Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Grilled Lamb Patties with Red Peppers, Nicoise Olives and Creme Fraiche

Okay. Here’s the deal.

There are times that certain flavors are what I want to eat. There are times that I know I want these flavors but don’t have a clue what those flavors are going to end up in. Sometimes the flavors and ingredients are the same, but the whole recipe is totally different.

A month or so ago, I did an incredible recipe for Merguez, a lamb sausage. The sausages were fried/sautéed on top of the stove and served on top of couscous with fresh spinach. They were amazing, if I do say so myself.

I wanted to do something again with the flavors of the Merguez, but in a different presentation. I wanted to add Nicoise olives, and red bell peppers and I wanted to grill the ground lamb that had been highly seasoned and this time had bread crumbs, lots of fresh cilantro, garlic and sweet red onion added and have more of it to eat than just a small sausage.

So, I did.

To top off the grilled lamb patties, I did an adapted version of a fabulous recipe of Perla Meyers that uses sautéed red bell peppers, garlic, and crème fraiche with the addition of the Nicoise olives, fresh cilantro and toasted pine nuts.

It worked.

Grilled Lamb Patties

3 garlic cloves
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon paprika (sweet)
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
1/3 cup finely chopped cilantro
1 lb ground lamb
1 cup fresh soft bread crumbs
¼ small red onion, grated

Combine and form into small oval patties.

Grill for 4-5 minutes per side.

Makes 8 patties.

Plate the patties, then put the pepper sauce over. Garnish with the Nicoise olives and the fresh cilantro.

Serves 3-4.

Red Bell Peppers with Garlic, Black Olives and Crème Fraiche
with inspiration from Perla Meyers

1/3 cup pine nuts, toasted
A couple of swirls of extra virgin olive oil
2 fat garlic cloves, peeled and sliced
2 large red bell pepper, seeded and cut into julienne
1/3 cup chicken stock
2 tbsp crème fraiche
1/3 cup pitted Nicoise olives
1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Heat a large cast iron skillet on top of the stove. Add a couple of swirls of extra virgin olive oil. When hot but not smoking, add garlic and moderate the heat so garlic doesn’t burn. When you can really smell the garlic, add the red bell pepper and cook them until they start to soften.

Add the chicken stock and stir over moderately high heat until almost all the liquid is gone. Then add the crème fraiche.

Turn the heat down just a little and stir til the peppers absorb the crème fraiche. Add the pine nuts. This would be just as wonderful with rack of lamb or chops grilled to perfection!

Serves 3 -4.



cook eat FRET said...

literally made me salivate over here. great dish. those lamb patties sound killer.

Jessy and her dog Winnie said...

I have that same problem. I now i want that certain thing, but i just can't put my finger on it. And if i know what i want, i don't know how to prepare it. lol

RecipeGirl said...

Oh, I do love lamb... and the topping sounds awesome!

Mary Coleman said...

Claudia: Total killer meal.

Jessy: Somehow, you find out what it is and make it. I know you!!

Lori: You will love these peppers.

fluffernutter said...

Lamb shanks, ground lamb -- you grocery shop better than I do, and I want to go shopping with you some time.