Michigan’s tease of summer has already come and gone. Evil, I tell you!
We had two days this week of 80 degree weather. Sunny. Gorgeous.
Lily got to run and play “soccer” (as much as a bulldog can anyways). I got to run outside, as did Mr. Prevention. We (he) cut the lawn not once, but twice, and of course, we cooked out. Several times.
This meal, however, took the cake.
Friends of ours cook lamb often. I always enjoy it, though the only time I’ve ever cooked with lamb was in a Moroccan Lamb and Butternut Squash Chili…which was excellent. A boneless leg of lamb, however, is much more intimidating than ground lamb. I admit that my culinary skills are leaps and bounds ahead of what they once were and perhaps ahead of many home cooks, but when it comes to meat, I am pretty well outside my comfort zone once we’ve moved past chicken breasts.
Ground lamb is a baby step towards new meats in my house. This one? Fool-proof.
Other than doubling up the garlic and putting the salt and pepper into the burgers rather than on them, I pretty much followed the recipe. Half lamb and half ground beef was the perfect compromise between very lean and moderate fat meats. Since there’s no cheese on the burger, the fat grams remain in check and the naturally fat-free Cilantro Raita is good enough to eat with a spoon. Rather than grating the cucumber, I finely chopped it for some texture.
As soon as summer comes back around, I’m going a second round with this recipe!
Lamb Burgers with Cilantro Raita from Cooking Light
2 Tbsp fresh cilantro, minced 1 Tbsp fresh mint, minced 1 1/2 tsp serrano chile, minced (optional) 1/8 tsp kosher salt 2 garlic cloves, minced 1/2 English cucumber, finely diced
8 oz ground lamb 1/4 tsp kosher salt 1/8 tsp freshly ground black pepper 8 thin slices red onion 4 hamburger buns, toasted
Combine the cilantro raita ingredients in a small bowl; stir well and set aside in the fridge until ready to serve.
Gently combine beef, lamb, salt, and pepper, being careful not to overwork. Divide the mixture into 4 equal portions, gently shaping each into a 1/2-inch-thick patty.
Preheat grill to medium-high heat. Once hot, add patties; cook for 3-5 minutes on each side or until desired degree of doneness.
Place 2 onion slices, and 1 patty on bottom half of each hamburger bun. Top each patty with 2 tablespoons raita and top half of bun.
Yield: 4 burgers
Nutrition Information (per burger with raita): 428 calories; 18.5 g. fat; 78 mg. cholesterol; 575 mg. sodium; 36.0 g. carbohydrate; 1.3 g. fiber; 27.8 g. protein; 5.5 g. sugar
Result: This Cilantro Raita was…phenomenal! The lamb-beef combination was great — you get the flavor of the lamb while still being lower in calories and fat than all lamb. The mint and cilantro were so refreshing. These are a favorite burger to date and incredibly easy to make. Enjoy!
TGIF! I have a very productive weekend planned ahead!