Tag Archives: grill

Lamb Burgers

Before Miss Madison was born, I had an idea in my head of what life would be like post-baby… She would be napping a lot, so I’d have no problem preparing three meals a day and keeping the house clean.  I would have no need for battery-powered baby toys to keep her occupied, since I’d be playing with her whenever she’s awake.  And, of course, we’d all be nicely dressed each day and have no problem getting out the door for appointments and other fun family activities.

Those of you who have kids are probably laughing at me right now.

It turns out I underestimated how much of my time and attention would be necessary to keep our little bundle of joy, well, joyful.  She’s a very sweet little baby, and I am loving all of the time that I get to spend with her.  But, you can forget about the three meals a day, clean house, and nice clothes.

Writing blog posts and developing new recipes hasn’t exactly been as easy as I had imagined, either. If I have any intention of preparing something more complicated than a peanut butter sandwich, I have to plan in advance so that I can get some of the prep work done ahead of time while Madison is napping or hanging out with her daddy.

That’s what happened with these burgers.  I was at the local farmers’ market (during a short nap while daddy was at home) and I decided to try some of the ground lamb from my go-to meat stand.  I’m not a huge fan of lamb, probably because I’ve had some poorly prepared dishes in the past.  But, I have loved all of the other meats I’ve gotten from the stand, so I decided to give it a try.  Plus, even though we’ve been eating simple meals, I’ve been trying to incorporate new flavors to keep things interesting. In my head, I was already thinking of burgers with feta cheese, garlic, oregano, and cumin.  I just had to work out the schedule.

I planned to make the burgers on Monday… That meant that I needed to make sure that everything was prepped ahead of time. The feta cheese and other key ingredients that I didn’t already have on hand were added to the grocery list on Friday.  The lamb was thawed in the refrigerator on Saturday night so that I could prep the burgers on Sunday afternoon.  I knew the hubby would be watching football and wouldn’t mind some snuggle time while I was in the kitchen. I also baked the burger rolls on Sunday afternoon.  So, come Monday, all I had to do was actually cook the burgers and prepare a few toppings.

So, to make a long story short, the burgers were well worth all of the effort and planning. They were flavorful and juicy, and both my hubby and I loved them. If you like lamb, you’ll love these. And, if you aren’t sure that you like lamb, I’d still give them a try. Just be sure to find a local market or farm that has good quality meats.  Good ingredients always make a recipe better! And, even though you may not have to prepare everything the day before, I’d recommend mixing up the burgers in advance to let the flavors mix and mingle.Continue Reading

Smokey Peach Grilled Pork

I’m all about simple and easy meals lately… I know that’s not usually my M.O. (that’s modus operandi for those of you not obsessed with Law and Order), but things have changed a bit around here. While I would love to be making homemade ravioli and spending hours in the kitchen making homemade puff pastry, that’s just not how things are working.

I am doing much better after my surgery a few weeks ago… I am gradually getting back into the kitchen (but not lifting anything over 10 pounds!), but my energy is limited. Many days, I need a nap by lunchtime, and my energy for making dinner really isn’t what it used to be. I’d much rather focus on homemade ice cream and make something simple for dinner. I have priorities!

But, here’s the thing… Even though my energy and motivation may be lacking, we still need to eat! My hubby is a great sport and has taken great care of me, but he works hard and doesn’t always have the time and energy to deal with dinner… I hate to ask him to do even more around the house, so I’ve been doing my best to come up with simple meals that taste great and don’t require too much energy from either of us!

This grilled pork is a perfect example… It was so easy to make, and you can’t beat the flavor! I was lucky enough to receive a jar of this amazing Peach Chutney from Tracy over at Sugarcrafter, and I knew it would be perfect with some pork.  I just added my own quick spice rub at lunchtime (before my nap!) and let the pork rest in the fridge all afternoon.  Then, we grilled it for dinner (that’s something my hubby excels at!) and added the peach chutney… Quick, easy, delicious. I even had enough energy to take a few photos… And, we had leftovers for another night!Continue Reading

Friday Favorites – Episode 94

Things are a bit slow around my house at the moment.  My husband is doing a great job helping me out in the kitchen, and I have even mustered up the energy to do a few (small) things myself. Baby steps!

While I have managed to put a few dishes in the dishwasher, chop some garlic, and even mix up some teriyaki sauce, right now my kitchen adventures are limited to living vicariously through everyone else’s blog posts.  And, as you might imagine, I’ve had plenty of time to sit and read blog posts, too!

So, I guess you could say that my theme for this week’s Friday Favorites is “dishes I wish I was making right now.” I have a feeling that my list of “must-makes” is going to be pretty long by the time I’m back on my feet in the kitchen. Until then, don’t miss these great recipes…

  • I have found that mint grows much like a weed in my garden. I’m OK with that… I love mint! So, I can’t wait to try these Chocolate Buttermilk Cupcakes with Mint Infused Whipped Cream from Honey & Jam. They look like the perfect summer treat (and a great way to get rid of some mint)!
  • Baked beans are one of my husband’s favorite foods. Though, I have learned to give them a chance from time to time, I have mostly hated them my whole life. I’ve been trying new recipes lately, though, since my hubby loves them so much.  I’m looking forward to giving these Beer-Baked White Beans from The Bitten Word a try… I’m pretty sure my hubby will be a fan!
  • Each summer, we get a lot of lettuce from our CSA. I do my best to use all of it, but it gets tough to find ways to make lettuce interesting week after week. I’m thinking that this Grilled Romaine with Blue Cheese-Bacon Vinaigrette from Tracey’s Culinary Adventures will be a great way to mix things up this summer!
  • I may have to take a few breaks in between slicing all of these onions, and it may take me an hour… But, I think that this recipe for 12 Hour Braised Onions from Bon Appetit Hon is one that I can handle right now. I can’t wait to try it… I think they’ll be incredible on pizza!
  • I love potato salad… But, sometimes I get sick of the mayonnaise in it. I’m not a huge mayonnaise fan. So, I’ll surely be trying this mayonnaise-free Roasted Potato Salad from How Sweet It Is.  Plus, since there’s no mayo, it’s perfect for summer picnicking!
  • I know that I should be taking it easy, but somehow I need to muster up the energy to make this Olive Oil Ice Cream from The Merry Gourmet. I cannot get it out of my head!

Kitchen Bootcamp Roundup – Sandwiches

I hope everyone had fun with this month’s Kitchen Bootcamp challenge! I know that sandwiches may not have been the most challenging chapter in The Professional Chef, but I think it’s fun to do something different once in a while!

For this month’s challenge, I developed two new sandwiches - Italian Panini with a Sundried Tomato and Olive Spread and Ham and Turkey Club Sandwiches. You’ve probably already seen my recipes, though… So let’s have a look at what everyone else made for this month’s challenge!

I’ve always been a fan of the grilled cheese sandwich with tomato.  I love this version of the Grown Up Grilled Tomato and Cheese sandwich from eat. live. travel. write. It’s the kind of grilled cheese you’d be happy to serve at a party… And, that’s a party I’d like to attend!

It turns out that my favorite salad is much like the salad that this Favorite Salad Panini from The Other Side of Fifty is based on… Spinach, pecans, cranberries, blue cheese, apple, and chicken make for one tasty sandwich. I’ll be giving this a try!

I love the look of this Pane Bagnato from The Art of Food. I don’t think anyone will miss the meat in this lovely vegetarian sandwich that is perfect for picnicing!

This Italian Tofu Steak Sandwich with Red Pepper Mayonnaise from An Opera Singer in the Kitchen is packed with flavor… Though I don’t eat much tofu, I am intrigued by the creativity and flavors in this sandwich!

I am really intrigued by these Okra Griddle Cake Sandwiches from Gourmet Meals for Less! Not only are griddle cake sandwiches a creative twist on the typical sandwich, but the griddle cakes contain okra.  I love it!

Italian Panini with Tomato Olive Spread

Though it seemed like a great idea at the time, I’m not totally sure why I picked sandwiches for this month’s Kitchen Bootcamp challenge. The thing is, I’m not really a sandwich person. Some people can eat a sandwich for lunch every day, but I’m not one of those people, so it’s been a bit of a struggle to force myself to work on some new sandwich recipes.

One of the reasons that I don’t typically make many sandwiches is that I like my food to be warm (I have a weird thing about eating warm food… don’t ask). So, the thought of slapping together cold ingredients in a sandwich is usually less than appetizing to me.  Panini, however, are a different story. I do enjoy toasty grilled sandwiches.  So, I figured panini would be a good place to start.

These Italian panini were inspired by the Italian sub.  As you might expect, even though I am a big fan of Italian meats like salami and pepperoni, eating a cold sub doesn’t really do it for me. I figure, why eat a cold Italian sub when you can toast up the ingredients in a tasty Italian panino? I also had a bit of inspiration for the tomato olive spread from my memories of the Meatless Muffalettas from Three Many Cooks that were served at the Big Summer Potluck (one of the few “cold” sandwiches that I actually enjoy).  I made the muffalettas a few weeks ago, but I still had some of the olives and sundried tomaotes leftover, so I made my own quick spread for the panini.

Next I will challenge myself to attempt a cold sandwich… This is a challenge after all!

In the meantime, don’t forget to submit your sandwich posts for this month’s Kitchen Bootcamp challenge!

Italian Panini with Tomato Olive Spread
(Makes 4 sandwiches)

For the Tomato Olive Spread:

  • 1/4 cup drained pimento-stuffed green olives
  • 1/4 cup drained ripe black olives
  • 1 tablespoon capers
  • 4 sundried tomatoes packed in olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

To complete the sandwich:

  • Extra virgin olive oil for drizzling
  • 8 slices of whole wheat bread
  • 8 slices of hard salami
  • 4 slices of honey ham
  • 24 small slices of pepperoni
    (or 8 slices if larger pepperoni is available)
  • 4 ounces asiago cheese, sliced or shredded

Preheat a grill pan with a panini press over medium heat.  Drizzle with a small amount of olive oil

Begin by preparing the tomato olive spread.  Combine the green and black olives, capers, and sundried tomatoes in a food processor or blender.  Pulse until finely chopped.  Add the olive oil and pulse until the spread starts to come together.

To prepare the sandwich, spread the tomato olive spread on each slice of bread. For each sandwich, layer 2 slices of salami, 1 slice of ham, and 6 slices of pepperoni on one piece of bead.  On the other piece of bread, arrange one ounce of asiago cheese.

Put the two sides of sandwich together and place on the grill pan.  Use the panini press to flatten the sandwich and cook for 3-4 minutes until golden and toasted.  Flip the sandwich and cook on the second side for an additional 3-4 minutes until the sandwich is toasted on both sides and the cheese has melted.

Transfer to a cutting board and cut the sandwich in half.  Serve immediately.

My Kitchen Addiction Product Review Policy and Disclosure- I received the bamboo tableware featured in my photographs at no cost from restaurantware.com for the purpose of testing and photographing. Unless specified otherwise, I do not accept monetary compensation for reviewing or writing about products. I only review products that I have personally tested and used in my kitchen/home, and all opinions expressed are my own.