Good Eats Good Times

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Lamb Burgers topped with Sautéed Veggies

I love lamb’s succulent flavor. Lamb burgers are delicious, so Josh and I decided to make some.

Considering what we had lying around the house, we decided to top them off with some sautéed mushrooms and onions and sautéed zucchini. I probably would’ve used a grill, especially for the burgers and zucchini, if I had one (also if it wasn’t -30 Celcius/-22 Fahrenheit). We do have a George Foreman, but sometimes those are just a pain in the ass.

I took inspiration from  Canadian Living’s 5 Best Lamb Burgers: http://www.canadianliving.com/food/bbq/5_best_lamb_burgers.php

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Well, here it is:

Lamb burgers

  • 1 lb. ground lamb
  • 1 small onion
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 pinch each of cumin, chili, turmeric
  • 1 tsp minced coriander
  • 1 tiny pinch each of parsley, oregano
  • 1 tiny squirt lemon juice

First, lightly sauté the the finely chopped garlic and onion in some olive oil for about 5 minutes. Add a pinch each of cumin, chili, and turmeric, giving the onion and garlic a nice orangey color. If you’re feeling lazy you could skip this step and add the onions and garlic raw, but I think this brings out the flavors nicely.

In a mixing bowl, combine the ground lamb with the spiced/sautéed onions and garlic. Add the coriander, parsley, oregano, and a small squirt of lemon juice. Mix the ingredients with your hands (or a spoon) and then form patties. I made 6 patties that were a bit bigger than slider-size.

Drop the lamb burgers into a large frying pan. They’ll take about five minutes on each side; flip them once. They let off a lot of grease, so I’d definitely recommend draining the grease at least once. If you’d like, melt some cheese on them as well (I used my delicious Trader Joe’s sliced goat cheese and Josh opted for his favorite cheddar).

Sautéed veggies: mushrooms and onions/ zucchini

  • 1 large onion
  • 5-6 mushrooms (we used cremini)
  • Worcestershire sauce (we used quite a bit, 1/2-1 tablespoon will work)
  • Pinch of salt, plenty of fresh black pepper 

Pretty straightforward. Slice the onions (don’t chop!) and mushrooms. Throw them in a frying pan with a bit of olive oil, salt, and pepper. When they start to soften, add the worcestershire sauce and let them get nice and soft for a few more minutes. Worcestershire sauce has such great flavor and works perfectly with the mushrooms, onions, and lamb.

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  • 1 zucchini
  • Olive oil
  • 1 tsp dired basil
  • salt, pepper

Cut the zucchini into on a sharp angle (it looks nice and zucchini is just more fun to eat that way). Throw the slices in a frying pan on medium heat with a bit of oil, salt, pepper, and dried basil. Flip them every few minutes and they should take between 7-10 minutes to get nice and soft and even a bit brown.

With the different components finished, dress your burger however you like. I had mine on Udi’s gluten free bread with a bit of ketchup, the zucchini, the mushrooms and onions, and of course, some hot peppers. Josh had his on a pita.

All Dressed

All Dressed

The burgers were delicious. Lamb on its own is packed with flavor, and the spices went really well together. That being said, if I made lamb burgers again, I might skip a few of the toppings. I’m always one for lots of flavor, but I have to admit there was a lot going on with this one. Nevertheless, however you decide to eat the burgers, I’m sure they’ll make your mouth water.

Quinoa Zucchini Burgers

It was a Sunday night and my long time pal (all the way from high school in the Jerz to McGill in MTL) Liz invited me over to her place to make some dinner. When we cook together I often end up taking a backseat (not necessarily a bad thing) so she deserves most of the credit on this one.

For the inspiration, we thank the nice person/people of Smitten Kitchen, who gave us this recipe (http://smittenkitchen.com/blog/2011/08/zucchini-fritters/) for zucchini fritters. However, ours are deliciously gluten-free and have quinoa in them, which I think makes them a bit heartier. These are a great finger food but could also be eaten like a veggie burger.

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Ingredients:

  • 2 zucchini
  • 1/2-1 cup cooked quinoa (cooks just like rice!)
  • 1/2 cup brown rice flour
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 large onion (scallions would work nicely)
  • Pinch of fresh squeezed lemon
  • Salt, pepper
  • Olive oil (for frying)

Prep time: 30-40 minutes. Serves 2-3.

First, shred the zucchini using a grater and sprinkle some salt over them. Similar to what you do with potatoes when you make latkes, an extremely important step is drain the excess liquid from the zucchini. Although Liz took some convincing on this one, I promised her it would be worth it and actually be lots of fun. Scoop your zucchini into a clean wash cloth or cheese cloth, and squeeze the zucchini juice into the sink (or a bowl, as a mesmerized Liz did….don’t ask what she did with the juice later).

Liz oozing zucchini juice

Liz oozing out the zucchini juice

After getting as much juice out as possible, throw the zucchini into a large mixing bowl, and add the onion, egg, squeeze of lemon, another healthy pinch of salt and some pepper. In a separate bowl, mix the flour and baking powder, and then throw that in too. Begin to mix the ingredients with your hands or a spoon. Add a few scoops of quinoa, and notice how the mixture really starts to gain shape. You can tell that the mixture will lead itself well to patty-making.

And it does! With your hands, form patties to whatever size you like; anywhere from 1-2 inches in diameter should work well. Heat up a few tablespoons of olive oil in a frying pan and throw in the patties. Probably 3-5 minutes on each side, and the patties should be golden. Smitten Kitchen suggests throwing them in the oven for 10 minutes at 200 after they’re done frying, which is probably a good idea, but we were to hungry to wait.

the mixture, ready to be pattified

the mixture, ready to be pattified

They’re best served with any sort of dips, really. Smitten Kitchen’s garlic-lemony sour cream dip sounds delicious (of course difficult for me since I’m off dairy) and Liz and her roommate Brooke enjoyed them with some ricotta cheese. I tried some different stuff lying around in the fridge: pesto, tomato sauce, hot sauce…pretty random, but these bad boys are open for some creativity! Next time I’d definitely like to try eating them like veggie burgers. Anyways, enjoy!

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