Minted Lamb and Feta Burgers With a Crunchy Salad

Normally when I want a burger I want cheddar cheese, blue cheese, bacon, black pudding, burger sauce, mayo, ketchup, mustard, cooked onion, raw onion, onion rings,  lettuce, rocket and any other accompaniment you could think of, not all at once obviously although I wouldn’t say no to trying that. So when I looked at this recipe I wasn’t expecting much. A burger with no sauce! How wrong I could be.

Firstly, the peripherals. The wedges, you can’t go wrong with home made wedges, a little oil and salt and pepper and you are golden. Keep the skins on for that extra crispiness. The salad was light and refreshing. Lettuce, radish, spring onion and mint with a little olive oil. I used my good olive oil here that I got from our trip to France. The better the oil the better the flavour so therefor the better the salad.

So, onto the burger. The two most important parts of a good burger. The burger patty itself and the bun. Here we have a brioche bun which for me is the best bun you can get. I am partial to a nice soft white roll at a BBQ but where ever possible its brioche all the way. The burger here is lamb mince which apart from tasting different to your usual beef burger is also filled with a lot more fat which really, really helps. I am all for healthy eating and lean meat but I cannot sit here and lie and say that a lean piece of meat tastes as good as a fatty piece of meat. Obviously moderation is the key. Or in the wise words of Oscar Wilde “Everything in moderation, including moderation”

Along with that lovely sweet lamb that has mint, spring onion and feta all mixed in to the patty itself. You have an onion relish, this is literally onion that is stewed in a pan with some salt and a little sugar. These sweet caramelised onions really combine well with the lamb. These amazing flavour combinations make this a great burger. I didn’t miss any of my usual “must have fillings.. this time. I don’t think anything will beat my usual combination but this has opened up my eyes to other possibilities.

What

2x Large Potatoes

1 Onion

2x Baby Gem Lettuce

1x Pack Radish

3x Spring Onion

1 Bunch Mint

375g Minced Lamb

1 Block Feta Cheese

3x Brioche Buns

How

Pre heat your oven to 200 degrees. while its warming up Chop the potatoes into wedges, you don’t have to peel them the skins will go nice and crispy. Toss the wedges in a splash of olive oil, season with some salt and pepper and pop them in the oven to roast for about 25 minutes.

Onion, slice it into thin half moons

Baby Gem, roughly chop it.

Radish, finely slice it

Spring onion, finely chop it.

Mint, roughly chop it.

Heat up a dash of olive oil in a small pan, add your onion with a pinch of salt and sugar. Put a lid on the pan and leave it on a low heat for around 15 minutes.

Next, mix your lamb with half the chopped mint and three quarters of your spring onion. crumble in half the feta cheese and then add a little flour, salt and pepper. mix it all together with your hands. Divide the mixture into one burger each.

Heat some oil in a pan and add the burgers. cook for around 4 – 5 minutes on each side. If you find they are cooking to quickly on the outside before the center is cooked you can turn down the heat or transfer them to the oven until cooked through.

Mix the remaining spring onion with the radish and lettuce and the rest of the mint. drizzle over some olive oil and salt and pepper and mix together.

Lastly split your buns in half and pop under the grill for around a minute each side. Keep an eye on them they burn fast.

Pop a burger in the bun with a spoonful of your onion relish. put it on the plate with some crispy wedges and a handful of salad.

 

Tender Stir-Fried Pork with Black Bean Sauce and Cashew Nuts

As much a pleasure to make as it was to eat. My knife skills got a workout with this one. There is something very satisfying about chopping veg really fine. A perfect garlic, ginger and onion mix accompanies the black bean sauce. The rich, sticky, deeply savoury sauce grabs your taste buds and doesn’t let go.

Cornflour, who knew. If you want soft succulent pork with a nice crisp outside then toss it in cornflour first before adding it to your pan. It produces the same tender meat but with a slight crisp to the outside, adding a little texture to the mix. Before you cook the pork cook your cashews in a dry pan until they turn brown. Then leaves them to one side. Then in the same pan add some oil and cook your pork in batches. If you crowd the pan then there will be too much steam and that will basically stew your meat and loose that crisp your trying to achieve with the corn flour. Put the pork to the side and in the same pan again add some more oil and cook your pepper and carrot for a few minutes then add the garlic, ginger and the whites of your spring onion. Cook for a minute then add the pork back to the pan. Mix in your black bean sauce and mix for a minute before serving on a bed of rice. Like most things its the little extras that makes the difference between something nice and something great. Here it is the cashews, every now and then you get a crunch and that subtle nuttiness that works so well with all the other flavours.

I used a new macro lens filter for some of my shots. I cannot afford a proper macro lens so this filter lets me do closer shots. Obviously its not as good as an actual lens but for my purposes it seems to do just nicely.

This meal was from our HelloFresh box www.hellofresh.co.uk

Jamie’s Grilled Steak with Herby Brown Rice

Steak that melts in your mouth matched with roasted red pepper, feta cheese and pistachio’s, need I say more.

As I grow older and with the more steak I eat I am finding that I need to cook it less and less. Even since I started the blog, at the beginning I would have said I was a medium/rare kind of guy, now I am definitely in the rare category. It seems the more you cook it the more flavour is lost. Now, I could go on about the cuts of beef and the way they should be cooked but I have just decided to do a separate post on this. 

One of my favourite flavours is roasted red pepper. Most of the time though I have to make do from a jar. Here I actually got to roast them myself, which although is very easy, the change you get from the pepper is amazing. Its hard to describe, the sweet, crisp and crunchy pepper turns into a sweet, soft and err… well, roasted one. The rice is simply mixed with parsley, spring onions, extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper and the zest and half the juice from a lemon. This is served undereneath the sliced steak and roasted red peppers. This is topped with yogurt with lemon juice and salt and pepper. 

What really makes this dish though is the addition of feta cheese and pistachios. The saltiness of the cheese and that unique flavour from the pistachios make this dish come alive. I loved this meal, it is one of the reasons I enjoy cooking, making something that has few ingredients taste like you have used the whole cupboard and fridge.

This meal is from our HelloFresh box Www.hellofresh.co.uk

Rosemary Glazed Chicken with Purple Mash and Buttered Leeks

Succulant crispy chicken on a bed of buttered leeks, and covered in a Rosemary glaze. Served with purple potato mash.

There isn’t much to report on this this meal but there were a couple of things worth mentioning. Firstly though the chicken was pan fried skin side down a while to get that lovely crispy skin. Finished off in the oven it was juicy and tender. The leeks were lovely, cooked in butter their mild flavour almost became one with the chicken. 

Now onto the purple potato. In taste and consistency it is almost identical to a regular potato. Purple potatoes are rich in the antioxidant, anthocyanin. This flavonoid is most often found in blue, red and purple produce such as berries and pomegranates and has been shown to be great at boosting the immune system. Here we mashed ours with some spring onion and a little butter. 

For me though, the Rosemary glaze was the star of the show. It was made by melting Rosemary jelly with some remaining stock in a pan. It had such a nice flavour. I have never heard of Rosemary jelly before. When I first saw it I assumed it was just Rosemary encased in jelly and used as a way of storing and portioning the Rosemary. When cooked, the jelly melts away and you are just left with the Rosemary in your pan. This is the case, however there were other flavours captured in the jelly as well. I imagine garlic and onion powders and as it had a beautiful sweetness there must have been some sugar. I will definitley use it again I’m thinking with lamb where that sweetness will match the flavour of the meat perfectly.

Jamie’s Paprika Spiced Chicken Thighs with Herby Bulgher and Skinny Slaw

Succulent chicken, flavour packed bulgher salad, tangy carrot and apple slaw and fantastic feta cheese crumbled all over.

It’s hard to know where to begin with this dish. There were so many flavours, yet they all managed to fit cohesively together. I’ll start with the chicken. Chicken thighs are our new favourite piece. There is so much more flavour and it is so much more juicy than the breast. For this we coated them in paprika and a little oil and pan fried them.  Once they were rested we Sliced them into 1 cm thick slices.

The Bulgher wheat was cooked in stock. While it was cooking I chopped the spinach, spring onion, chilli and parsley, some olive oil and half a lime’s worth of juice. Once the Bulgher wheat was cooked, drained and cooled slightly, it got mixed in with the herby mixture.To make the slaw we just grated the carrot and apple together added some chopped parsley some of the lime juice and a little olive oil.

With all these flavours going on its hard to imagine that you could improve it but then along comes the feta cheese. Every now and then you get that salty tang that comes with real quality feta. Apparently in 2002 feta became a protected designation of origin product. This means only cheeses produced in a traditional way in particular area of Greece, that are made of sheep’s milk, or a mixture of sheep’s and up to 30% goats milk (from the same area) can be called feta.

This meal is from our HelloFresh box www.hellofresh.co.uk

Jamie’s Spiced Chicken Noodles with Chilli and Chinese Leaves

So much flavour and colour in this dish that you’ll forget how good it is for you. Cabbage, sugar snap peas, garlic, ginger and chilli all mixed in a fantastically good, good for you dinner.

It’s hard to pick anything specific about this meal that makes it so nice. There was plenty of flavour and textures. The sugar snap peas were a great edition, as was the lime. The warmth from the chilli rounds everything off nicely.

This is not a hard dish to make but there is a lot of prep work. There is so much to chop I’m sure some people will be put off, me however loves this part. There is nothing more satisfying than chopping and slicing. It does help having a really sharp knife. See my previous post for my knives if you are interested.

This meal was from our hellofresh box www.hellofresh.co.uk