Sometimes you just need red meat. I eat a lot of vegetarian dishes during the week, because it’s easy, convenient and doesn’t require planning ahead (aka defrosting or purchasing meat). Stanbys include pasta, veggie chili, shakshuka and soup. But, sometimes I just want a burger. You get that, right? This recipe is not only easy, but effing delicious. The recipe calls for ground lamb, but I used ground beef. Cumin, coriander and cinnamon flavor the meat which sits between two flatbreads and is then grilled to juicy perfection. The beef cooks inside the flatbread creating a crunchy juicy burger scenario unlike anything you’ve ever tried. Please make these. They’re effing delicious.
Spiced Flatbread Burgers
Adapted from Bon Appetit
1 lb ground beef
1 small onion, finely chopped
1/4 cup flat leaf parsley, chopped
1/2 tbs coriander
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp salt
freshly ground pepper
3 flatbreads or pitas
Mix the beef, onion, parsley, coriander, cumin, cinnamon, salt, pepper in a large bowl. Heat grill or grill pan to medium heat brush with olive oil. Cut the flatbread into four triangles and place filling onto flatbread wedges and top with another wedge. I put about an inch of meat. Grill flatbread sandwiches until filling is cooked through and bread is crisp, about 5 minutes per side. Serve with Israeli salad.
Nothing says summertime like potato salad. And hot dogs. And fireworks and sunburn and watermelon. The perfect BBQ side, potato salad is a diverse dish that can be easily adapted to suit your tastes. You can go old school and use mayo and mustard or you can go the olive oil and vinegar route. Choose your preferred tater— red potatoes, sweet potatoes, yukon gold and fingerling work well. Then you add the fixings— chopped egg, pickles, celery, red onion, fresh herbs, capers, the sky’s the limit! This particular recipe calls for sauteed leeks, which are just divine and so springy. I decided to add capers for a little bite. Next time, I might add diced red pepper or red onion for a little more crunch and color. Pairs well with a slab of ribs. But, really, what doesn’t pair well with a slab of ribs?
Wash your leeks!
Potato Salad with Leeks
Adapted from Bon Appetit
3 1/2 lbs of small yukon gold potatoes
3 medium leeks (pale green and white parts only)
1 tbsp kosher salt plus more for seasoning
1 tbsp white wine vinegar
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
6 tbsp olive oil
Handful of capers
Place potatoes in a large pot and cover with cold water. Add 1 tbsp of salt and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and cook for about 10-15 minutes until the potatoes are tender. Drain. When potatoes cool, cut them in half. Cut your leeks in half lengthwise and then into 1/4 inch pieces crosswise. Place the leeks in a large bowl and fill with cold water. Swish the leeks around to loosen the dirt. You will start to see the dirt settle in the bottom of the bowl. Remove leeks with a slotted spoon and repeat the process until you are satisfied that the leeks are cleaned. In a frying pan, heat 2 tbsp of olive oil over medium heat and add leeks. Season with salt and saute for about 10 minutes. Whisk 4 tbsp of olive oil, Dijon and white wine vinegar together in a large bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Add potatoes, leeks and capers and toss in the vinaigrette. You can make this dish 1 day ahead. It’s best when the flavors have time to marinate together.
During one cruel summer at Park Day Camp, tuna fish was declared uncool by the Sisterhood of Evil, aka my seven-year-old peers. Those who dared to consume tuna were banished to eat lunch in the projects of grassy lunchtime real estate— far away from the cool crowd. That summer, mustard (my favorite sandwich condiment) and bangs (had ’em) also qualified as abhorrent. I might as well have just become home schooled. Even in middle school there was a period where fish was again uncool to eat. What the heck people? Fish is delicious. Fish is sophisticated and healthy. It can be prepared in any number of ways — roasted, poached, fried. It can even be served raw. Can you say the same about chicken? No. Salmonella anyone? So needless to say, the fish-haters did not get to me and I remained a loyal and fervent fish fan. Whenever I find a fish recipe that’s not tilapia or salmon, I get very excited. This mackerel recipe definitely intrigued me. Boldly flavored fish on a bed of crispy roasted potatoes with a tangy yogurt sauce. Yum. Quite frankly, if you don’t like it, you can sit somewhere else.
Mackerel with Crushed Potatoes
Based on this recipe from Bon Appetit
1 whole mackerel filleted, skin left on
5 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper
4 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 tsp lemon zest
4 tbsp chopped parsley
1 tsp chopped basil
1 lb yukon gold potatoes or fingerlings
1/2 cup plain whole-milk Greek yogurt
1 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp white wine vinegar
Preheat the broiler. Place potatoes in a pot of boiling water, add a good amount of kosher salt. Let the potatoes cook for about 15 minutes. Drain and let cool. Put the potatoes on a sheet pan and using a measuring cup press the potatoes down to flatten slightly. Pour over 4 tablespoons of olive oil, crushed garlic and season with salt and pepper. Place under the broiler for 10-12 minutes. Meanwhile, whisk together the yogurt, lemon juice and vinegar and season with salt and pepper. Take the potatoes out and put the fish fillets skin side up on the potatoes and pour the remaining tbsp of olive oil on the fish and season with salt and pepper. Place the fish and potatoes back under the broiler for 10-12 minutes. The fish skin and potatoes should be crispy and delicious and the fish should flake easily. Top with basil, parsley, zest and sea salt. Spoon some yogurt sauce on your plate and top with potatoes and fish. Heaven. On. A. Plate.