Friday, June 27, 2014


Occasionally Dwight will be reading the paper and find something that looks good and will rip out the recipe for me. (One time he told me he doesn't know why he does this, since I never make anything he suggests. I had to laugh since I have recipes that I've ripped out of magazines that date back 30 YEARS that I have never made). Anyway, one he found last week called for lamb, which I have never bought in my life. To humor him, I told him to just put it on my desk, fully intending to file it with all the others. But then I was at the farmer's market last Saturday at Village Pointe, and there was a lamb guy there! I chatted with him a bit, and he said all the lamb comes from their family farm (which totally made me think I'd be eating someone's 4-H project). I told him I had never bought lamb, and haven't really eaten it all that much. He said most people who don't like lamb have only had mutton, including lamb in middle-eastern restaurants - it's just highly spiced mutton. So I trusted him and bought a pound of ground lamb for $9. Not inexpensive, so I really hoped I would like the recipe.

So I made the lamb burgers last night, and I have to say that the meal was pretty darn yummy. Except I still felt like I was eating Snowball.

 Here's the recipe, though, in case you want some deliciousness:

Grilled Middle Eastern Lamb Burgers With Garlic Sauce, from the Omaha World Herald
Serves 4

1 medium zucchini, 10-12 ounces
kosher salt
1.5 T EVOO
1 cup finely chopped yellow onion
1 cup nonfat Greek yogurt
1.5 tsp minced garlic, divided
2 tsp grated lemon zest, divided
ground black pepper
1 pound lean ground lamb
1 T finely chopped fresh oregano
olive oil cooking spray
4 pita bread halves
grated carrots and chopped cucumbers, to serve

Use a food processor or box grater to coarsely grate the zucchini. Transfer the grated zucchini to a strainer. Toss with 1/2 tsp salt and let it drain over the sink for 15 minutes. When it is done draining, working with a small handful at a time, squeeze out the zucchini to get rid of as much liquid as possible.

While the zucchini is draining, in a large nonstick skillet, heat the oil over medium. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, for 6 minutes or until golden brown. Add the squeezed zucchini and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Transfer the mixture to a medium bowl and let it cool to room temp.

Heat a grill to medium. (I just used the same skillet).

Meanwhile, to make the sauce, combine the yogurt, 1/2 tsp of the garlic, 1 tsp of the lemon zest, and salt and pepper to taste. Set aside. (I also squeezed in some lemon juice, and added an entire chopped cucumber to the sauce, rather than serve the cuke separately. I like tzatziki.)

When the zucchini mixture has cooled, add the lamb, oregano, the remaining 1 tsp of lemon zest, the remaining 1 tsp of garlic, 1/4 tsp of salt, and 1/4 tsp of pepper. Mix well, then shape into 4 patties, each about 1/2 inch think. Spray the burgers lightly with cooking spray, then grill  until medium-rare, 3-4 minutes per side.

Serve each burger in a pita half, topped with the garlic sauce, carrots, and cucumber.

ta-da! served with baby carrots and roasted brussels sprouts drizzled with balsamic vinegar 

Recipe notes:
- as mentioned, I just cooked the burgers in the skillet on the stovetop, not on the grill
- as also mentioned, I added a chopped up cucumber to the sauce instead of serving it separately
- I was fully intending to shred the carrot into nice strips, but someone (Dwight) had eaten all the full-size carrots instead of the baby ones. I wasn't going to shred those little guys, and in the process, my fingers
- we had the burgers on pitas, but they really didn't need a bun of any kind. If you really want one, a sandwich thin would work just fine
- crumbled feta would be nice to sprinkle on top

After a nice 2-mile walk this morning right before the latest bout of drenching rain, I made a real breakfast: bacon, eggs, toast with butter, and grapes. And cran-orange juice. And coffee. I know it looks like a big farmer breakfast, but it kept me full until after work. And hey, we're Nebraskans.

Yesterday's breakfast was a bit healthier: MaryLu's protein waffles, berries, and coffee. It also kept me full for hours. Hmmm... Maybe lots of protein is the key....

Still trying to figure it all out,

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