Burger Bash: Moroccan Burgers with Harissa Mayo and Fennel Slaw

Now that’s a spicy meatball…

I’m off to Portland, Oregon for a few days of food, wine and yoga. Excuse me for a second.

WOOHOO! YIPPEE! YAY!

Whew. Sorry about that. I got a little excited. I’ve never been to Portland, but I just have this idea that I would be happy to live there. Oh, and did I mention that the kids will be at home enjoying some extra special time with a very special aunt? It’s all good.

I might even try to post from there, if I can remember to bring along all the right cords and cameras.

In the meantime, here’s another burger from my grill. I just loved these – the harissa mayo is a gorgeous deep, dark saffron color and just spicy enough.

Moroccan Burgers with Spiced Carrot Fennel Slaw and Harissa Mayonnaise

makes 6 burgers
Slaw:
2 carrots, peeled and cut into matchsticks
1 fennel bulb, stems trimmed, cut into matchsticks
2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 teaspoons ground cumin seeds
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Salt, to taste
Harissa Mayonnaise:
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon olive oil
2 teaspoons harissa paste
1 teaspoon ground paprika
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 egg yolk
1 – 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
Salt to taste
Patties:
2 pounds ground lamb or pork
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/4 cup chopped fresh mint
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 cup mixed baby spinach or salad greens
6 hamburger buns, split and toasted

Prepare carrot relish: Toss carrot, fennel and mint in a medium bowl. In a small bowl, whisk together the remaining ingredients; pour over carrot mixture and toss to coat.

Prepare the mayonnaise: Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a small skillet over medium heat. Stir in the harissa, paprika and garlic. Cook, stirring, until garlic becomes fragrant, about 1 minute. Set aside to cool slightly. In a medium bowl, whisk the egg while slowly dribbling in the remaining olive oil, until thickened. If mixture becomes too thick, add some lemon juice to thin it out.
Whisk in the harissa mixture until smooth; season with salt. (Harissa mayonnaise will keep 3 days, covered and refrigerated)

Prepare the patties: In a large bowl, combine all ingredients. Divide mixture into 6 portions; shape each portions into patties sized to fit the buns.

Prepare a medium-hot fire and oil grill rack. Cook patties 4 minutes per side for medium-rare.
To serve, arrange lettuce leaves on bottom buns, followed by patty, mayonnaise and slaw.

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Copyright (c) 2007 FamilyStyle Food

Grilled Lemon Cumin Chicken with Favas and Feta

The weather pattern this week almost has me believing we’re living in California wine country or something. Here we are moving straight on to summer, and yet we’ve had a series of clear, warm, dry days followed by cool, breezy evenings that make me just want to live outside. I’m savoring it, because I’m counting on the return of our normal St. Louis days of heat and booty-spanking humidity. Well, dreading them, really. 

I’d love to live outside. I’ve been sitting out in the backyard, watching the grass grow (for real) and browsing through the pages of the various catalogs that pile up around here – Restoration Hardware, Pottery Barn, Smith and Hawken – that now have whole publications devoted to decorating the yard. I find the stylish photos very inviting, in a movie-set kind of way. And while I can easily imagine lounging on an oversized espresso-colored cushion and serving dinner on a 7-foot long dining table nestled under a big old olive tree with a chandelier hanging from it, I have to laugh.

When I insist on eating dinner in the backyard, we line up for a few thick coats of Deep Woods repellent and shovel dinner in real fast before hightailing it back inside.

In the spirit of the season, however, I made this Mediterranean-inspired chicken the other night. We ate it outside, pretty much unscathed.

I always buy fresh fava beans in the spring, because I love them. Although they require a tiny bit of extra work (double-peeling), they’re nothing like dried ones, which tend to need a lifetime of soaking and have a dry, starchy texture when cooked. Fresh favas are tender, sweet and greener than Kentucky Bluegrass. They’re also fun for kids to peel – the pods are thick and fleshy, and the beans inside rest on a fuzzy white lining like flannel pillowcases.


Copyright (c) 2007 FamilyStyle Food