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.


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
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
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

Lamb Burgers and Oven-Roasted French Fries

A meal for two hands

Burgers are on the same page as pasta in my book of perfect, comforting meals. They both inspire endless possibilities for one-dish meals and can be sauced and spiced in any number of ways. But, and I hate to admit this, I might have to give burgers the edge on simplicity because I can eat them with my hands – a meal between two pieces of bread. What could be better than that?

I have a penchant for creating and eating burgers – for the past couple of years I’ve been entering the Build a Better Burger contest, which is held every October on the front lawn of Sutter Home Winery in Napa. I have high hopes of someday winning some cash and wearing my Queen of all Burgers sash. I’m already gearing up for another season of burger mania, so keep it tuned as I get grilling.

Sarah over at Avenue Food inspired the sauce for these lamb burgers – I’ve been finding all kinds of uses for it from saucing grilled chicken to topping my burgers.

Lamb Burgers with Roasted Red Pepper Sauce and Quick Pickled Onions

makes 6 servings

2 pounds ground lamb
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
6 split, toasted hamburger buns

To make the burgers, combine all ingredients in a large bowl – try not to manhandle the mixture too much. You’re aiming for patties that are tender and juicy, not compacted hockey pucks. Eyeball the mixture into six portions. I do this by dividing it in half, then making three equal portions out of each half. Some fanatics use scales and measuring cups to achieve perfect portions. I leave that up to you.

Grill the patties on a medium-hot charcoal or gas grill about 4 minutes per side for medium-rare. Serve on toasted buns with the following condiments, or your own favorites.

Roasted Red Pepper Sauce

3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 jar roasted red peppers, drained
4 ounces soft goat cheese
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon smoked Spanish paprika
alt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Heat the garlic in the olive oil over medium-low heat for a few minutes. This removes the heat of the raw garlic. Place in a food processor and puree with remaining ingredients until smooth.

Quick Pickled Onions

1 medium red onion, halved and thinly sliced
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar

Put the onion in a medium bowl and toss with the sugar and vinegar. Marinate 15-30 minutes.

Oven-Roasted French Fries

2 pounds Russet potatoes, peeled
1/4 cup peanut oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Heat oven to 425 degrees. Slice potatoes in half lengthwise, then into 6 planks from each half. Toss on a rimmed baking sheet with the oil, salt and pepper. Roast about 25 minutes, or until tender and golden brown.

Copyright (c) 2007 FamilyStyle Food