhile ago. They tasted just as good then but needed a little tweaking with texture. They held together but were very crumbly and had a bit too much lemon. For these I reduced the lemon juice a little and increased the cashew butter to help binding, flavour wise it's made them even better (something I didn't think was even possible they are that good!) Furthermore it did help with the crumbling but that being said these are still quite crumbly. But then I remembered that they are nut cutlets, they are supposed to be! These are not burgers. Just take a little care when frying - be gentle with the delicate little creatures and they will repay you with deliciousness :-)

Lemon Pepper Cashew Cutlets - makes 4

100g cashews ( 3/4 cup)
65g breadcrumbs* ( 1 cup)
1 medium onion, chopped fine (85g)
1 clove garlic, pureed
1/4 tsp salt
1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice, strain out bits.
zest of 1 small lemon
2 Tbsp cashew butter
2 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley
lots of freshly ground black pepper
more extra virgin olive oil to fry

* First, a note on the breadcrumbs as it will make a huge difference in the end product what type you are using. I keep a bag of breadcrumbs in the freezer that I buy in the bakery section of our local grocery store. They are just white natural breadcrumbs made from white bread in the bakery that's gone a little stale. You don't want to use really dry breadcrumbs here or really fresh. If you can get the bags of breadcrumbs in your bakery section use that, and of course, "check vegan" first!*

Place the cashews in a food processor and process until finely chopped OR just chop them up with a knife, this is just easier. You'll want them fairly small but take care not to over process them, you want crunch here.

Tip this into a large non-stick frying pan and gently fry the nuts until fragrant and lightly golden brown:

Transfer these to a large bowl and wipe the frying pan clean. Add the olive oil and bring to the heat then add the finely chopped onion and about 40 grinds of black pepper and gently fry until the onion is very soft and translucent. Add the garlic and fry gently, stirring well for about 30 seconds, take care not to burn the garlic. 

Scrape all of this into the bowl with the nuts and add the breadcrumbs, salt, lemon juice, zest and cashew butter. Mix really well with a fork until it's all mixed up well - make sure the cashew butter is incorporated. It will be crumbly now and look like stuffing but don't worry, you can make cutlets out of this!

Spoon this mixture into a 1/3 cup measure, pressing down with each spoonful so it's well packed in. Tap and shake the contents out into your hand then squeeze and squish the mixture in your hands like you are making a snowball, you can be hard with it so don't worry! When it holds together place it on a sheet of baking paper and further flatten and shape it into a little cake. Repeat with the rest of the mixture and it should look like this:

I tend to make these earlier than when I want them and at this point wrap them up individually in cling film and refrigerate them. Then they simply need frying up when you need them - simple!

To cook, heat up a good amount of olive oil in a large frying pan - you want it to cover the whole surface but you are not shallow frying either. I used 1 - 2 tablespoons for my medium size frying pan. Gently place them in the hot oil and turn the heat to low, fry until golden brown on one side then carefully (!) flip them over and fry the other side.

Like I mentioned above these are so packed with flavour they really do not need any sauce and we loved them with these smoked paprika new potato wedges - a lovely combination and perfect with some broccoli.

Smoked Paprika Roasted New Potato Wedges:

about 350g new potatoes, longish ones are best here.
2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
1/8 tsp salt
1/4 tsp smoked paprika

Preheat the oven to 200C and line a baking sheet with baking paper. Wash and dry the potatoes then slice them lengthwise into quarters. Place in a bowl and add the olive oil, salt and paprika. Get in there with your hands and toss it really well so everything is coated evenly. 

Place on the baking sheet and roast for 1/2 hour and flip them once half way through. This serves the 3 of us as a side dish but they are so good you may want to double this!!

Oh, and I know I keep showing these plated up with 2 cutlets but that's a lie - we only had 1 each, delicious as they are they are quite calorie dense and very filling! It's just that my plates are bloody huge and one looked so sad on its own :-(

Nutritional Information: based on 1 cutlet out of 4 before frying...

Calories: 287
Protein: 8.2g
Fat: 19.2g
Sat Fat: 3.4g
Fibre: 2g
Carbs: 23.6g
Sugar: 3.5g
Sodium: 260mm


  1. These look amazing, and so tasty

    Jess x

  2. These are going to the very top of my list of things to make! They look delicious! YUM! Fantastic post!!!

  3. Thanks Jess!

    Hope you like them Courtney, cheers!

  4. Those look really amazing. I have to add them to our meal plan. I also love smoked paprika on potato wedges.


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