Sunday, May 8, 2016

BBQ Lamb Burgers with Yogurt Sauce

While cruising the grocery aisle after work one day, my eye caught a sale on ground grassfed lamb. I am a huge fan of lamb (as long as I don't think too hard about it) and it is such a great protein to add to your rotation of recipes. The cool thing about this dish is many of the ingredients are used twice: in the burgers AND in the sauce. I made a double batch and came up with 7 huge burgers. The barbecued burgers and cool yogurt sauce were a big hit on a warm night.

What you need:
1 lb ground lamb
Chopped red onion
Minced garlic
1 egg
Dry dill
Dry mint
Onion soup mix
Worcestshire sauce
Greek Yogurt

Mix together the lamb, about 1/4 cup chopped onion, a few cloves of minced garlic, a handful of breadcrumbs, the egg, about a tablespoon of the dill, teaspoon of the mint and half the package of onion soup mix. Form the mixture into patties. Grill to desired doneness (I seared mine on each side on the bottom rack, then transferred to the top for about another 15 minutes while I cooked some veggies).

 Yogurt sauce: Mix together about a cup of Greek yogurt, some chopped red onion and fresh garlic, the same dill and mint you used for the burgers plus a little extra, salt and pepper.

To assemble burgers, throw your favorite buns on the grill to toast, spread the yogurt sauce on both sides, top with thinly sliced cucumber, red onion and a lamb burger. Enjoy!

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Lightened Up Chicken Piccata

I had never made Chicken Piccata before this dish. It sounded like something fun to try, and as I started poking around the internet I realized it can be a very buttery, and calorie laden dish. I tried a few tricks to lighten it up and it turned out wonderful.

Here's what you need:

1 lb thin cut chicken breast
1/2 cup flour
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/2 cup white cooking wine
2 cloves chopped garlic
1/2 bunch chopped parsley
The juice of 2 large lemons
The zest of one lemon
Chicken broth (about 3/4 cup)
Grapeseed oil

First, lay your chicken out on a cutting board with a layer of plastic wrap over the top. Using a kitchen mallet, pound out your pieces of chicken breast until they are a little thinner, depending on how thick your butcher cut those pieces. You want them about 1/2 inch at the thickest part. Dump the flour on a dinner plate and season liberally with salt and pepper. Coat each piece of chicken with the flour mixture.

Heat a large pan on medium high heat with a couple tablespoons of grapeseed oil. I use grapeseed because it has a high smoke point. Pan fry each piece of chicken until golden brown on both sides, remove from the pan to a cooling rack to drain.

Now for the sauce. Turn the heat on your pan down to medium low. Add the garlic and sautee until it just barely starts to brown. Add the chicken stock and white wine, whisking to get all of the brown bits stuck to the bottom of the pan to come up and incorporate into the liquid. In a small bowl, add a tablespoon or so of water to the cornstarch and whisk. Add this cornstarch slurry to the cooking liquid. Instead of thickening up the sauce with a ton of butter, this will help us get a silky consistency with less calories. Add the chicken back into the pan with the lemon juice and simmer in the liquid for about 10 minutes, until chicken is cooked through. Stir in the lemon zest, parsley and a few tablespoons of capers. That's it! A fancy dish without the traditional number of calories to serve at your next dinner party. I took leftovers to work and it was even good the next day. Enjoy!