But it was the lamb sliders from Zola that really got my attention, and my friend Mariel decided, Duh, of course I'm going to make these at home. And I thought, Dude, that's the best idea I've ever heard! So I tried Mariel's recipe, and it was good, but because it was originally an Emeril recipe it was chock full of just about everything you can imagine, from cinnamon to all spice to clove to YOU NAME IT. And in the middle of all those spices, Mary's tiny little lamb was lost. (Oh! Speaking of lamb, have I ever told you the story of how I used to hate lamb? It's true! Up until about three years ago I couldn't stand the stuff. Turns out, like most things, the secret is in COOKING IT RIGHT.)
And since this is Memorial Day weekend, the weekend when one's mind wanders to all things grilled, I thought maybe you'd maybe think about making something other than boring old hot dogs and hamburgers maybe. Maybe you'd like to maybe make my lamb sliders maybe. If maybe you do, here's your shopping list:
- 1 large shallot, minced
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
- 1 jalapeño, seeded and minced
- 1 garlic clove, minced (Seriously? Just buy a garlic press already.)
- 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
- 3/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 3/4 pounds ground lamb
Mix that all up with your hands until it's all mixed up. This is my favorite part because it's like I'm playing with Play-Doh! And who doesn't like playing with Play-Doh! Meaty, meaty Play-Doh!
Let's take a moment to think about my awesome, awesome buns. Because I know what you're thinking. You're thinking, Where the H-E-DOUBLE-HOCKEY-STICKS am I gonna get tiny little hamburger rolls? And my answer to you is, THE SUPERMARKET SILLY!
Only they're not called Tiny Little Burger Rolls, they're called Dinner Rolls, and Jonny Moseley can tell you a thing or two about that.
So keep those dinner rolls in mind when you're shaping your tiny little lamb slider patties. They'll plump up as they cook, so make them slightly bigger than the roll.
Now throw those patties on the grill (or grill pan) and grill (or grill pan) them until they are slightly charred and cooked the way you like them, about 4 minutes per side for medium-rare.
Actually, that's a lie. Because if you cook these any longer than to medium-rare, I'm taking my recipe and I'm going home. Remember that story I told you about not liking lamb? It's because people INSIST on cooking it to well done and despite its name, well done is GROSSLY DONE.
Now, plop those babies on your buns, and maybe top with a little feta cheese and yogurt sauce? Maybe a tiny little slice of tomato? Or you know, ketchup and mustard or salsa or avocado or WHATEVER. It's YOUR BURGER. That's NOT cooked to well done.