How was your Halloween? We had so much fun. We host an annual trick-or-treat party because our neighborhood is on fire for this particular holiday (the little loop around our house is alive with people and fun setups), and this year we brought our friends back to the house afterwards for an outdoor fire, slow-cooked bean soup and cider. Liv dug her little costume and wore it like a champ. T was the cutest little bumble bee you ever did see. I captured a lot of iPhone photos, but not a lot of ‘real camera’ ones.
These past couple of weeks we’ve been cooking up a storm around here, and I’ve decided that there is little that I love more than a really yummy slider. I would much rather a plate of mini sliders over one large hamburger any day, and I always jump at the chance to order these guys when we’re eating out at a diner-type restaurant.
When I was offered an opportunity to partner with the American Lamb Board to share a recipe with you all I knew immediately that it would be Mediterranean lamb sliders on a soft, toasted roll. This recipe makes approaching lamb easy – rack of lamb might not be a weekly occurrence but ground lamb can be used in so many wonderful ways.
The goal was to grill outside, but surprisingly we’ve had rain (!) here in San Diego (fall, I love you) and I grilled these up indoors on our range making them an even quicker meal to prepare.
Mediterranean Lamb Sliders
Makes approximately 10-12 sliders
2 lbs ground American lamb
2 tsp ground coriander
2 tsp ground cumin
2 Tb freshly chopped oregano
2 Tb freshly chopped dill
1/2 – 1 tsp each salt & pepper
1/2 of a medium sized onion, diced
1 clove garlic, finely diced
olive tapenade or whole Mediterranean olive assortment cut up
watercress, arugala or spinach
1 cup feta cheese (1/2 for burgers, 1/2 reserved for topping)
mayonaise (with dill & cumin optional)
a dozen dinner rolls, Hawaiian sweet rolls or mini hamburger buns
The trick to these guys is to purchase fresh, natural ingredients (think fresh dill and oregano) and to blend all of the wonderful Mediterranean flavors right into the ground lamb.
I have a friend who is a wonderful chef and when I first brought up the idea of cooking with lamb with her, her first suggestion was to buy American. Buy local, she insisted (local, as in not crossing major ocean water), because the flavor is amazing.
In a large bowl I mixed my ground lamb, chopped olives, feta cheese, dill, oregano, cumin, coriander, salt and pepper.
I dig onion in burgers but much prefer sautéed to raw. I added my onion and garlic to a saucepan (with olive oil) to soften the onion before adding it to the mix. But this is optional.
Mix with hands until all ingredients are incorporated throughout.
I love to shape mini hamburger patties and then to layer them in a glass pan with wax or parchment paper. This allows me to prep the day before or to separate the individual patties out quickly when it’s time to grill.
Grill on medium heat for 7-10 minutes per side, check center for any pinkness and cook through before serving. I LOVE to toast the buns just before it’s time to eat. I first squish my single-sided hamburger bun onto a just-finished lamb burger to soak up some of the juice. Then I grill the bun for a few minutes. (I learned this little trick from the hot dog sellers outside of the coliseum at USC. Kevin always stopped for a hot dog and the grillers would always toast the bun in the brat or onion oil. So good.)
Top burgers with feta cheese, avocado slices, mayo spread (about a 1/2 cup mayo blended with freshly chopped dill and a splash of cumin) and lettuce. I love watercress, spinach or arugala for sliders.
Rain break for dinner! We lit a fire and cozied up on our sectional to eat picnic style as a family. Changing up meal locations helps to make meals unexpected and fun for the girls, and we get to enjoy our beautiful outdoor space for another night!
For this particular night I made roasted carrots (this style) and served with sliced up watermelon. The burgers were such a hit – Kevin raved about the flavors (rare) and the girls gobbled them up.
Did you know that there are more than 82,000 family-owned sheep operations in nearly every U.S. state? Helps to keep American lamb local and available year round. Lamb has traditionally been a Kevin favorite, but now I’m beginning to think of ways to experiment with it more. My next idea is for gourmet meatballs or as really delicious blend with turkey for a meatloaf.
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.