Since I can't afford to take them out for kofta and shawarma every week, I had to come up with a home version. Into the base of ground lamb goes some fine chopped onion, pine nuts, allspice and cinnamon, parsley, salt and pepper.
I make Brian squish it all together and shape it into patties. It's nice to delegate the icky part of the recipe.
Then I pop them in a non-stick or cast iron pan and cook away:
Then serve it with your favorite Middle Eastern sides and accompaniments:
Tahini lemon sauce, chopped salad with sumac lemon dressing, red lentil soup, homemade pita and "Fiona's Favorite" lamb patties.I couldn't stand the thought of going to the store (sometimes I suffer from severe retail aversion) and it was a good thing too because tonight I discovered that making your own pita is really easy and really good. I followed this recipe from the blog, Brown Eyed Baker, though as a lazy person, I let my Kitchen Aid do all the kneading. Since we were heading down to the FestiFools parade and this outing would interrupt the regular timing for the second rising, after I weighed and shaped the individual dough balls, I set them on a parchment covered baking sheet and loosely covered them with plastic wrap before sticking them in the fridge. When we got back, they rolled out nicely and puffed up when I baked them on the pizza stone. And the sensation of popping a lamb patty into a fresh, warm pita? Fantastic!
Fiona literally started jumping around the house with excitement when I told her I'd be making lamb patties for dinner tonight, and for a kid who is indifferent-to-hostile to most dinner foods, that is something to see.
1 lb ground lamb (can also use ground beef if you are not fond of lamb, though Fiona will think you are crazy)
2 T toasted pine nuts, chopped fine (or toasted almonds)
2 T onion, chopped fine (about 1/4 of a small onion)
1/2 t cinnamon
3/4 t allspice
1 t salt
1/2 t ground black pepper
1/4 C chopped parsley
In a bowl, combine all ingredients and mix well until evenly combined.
Take heaping tablespoons of the meat mixture and roll into balls, then flatten into patties (12 total, 4 per person). Or divide up into 8 larger balls (like Brian did tonight) and give out 2 per person.
Pan fry in a non-stick or seasoned cast iron skillet until browned on both sides and no longer pink in the middle.
To serve, stuff patties in a pita with tomato, cucumbers, lettuce and tahini lemon sauce or hummus.
* The leanest ground lamb I've found has come from the folks who sell it frozen at the Ann Arbor Farmer's Market. They aren't there all weeks, but when they are I try to pick some up.