Thursday, August 28, 2014

Lamb Burgers over Hummus with Heirloom Tomato Salad

Sometimes, you just have to dig out that old cookbook that hides on your kitchen shelf and make a dish that may not be groundbreaking, but sure is delicious.  This one fits the bill.  These lamb burgers are adapted from a recipe in The Mediterranean Cookbook by Parragon Publishing, and are so simple, you can't help but make them effortlessly.  Christian and I made these gluten-free by substituting crushed corn chips instead of bread crumbs and by serving them on hummus instead of buns. Whether you're gluten free or gluten+, give these babies a try.  These lamb burgers are rich, savory and aromatic and are the perfect Mediterranean meal for a warm summer evening.  

Lamb Burgers over Hummus

1 lb. Ground Lamb
3/4 Onion, finely diced
1 Clove garlic, minced
1 Egg
1 T. Fresh Mint, finely chopped
1 T. Fresh Parsley, finely chopped
1/4 C. crushed corn chips (or bread crumbs for gluten+)
Olive Oil
Soft Goat Cheese

Preheat the oven to broil (or turn the grill to high).

In a large bowl, combine the lamb, onion, garlic, egg, mint, parsley, corn chips, S&P.  Using your hands, mix the ingredients until thoroughly combined.

Form into equal sized patties, indenting the center of them slightly.

Drizzle the patties with olive oil and place on a baking sheet (or carefully onto your cleaned grill).  Cook about 5 minutes, flip and cook for another 4 minutes until browned and slightly crisp on the edges and cooked all the way through.  In the last few minutes of cooking, add a spoonful of goat cheese so that it begins to melt on top.

To serve, smear your favorite hummus on the plate, top with the burger and a sprinkle of parsley & mint.  Serve with Heirloom Tomato Salad (recipe follows) and naan.

Heirloom Tomato Salad

We found some fantastic heirloom tomatoes at the farmers market this weekend and decided to make an extremely simple salad with them to go along with our lamb burgers.  Fresh, cool and crisp, this salad is a perfect balance to any rich, hearty entree.

2 Heirloom Tomatoes, chopped
1/4 C. Kalamata Olives, pitted & halved
Parsley & Basil, ripped
Drizzle of Olive Oil

In a medium bowl, toss all the ingredients.  Yes, it's THAT easy.  

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Shooting StarMosa

I can't think of a better way to start the day than with a cold, frothy mimosa (preferably served in bed).  Lately, I've tried a few variations of mimosas and this is one that works perfectly for a sun-filled summer morning.  Christian turned me on to this version which is inspired by a fresh-squeezed, vitamin boosting juice served at Northstar Cafe in Columbus.  The Shooting StarMosa is a light, subtle and sparkling twist on the classic brunch boisson.

Shooting StarMosa

1 Part Orange Juice
2 Parts Carrot Juice
Topped off with Champaign

In a glass, mix the orange and carrot juices.  Top with Champaign and swirl to combine.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Chicken Panang

I'm a sucker for good Asian food.  Chinese, Japanese, Thai and everything in between.  I love it all.  A few years ago, I tried curry for the first time.  It was an acquired taste for me, but once I discovered Panang, I knew I'd hit a home run.  It's spicy, a little sweet, and luscious, with a peanut butter finish.  Great with any meat or veggie (or whatever the hell you have in the fridge), this is a must-keep recipe to add to your repertoire for those often craved exotic evenings.  

Panang Curry 

Chicken Boobs
2 T. Olive Oil
Salt & Pepper
3/4 Onion, diced
1 1/2 C. Carrots, chopped into small rings
1/2 Zucchini, chopped
3 T. Panang Curry (found in a pouch or a can in Asian grocery stores)
1 Heaping T. of Peanut Butter
1 14 oz. can of Lite Coconut Milk
1 T. Fish Sauce
1 T. Brown Sugar
Basil, nuts and lime juice, to garnish

Sprinkle your chicken with salt & pepper.

Heat the olive oil in a non-stick skillet over medium heat until it glistens.  Add the chicken and cook for 4 minutes per side or until you get a nice, golden brown edge.  Make sure the chicken is cooked through.  Remove from the skillet and set aside.  When the chicken has had a chance to rest for 5 minutes, slice into pieces about 1" thick.

Add the onions to the skillet.  Cook until they are soft but not browned, about 6 minutes.  Add the carrots and zucchini and cook for another 3 minutes.  Stir in the panang curry and peanut butter, allowing it to coat the veggies.  Pour in the coconut milk and stir to thoroughly combine.  Stir in the fish sauce and sugar.  Taste and add more sugar, peanut butter or fish sauce as needed.  Add the chicken back and stir gently to cover it in the sauce.

Serve over rice and garnish with fresh basil, nuts of your choice and a squeeze of fresh lime juice.