Documenting the struggles of one woman trying to live recipe-free.
Tuesday, July 7, 2009
Lamb & Black Bean Burgers
My husband has recently become a devoted follower of Amazon Fresh. I admit to loving it too-- after all, I got my grocery shopping listed (but not purchased) before we left for our holiday weekend in Cannon Beach. Ground lamb was on sale, so we added that to the list. I started off dreaming about lamb burgers, maybe with a tzatziki sauce of some kind, but John nixed the sauce idea. Apparently I've made falafel a little too often as of late. I'm not sure where the inspiration to use black beans came from, it mostly came to mind because I had an extra can sitting in the pantry. Sometimes Amazon Fresh only lets you order items at a minimum quantity of 2. This can's mate was used in my burritos (will probably post that sometime) and I lacked any plans for this can other than probably for another set of burritos. Perhaps I was partially inspired by this favorite recipe for black bean cakes, but I think it was because I thought about the flavor profile that links lamb and black beans together in my mind-- the earthy spice of cumin. These burgers came together nicely: seared in a hot cast iron skillet so it had a nice crust on the outside and the black beans helped the burgers retain moisture while giving a nice, almost al dente bite to mix with the softness of the ground meat. I topped it with my favorite sandwich spread of late: a mixture of mayonnaise, sour cream, whole grain and Dijon mustard with a little bit of chopped chives from the CSA. (Admittedly, the sauce is a modified version of one from Ina Garten.) If I had more patience, I would have put these out on the grill instead of the pan but I couldn't wait for coals to heat up not that it mattered since we don't have any charcoal at the moment. My other thought is that I slightly overcooked these-- they would have been better on the rarer side (time suggestion below is adjusted accordingly.) Also, John and I are still in disagreement about the condiment: I'd still like to use tzatziki as I think the slight sour of the yogurt and the cool crunch of the cucumber and mint might be a nice contrast to the burger's spice but John thinks it'd cover up the spice which is what he liked about this. What do you think?
1 lb ground lamb 1 15 oz can black beans, drained ~ 1.5 tbs Montreal Steak Seasoning Dash of cinnamon 1 tbsp ground cumin 1 tsp dried oregano 2 chopped green onions 2 cloves fresh garlic (from the CSA) 2 tbsp mayonnaise 1 tbsp sour cream 1 tsp Dijon mustard 1 tsp whole grain mustard salt & pepper to taste 1 tbsp chopped fresh chives.
Mix together the lamb, beans, spices, green onion and garlic, but be careful not to over mix. Divide into four portions for 4 hefty-ish patties. Heat a cast iron skillet on medium high heat then add 1 tbsp of olive oil to coat the bottom of the pan. Sprinkle salt (preferably kosher) and pepper on both sides of your patties so they'll get that nice crust. Place the patties in the pan and sear for about 4 to 5 minutes on each side or until they reach your desired doneness. Let them rest while you toast your buns. (hehe... buns.) Mix together the ingredients for your sauce (unless you're like me and the sauce is left over from a little over a week ago when you made sandwiches of some kind) and top your burgers with about a tbsp each. I served mine with some homemade stove top mac n' cheese (look Mom-- cheese and lamb-- you don't like either!) and a fresh salad that John threw together using CSA butter lettuce and arugula from our garden. A nice summer time dinner, especially when paired with some rose sparkling wine which we drank because it's been sitting in our fridge for a couple of months now.
CSA Count: 2- fresh garlic and chives (but if you count the salad then 4, adding butter lettuce and carrots.)
This has been a year of terrible personal loss and and terrifying challenges in the form of finishing law school and trying to find a job in this economy. So although the world probably does not need another food blog, I started this as a means of keeping my head above water, to keep me balanced and sane, and to keep tabs on my culinary experimentations. The goal is to live recipe free, to be one of those home cooks who can look at what's available in my community supported agriculture (CSA) share box, on sale at the store, in my husband's garden, or leftover in my refrigerator and transform it into something delicious. I'm translating my efforts into recipes that I can look back on to improve upon or if someone who stumbles on this wants to try it out at home and give me ideas for improvement.
I have no formal cooking training. Anything I know has been gleaned from watching cooking shows, reading food blogs/cookbooks/magazines, and trial and error. I can't say that what I post here is worth replicating at home, but people in my house found it tasty so I'm posting it here primarily for my future reference. Also, if you're a stickler for precise measurements, most of mine are estimates unless it came in a package that told me how much was in it.