My mother is amazing in the kitchen. I owe much of my culinary craft and creativity to her. Honestly, I don’t know if my creativity and talent could have ever have been learned, but that it has been more of an evolution and an inherent trait as a result of living the life and in the arms of the gifted mother that I have.
Part of her blessing and a trait that we will always share is the absolute inability to follow a recipe. I’ve mentioned this before…recipes are for inspiration only in our household. The kitchen is for experimentation and free reign.
For a recent dinner party, my fantastically “free reigning” mother adapted this creation from something she’d seen at one point or another in her cookbook browsing moments: Spicy Lamb Sliders with Caramelized Onions. They were absolutely, without a doubt, utterly incredible (and she even left the mint jelly off of mine ).
In the spirit of deviating from recipes and morphing ideas into our own, I have hijacked her sliders…
But I promise, these are just as close to marvelous, if not similarly super sensational.
Hijacked Spicy Lamb Sliders***
***Spicy as in intricately and amazingly “spiced” more than hot and spicy
1 Tbs. whole cloves
1 tsp. cumin seeds
1/2 cinnamon stick
1 1/2 lbs. ground lamb (75-85% lean)
2 Tbs. fresh mint, minced
2 Tbs. fresh flat leaf parsley, minced
2 Tbs. sweet onion, finely minced
1/4 tsp. sea salt
Cayenne pepper, to taste
Black pepper, to taste
Combine the cloves, cumin, and cinnamon stick in a dry fry pan over medium heat. Toast the spices, shaking the pan to prevent burning, until fragrant. Remove from heat (transfer from pan) and cool completely. Finely grind toasted spices in a spice grinder or by hand (mortar and pestle). Transfer to a large bowl and add ground lamb and remaining ingredients. Mix well. Form the mixture into slider sized patties (6-8 total).
In a large fry pan over medium heat, pan fry the sliders, turning once. Aim for “medium rare” preparation, about 4 minutes per side.
Serve immediately – atop fresh Roma tomato slices, cucumber, or “base” of choice. Top with fresh parsley or mint (or both), if desired.