Hands down burgers are my absolute favorite food but, it always much harder to make the burgers taste fabulous at home. It also seems to be that way with pizza (another favorite). Back home in Tennessee I would use ground turkey a lot in place of beef and then when we moved to Saudi I had to learn to use lamb. You cannot even tell the difference and not only does it taste better, but it’s also a lot healthier for you. After many burgers and tries I finally made a recipe that my entire family loved and now this is the only one that I use.
I make sliders which are just a mini burger and before you write it off thinking it will not fill your hungry family trust me it will. I have a husband that can eat so I always have to make sure my meals are filling. These little burgers are the perfect size and always a hit with the kids which is another goal I always have. Another thing I had to get used to was not having the bacon that I enjoy. Back home I would also always get turkey bacon and when we first moved here we could find it, but for the past few years all you can get is this really low grade beef bacon that does not taste very good. The other day my husband found and bought some amazing black Angus beef bacon. It is made by James Creek from Australia. I use this little oval bread called milk bread and to fit the shape perfect I cut the burgers and cheese with an Easter egg cookie cutter that I have on hand.
One more thing I want to share with you before I give my recipe away is that chilling the burgers before cooking is a must. I used to always struggle with my burger falling apart in the pan and then I used a technique that I was taught about making kabobs here and it worked. So after I shape the patties I just lay them all on a cutting board and pop them in the freezer for 10 minutes. I like to cook my bacon before the burgers so that when I do cook the burgers they have this really great taste.
1 pound ground lamb
2 garlic cloves
1/2 white onion
2 tablespoons Worcestershire Sauce
1/2 teaspoon liquid smoke sauce
Salt and pepper
1/2 Cups lemon/mayonnaise
1 tablespoon ketchup
1 tablespoon mustard
1 teaspoon Worcestershire Sauce
4 drops Tabasco Sauce
Halal Bacon (cooked)
toasted milk buns
1. Add onions and garlic into food processor. Pulse until well combined and no chunks are left. In a large bowl add lamb, onion and garlic mixture, Worcestershire sauce, liquid smoke and salt and pepper. Combine mixture with hands.
2. On a cutting board lay meat out and shape into patties (I use a cookie cutter to fit my bread). Continue doing so until all meat has finished. Place in the freezer for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, in a small bowl add lemon/mayonnaise, ketchup, mustard, Worcestershire and smoke sauce and mix well. Place in refrigerator.
3. In a hot skillet or saute pan carefully place burgers into pan. Cook on each side until finished, about 5 minutes per side. At this time place cheese on top of patties, turn the eye off and allow cheese to slightly melt.
Yield: 8-10 sliders
I have been in a calzone making mood for the past few weeks, they are just so filling and delicious. The great thing about them is that you can make a different size and filling for everyone. The one above was mine and I really wanted to get a shot of the one I made my husband, but he was already eating away at it. His was pretty large and filled with all of his favorites. I have been buying a new spice mix they sell at The Steak House and using it in every meal that I make. That is the seasoning you see on the top of the calzone. It has herbs like rosemary and sea salt to name a few. Perfect for steaks, chicken and even calzones.
I buy Prego pasta sauce to use for homemade pizzas and that is the same thing that I used on these. I like to fill ours with shredded mozzarella, diced tomatoes, sliced mushrooms, pepperoni and a little bit of olive oil. After you roll the dough into a circle just fill half with the toppings and then it’s not hard to fold and move to the baking pan. And make sure to make a few slits in the top so they do not blow up from steam pressure. Make sure not to roll the dough to thin or it will tear, but also not to thick. I roll my dough out and place a dinner plate on top then trim the edges to get the perfect circle. Make sure your area is dusted with flour so that the dough is easy to work with.
1 cup warm water
3 teaspoons yeast
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
Red Pasta Sauce (I use Prego)
1. In a small bowl add yeast, sugar and 1/4 cup of the warm water. Stir and allow to sit for 5 minutes until frothy. In a large mixing bowl add flour, salt and 2 tablespoons of olive oil, mix. Add yeast mixture, mix and add a little bit of the warm water until a dough like consistency has formed. The dough should not be sticky. Roll in a bowl, cover outside with more olive oil, place in a bowl and cover with a few kitchen towels to keep warm. Leave for an hour until doubled in size.
2. Preheat oven to 220C. Meanwhile, roll dough into a circle. Add sauce and with a pastry brush fill half of one side making sure to leave a space at the edge so you can easily fold. Add remaining toppings and drizzle some more olive oil. Carefully fold half over, press edges together with a form and trim any excess amount with a knife. Add a few slits into top with a knife or fork. Brush tops with olive oil, add Italian seasoning then place on a non-stick baking mat and cook until golden, about 15-20 minutes.
Yields: 3-4 calzones
I am a huge fan of asparagus so I am down for any recipe that involves it. I found this recipe browsing through foodgawker and I knew I had to try it. I added a steak and a bit of sesame seeds into the mix and it was just divine. If you do not have rice vinegar you can use regular white vinegar but I do recommend buying it if you enjoy cooking Asian food. It really makes a difference. You will want to use the small baby asparagus when making this dish as well. When it comes to oil try sesame oil which is also found in Asian stores.
4 chicken breast, skinless and boneless, cubed
1 steak, cubed
1/2 pound of fresh Asparagus
2 tablespoon oil
1 small onion, minced
1 tablespoon minced ginger
2 cloves of garlic, fine minced
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon of hot sauce
1 teaspoon rice vinegar
1/2 teaspoon sesame seeds
1. Wash and trim tough ends of asparagus. Cut asparagus into about 1” pieces. Set aside. Heat large pan, then add oil. Add garlic, minced ginger and onions and cook till translucent. Add soy sauce, hot sauce and vinegar. Stir sauces into chicken and steak, continue cooking the chicken until it’s almost cooked.
2. Add asparagus tips and cook for 1-2 minutes, or until asparagus is tender and chicken chicken is completely cooked then sprinkle with sesame seeds and cook for a remaining two minutes.
Yields: 4 servings
adapted from chicken recipe box