Lamb Burgers with Cucumber and Mint

Lamb Burgers
Burgers are a favorite dinner item in this house. I can put nearly anything on a burger and my three year old will eat it. She may pick it off after a bite or two, but it’s almost like the word “burger” justifies just about anything included. I couldn’t quite sell her on having the tangy mint and cilantro lime yogurt on top, but I figure as long as she is willing to try something that looks like this, we are doing good.

I don’t really cook with lamb all that often. It’s not on my carnivore radar, but it really is deeply flavorful and lean at the same time. Because of it’s low fat percentage, I added an egg to the meat mixture, kind of reminiscent of a meatball recipe. We topped the burgers with cool slices of cucumber, lots of chopped mint and cilantro and the zesty yogurt sauce and called it a success. I think bits of feta incorporated into the patties would’ve been even better – there’s always room for creativity and error in creating a burger and that’s why it’s one of the most enjoyable dinners to make around here. Not to mention everyone can top them in their own way, so a particular palette doesn’t get ridiculed.

lamb burgers with mint, sour cream and cucumber

Lamb Burgers with Cucumber and Mint

1 pound ground lamb
1/2 sweet onion, diced fine (about 1/2 cup)
1 egg
1/2 cup chopped cilantro and mint, divided
1/2 cup full fat plain yogurt or sour cream
1 tablespoon lime juice
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cucumber, sliced
buttered onion rolls

In a medium bowl, combine the lamb, onion, egg and half the cilantro and mint. Add a teaspoon of salt and pepper and mix well to combine. Form into somewhat loose patties and cook on a buttered grill or griddle about 2 minutes per side and an instant read thermometer reads at least 160F.

Combine the yogurt, lime juice and other half of the cilantro and mint and season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve on top of burgers with sliced cucumbers on buttered onion rolls.

 

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Deviled Egg Burgers

deviled egg burgers
Here’s a little joyous addition to your Labor Day grilling if you want something new!  Our dear friend, Shannon, who has been with us through all kinds of culinary adventures over the past 10 years as our most enthusiastic taste-tester, came up with this awesome idea.  We were sitting at our favorite restaurant in Lubbock, Crafthouse Gastropub, enjoying one of their creative appetizers, the fried deviled eggs, when the idea came to her.  This dish is pure genius: hard boiled eggs, fry the whites in a crunchy batter and then serve the little fried egg halves with deviled egg spread so you can put as much as you want on your egg.  So crunchy and amazing!  As we were enjoying the dish, Shannon said, “This would be so good on a burger.”  And we all sat in silence for a second and let it sink in that deviled egg filling would indeed, be the best burger spread, ever.

And it is.

Deviled Egg Burger Spread
Imagine the goodness of mayo, mustard, pickle, the tang of vinegar and the creaminess of the ever-popular-fried-egg-on-a-burger-trend, all combined into one spread for your burger.  It TOTALLY works.  So, I just whipped up a very traditional deviled egg mix and added the basics and it has been my favorite burger of the summer!  If you want to try it, a dozen eggs yields enough for about 6 burgers as a spread.  So cut it in half if you don’t have all deviled-egg enthusiasts at your party and see how you like it!  Thanks, Shannon, for being our partner in culinary crime 🙂  We love you!

Deviled Egg Burgers 2
Deviled Egg Spread for Burgers

makes enough for 6 burgers

1 dozen hard boiled egg yolks
1 tsp paprika
2 tablespoons mayo
2 tablespoons dijon mustard
1 tablespoon sour relish
1 teaspoon white wine vinegar (or any vinegar, really)
salt and pepper to taste

Hard boil the eggs by bringing all dozen up to a boil (start them in cool water) and once it reaches a boil, remove from heat, cover, and let sit for 12 minutes.  Drain, rinse in cold water and peel.  The glory of this dish is that you don’t have to keep those fussy whites in tact.  If they fall apart, they fall apart.  If you don’t want to waste the whites, I’m sure you could crumble them up and incorporate them in this recipe as an egg-salad kinda thing.  Do what you wish.

In a large bowl, add all the yolks and the other ingredients and mash well with a potato masher or whisk until smooth.  Adjust with extra mayo or mustard as you wish – really, I eyeballed this mixture, so I may have had slightly more of something, but these approximations are fairly close to what I did.  Spread on burgers, sandwiches, etc, and enjoy!

 

Buffalo Burgers with Rosemary Roasted Root Vegetables

Buffalo Burgers
Get your grill heated up this weekend – it’s supposed to be beautiful!  I actually don’t know that for sure, but I’m trying to stay positive.  I made these burgers for us this week after seeing a recipe for lamb burgers.  I couldn’t find ground lamb here and didn’t really want to pay to have some lamb loin ground up so I figured I’d go with something just as lean (the appeal of a lamb burger) and go with buffalo!  We have a very small section in our local grocery store and they have a few pounds of ground buffalo always available.  I know it’s really, really lean, so it can dry out really easily.  The trick is cooking it low and slow, so I’d suggest if you’re grilling, to keep it off the direct flame and give it some extra time.  I love chopped onion in my burgers, so I added some to these and also a little bit of grated Swiss cheese and a couple tablespoons of water – a trick I learned in making the best meatballs ever, that gives the meat that extra tender-juiciness without adding a bunch of fat.  We topped these burgers with sliced avocado, baby bell peppers, pickles and extra cheese – they were really wonderful and still juicy!

I served the burgers with some roasted carrots and potatoes.  I love roasting vegetables with rosemary and just a touch of olive oil, and had I had more root vegetables, I’d have added them right in!  I’ve done this before with beets, turnips and parsnips and I’ve loved them all!

roasted root vegetables

Buffalo Burgers with Roasted Root Vegetables

1 lb ground buffalo
1/2 cup diced white onion
1/2 cup shredded Swiss cheese
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp pepper
2 TBS water

In a large bowl, mix the buffalo and all the other ingredients until well incorporated and form into loose patties.  Salt and pepper both sides and cook on the stovetop over medium heat, or on the grill off direct heat for about 5 minutes per side, or until desired doneness is achieved.  I cooked mine until they were about 135F inside and that gave us a tiny bit of pink in the middle.  I served our burgers on toasted buns with mayo, sliced avocado, sliced baby bell peppers, sliced baby kosher pickles and extra Swiss cheese.  Top however you like!

For the root veggies:

A mix of carrots, potatoes, beets, turnips, etc (about 2-3 each)
2 TBS olive oil
2 TBS chopped fresh rosemary
salt and pepper

Heat your oven to 400F.  On a foil-lined baking sheet, toss the chopped vegetables with the olive oil and rosemary and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Roast for about 30 minutes, or until the veggies start to get a little crispy along the edges.

Buffalo Burgers with Avocado and Swiss

Happy 4th of July Weekend!

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It’s strange when a holiday falls in the middle of the week.  People have to go back to work the next day, so it’s this little blip in the week that makes you WANT the full, extended weekend, but few actually get it.  I figure since people might be celebrating all weekend, a recipe for a few burger-accompaniments would be in order.  I might even post, again, tomorrow with what we cook, tonight.  Maybe I’ll post on Sunday, too, with what happens on Saturday.  I love a good excuse to celebrate the summer all weekend long.  We really don’t need an excuse, but when festivities are high and people are cooking and grilling, it’s a wonderful time to try out new recipes and make the old, beloved standards.

We’ve been Top Chef fans since its debut seven years ago.  We developed a love-hate relationship with Spike during his season and bought his cookbook and now that relationship is all love.  He really understands how to do comfort food and takes nostalgia (burgers, shakes) to a new level.  So he is the go-to for summer time recipes!  I highly recommend his cookbook, The Good Stuff Cookbook and especially his recipe for the Good Stuff sauce that we now have to have on every burger we grill!  It’s a perfect blend of sweet, tangy and savory and it is perfect for burger toppings or a dip for fries!

goodstuff002

Good Stuff burger sauce*
makes about 2 cups

2 cups homemade or Hellman’s mayonnaise
2 tbs ketchup
2 tbs molasses
2 tbs rice vinegar
1 tsp salt

Add all ingredients to a food processor or blender (or in a cup with an immersion blender) and puree until smooth.  The sauce can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 1 week.

*taken directly from The Good Stuff cookbook

We also are addicted, lately to caramelized onions.  There’s really nothing difficult about making them, and they completely improve everything they touch.  I’ve added them to omelets, sandwiches, wraps, burgers, stir-fry, beans, rice dishes – EVERYTHING!  Here is my simple method:

Caramelized Onions
makes 2 cups – can easily be scaled down

6 white onions, halved and then sliced thin
2 tablespoons neutral oil like Canola
Kosher salt

Heat the oil in a 12″ cast iron pan till it shimmers.  Dump all the onions in at once and let it sit there for a few minutes.  Then, gradually start flipping and stirring the onions around till they all get coated with the oil.  Your pan will be VERY full if you used all 6 onions.  Turn the heat down to medium low and cook, stirring occasionally for at least 30 minutes.  You want a deep, rich brown color on all the onions.  They will greatly reduce in size till you’re left with about 2 cups of onions.  We keep ours in the fridge and scoop out portions for everything under the sun, but most recently, they were an AMAZING topping to our burgers this weekend, complete with smoked gouda, pickles and the Good Stuff sauce.  Oh, heavens…

The last recipe I’ll impart is a very classic deviled egg recipe that includes a good amount of olive oil and the result is the most silky texture to the filling and the perfect balance of acid and richness from the egg yolks.  The recipe is adapted from the Serious Eats site, which, if you haven’t become addicted or receive their weekly emails, you will and you must.  So many great recipes come from their extensive research and trial and error!

goodstuff004

Deviled Eggs
makes about 18

1 dozen large eggs, not too fresh
2 tablespoons mayonnaise, preferably home made
1 tablespoon dijon mustard
Up to 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon Frank’s Red Hot sauce
2 tbs extra virgin olive oil
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons thinly sliced chives
Crushed red pepper or hot paprika

Place eggs in a large saucepan and cover with 2 quarts cold water. Place over high heat, bring to a boil, cover, remove from heat, and let stand ten minutes. Drain eggs and peel under cool running water. Slice each egg in half lengthwise.

Place all of the yolks in the bowl of a food processor. Select 16 of the best looking egg white halves and set aside. Reserve the remaining 8 for another use. Add mayonnaise, mustard, half of vinegar, and hot sauce to food processor and process until smooth, scraping down sides of bowl as necessary.

With machine running, slowly drizzle in 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Season mixture to taste with salt and remaining vinegar (if desired). Transfer to zipper-lock bag. Filling and egg white halves can be stored in the refrigerator up to overnight before filling and serving.

Cut off corner of ziplock bag and pipe filling mixture into egg whites, overstuffing each hole. Drizzle with extra olive oil, sprinkle with black pepper, chives, crushed red pepper, and sea salt. Serve immediately.