Lamb Burgers with Tzatziki
Salmon with Tahini Cauliflower, Oatmeal Raisin Cookies, and a Fat & Flour Birthday Cake.
If you’re a monthly subscriber, we haven’t spoken since the start of February. There’s so much you’ve missed! In Feb. 8th’s newsletter, I shared the technique for the oatmeal that we eat every day and also the apple pie that I made for Craig’s birthday (including the pie dough recipe); in Feb. 15th’s newsletter, I shared a Nutella-swirl banana bread that was so pretty, I have to post the picture here:
That newsletter also had Meera Sodha’s cauliflower cashew curry and a broccoli rabe frittata that was truly far out.
Then last week’s newsletter had everything that I ate on my birthday: an epic day of eating that started with a pistachio cherry croissant from Proof Bakery and only got better from there.
If you’re sad to be missing these weekly dispatches, have I got a deal for you: I’m doing a MARCH MADNESS sale. 25% off forever. That’s $22.50 a year. That’s the price of one cocktail plus tax at a fancy bar; or the price of a movie ticket and popcorn for an incredible newsletter every week.
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Okay, now on to this week’s content.
I made that lamb burger that you see at the top of this post riffing on Anne Burrell’s technique from this Food Network recipe.
Generally speaking, you sauté red onions and garlic in olive oil, let it cool, mix with a pound of ground lamb meat (I used 3/4ths a pound), salt, lots of chopped herbs (I used parsley), lemon zest. You form patties and, meanwhile, you make a tzatziki spread: I used keffir that I had from the farmer’s market, grated garlic, lemon juice, and more chopped parsley. Then toast some buns and cook the lamb patties in a hot cast iron skillet.
Spread the tzatziki on the toasted bun, place down your patty, and top with some quick-pickled onions (I use the Bon Appétit recipe).
As for the sweet potatoes, I cut them into cubes (Craig’s preferred style), tossed with olive oil, salt, and pepper, and roasted in a 425 oven, tossing until they were crisp (it took a while; almost 40 minutes). I drizzled a tahini sauce over them that was leftover from the previous night’s dinner.
What was that dinner? Seared salmon with roasted cauliflower and tahini sauce.
I riffed on this roasted cauliflower with tahini sauce recipe from the NYT. I gotta say, roasted cauliflower is good on its own, but when you drizzle it with tahini mixed with grated garlic, lemon juice, a little water, salt, and parsley? It’s out-of-this-world.
As for the salmon, I get a lot of questions about how I sear it so nicely (thank you, thank you). I pat the skin-on fillets very dry with paper towels, sprinkle with salt and pepper, pour a splash of grapeseed oil into my Scanpan, heat it on high heat, and start the salmon skin-side down.
When a crust forms — after 2 to 3 minutes — it should detach easily. So flip upside down and finish, flesh-side down, in a 425 oven until a thermometer registers 125 in the thickest part.
That’s it! Works every time.
My favorite cookies to make are oatmeal raisin cookies and this last week I tried Melissa Clark’s recipe, only instead of tablespoon-sized balls of dough, I used an ice cream scoop for larger cookies and just cooked them a little longer.
These were dynamite: chewy, salty, sweet, with lots of spice from cinnamon, nutmeg, and cardamom. We loved them.
Finally, my friends Ryan and Jonathan surprised me this week with a belated birthday cake from Nicole Rucker’s Fat & Flour.
It was a strawberry coconut cake with layers of jam on the inside and I wish it was my birthday every day so I could eat this for the rest of my life.
Now for links that caught my attention this week!
Loved this Grub Street interview with one of my favorite chefs, Marco Canora, about how we need more positive press around restaurants right now;
Melissa Clark is at it again, this time with spice blends: including Garam Masala, sweet baking spice, baharat, and za’atar.
Never made it to Spoon By H, but a bunch of jerks didn’t pay their bills and now they’re closing; though a GoFundMe may have allowed them to find “a new beginning”;
I was listening to the Reply All podcast about the Bon Appétit test kitchen situation and then it was revealed that the Reply All team was guilty of the very same things they were criticizing Bon Appétit for… crazy.
Okay, folks, that’s all for this week!
If you’re only a monthly subscriber, we won’t see each other again until April 1st… unless you click this button right now and make the best decision of your life:
Until next time!
I’m so frustrated about not getting to hear the end of that Reply All series.