November is the cruelest month

November is the cruelest month

Yes, I know the cruelest month is supposed to be April, but for me it’s November, the month of the time change that plunges us into early darkness. That really cramps my style since I’m not a morning person and not fond of going out when it’s already dark, especially if I have to drive. (It’s not that I can’t see; I just don’t like it.) So my days are all too short, and just in time for my birthday, which was a big one this year.

I also wasn’t feeling well during November, although after some testing it seems it was mostly just the residual effects of my bout of Lyme disease and some medication issues. And then there was that election;  let’s just say I’m NOT in the holiday spirit.

The net result of this past November was that I did minimal cooking and minimal blogging, so I never did think about a Recipe Of the Month, or do a roundup of my Best Bites. I will rectify both of those omissions now.

Photos are below. and below that are notes on making lamb burgers.

For lamb burgers, I start with a pound of ground lamb in a bowl and add a little finely chopped onion or shallot. (When I’m ambitious I chop it less finely and sauté it briefly in olive oil.)

I also added bread crumbs moistened with a little milk, and dried mint, plus salt & pepper. Dried mint is preferable to fresh here because…well, it just is and that’s how my relatives always made it. I usually throw in an egg, too, and maybe a little glug of olive oil. If I have feta, I crumble about a third-cup into the bowl, too. Hand mixing is best, but try not to overdo it or it’ll toughen the meat.

Then I form it into patties, about 3 patties per pound of ground lamb and either broil them on an oiled broiler rack, or sauté in a skillet with olive oil. Turn carefully, as it might fall apart a little – this recent batch I made really fell apart for some reason!

I cook about 4-5 minutes per side, as I don’t care for lamb well done. But I also wouldn’t want this as rare as I like, say, lamb chops or roast leg of lamb. Medium with a hint of pink is perfect for burgers.

Sometimes I tuck them into pitas with a little yogurt, but in November I served them with peas and split, roasted potatoes from a very easy recipe I found online. You can see in the photo, they nearly burned…so careful!

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