If you’re looking for a lamb burger unlike any other this grilling season, with a simplicity that is approachable for any home cook with a gourmet look and with flavor that will keep folks coming back for more, then look no further. Chef and butcher Adam Sappington of The Country Cat Dinner House and Bar in Portland, Ore., is showing FN Dish readers how to spice up their burger recipes with different meats and out-of-the-ordinary toppings, like jam.
Try lamb: Making sure that lamb is the star of this burger, Adam seasons the patty using only salt and pepper. Once grilled to perfection thanks to his step-by-step instructions below, the patty is laid on a buttered bun piled high with creamy Havarti cheese, peppery arugula and Adam’s showstopping Smoked Tomato and Mint Jam — lamb and mint, a match made in heaven. The best part of this jam, besides the flavor, of course, is how home cook-friendly it is. It starts with a can of fire-roasted tomatoes, then all of the ingredients, ginger, paprika, brown and white sugar, salt and pepper, are added to a heavy-bottomed saucepan and cooked to the desired consistency. Once everything is cooked, fresh mint is folded in; the jam can be stored in the refrigerator for up to one week.
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Ham: Baked, smoked, spiral, glazed and more, it’s usually the centerpiece of the Easter table (and it is delicious). But what about lamb? Why does it usually take a back seat when certain cuts of the meat tend to be so forgiving? Skipping the ham and introducing something new to the table might cause an uproar, but serving lamb is highly encouraged — at least make it a new addition alongside the ham. So where do you start? We asked chef and butcher Adam Sappington of The Country Cat Dinner House and Bar in Portland, Ore., to start us off in the right direction.
The most-common cuts of lamb used around Easter are definitely legs (like the Herbed Leg of Lamb by Food Network Magazine pictured above) or chops. He states that, “As the weather warms up, folks tend to move away from heavy braising cuts like shoulder and start looking for leaner cuts that give off that essence of spring grasses.” For an Easter celebration, Adam recommends using a leg of lamb — it’s the easiest and most forgiving to cook, the most versatile, arguably the most traditional and it can be altered to feed small parties or large gatherings. This Grilled Leg of Lamb With Creamed Peas and Wild Mushrooms is perfect for family gatherings, as it is a showstopper but wont break the bank.
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In most households a glistening baked ham takes focus at the table on Easter Sunday. For many it’s a tradition that isn’t often broken for fear of a family riot. But Easter doesn’t have to be all about ham. If you’re willing to stray from tradition and try a new and different main dish, Food Network has some great ideas for your holiday meal.
How about a rack of lamb or a roast pork loin or maybe even turkey? Lamb is actually a very popular Easter main dish in other parts of the world and pork comes in at a pretty close second. The following recipes are perfect for any Easter gathering, with flavors that bridge the changing seasons. Who knows — your family might just surprise you and love the new dish even more than the ham.
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When I was younger, I was a voracious reader. One of my favorite book series in those days was the one about Betsy and Tacy, two girls growing up in the Midwest at the turn of the last century.
One of the events that occurs regularly in these books is Betsy’s family’s tradition of sharing their Sunday lunch with friends and family. This meal happens in the late afternoon and stars a giant platter of sandwiches that are always prepared by Betsy’s father.
Some weeks his sandwiches would feature cold roast meat, while others they’d be simple constructions of fried egg or thinly sliced onion that’d been well-seasoned. Served with coffee and slices of cake to follow, this seemed, to my mind, to be the perfect way to spend a Sunday evening.
Last week, suddenly hit by a craving for a Betsy-Tacy-style sandwich party, I went in search of a little sandwich inspiration. What I found was Guy Fieri’s Roasted Leg o’ Lamb Sandwich. It’s a three-part recipe that has you marinate and roast off a piece of lamb, make a spicy from-scratch mayonnaise and then shred fennel, cabbage, onion and Brussels sprouts into a crunchy topping.
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Oddly, my most vivid memory of a leg of lamb comes from my years of living in France and not my childhood kitchen. I was strolling in an open-air market and stopped in fascination in front of a rotisserie. There, in the midst of tables of fresh vegetables, I stood, transfixed. An enormous leg of lamb was slowly turning and was the deepest golden brown. At the bottom were various fingerling potatoes and onions that clearly had been cooked in the drippings. I honestly wasn’t sure what looked better, the meat or the vegetables.
I have been imitating that experience ever since. I save the rosemary to be mixed in with the vegetables and the cooking juices once the meat is cooked. I find that when rosemary is cooked too long, it tastes medicinal instead of herbaceous and fresh.
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