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Monday, March 1, 2010

There's a reason I stopped being a vegetarian. And it says baaah baaah.

From the ages of about 9-19, I was a vegetarian. It wasn't for ethical reasons, instead my conversion was prompted by a bad fast food experience that ended with me in the hospital for about a week. Not fun. What lured me back to the other side? Lamb.

I could never eat beef again. Veal is delicious, but I suppose I could stop eating the succulent, succulent babies. I would miss chicken occasionally, but if I had to do without, I would. I don't like the swine, so bye-bye piggy. But lamb? There's nothing tastier than lamb when properly prepared.

But there's also nothing worse than lamb when it's poorly prepared. I'm not a big fan of rosemary on my lamb, I believe lamb should almost always be made with mint. In fact, I've never actually had lamb prepared in an Italian tradition that I've enjoyed. To my boyfriend, I likened Italians and lamb to Egyptians and pizza (when we were in Egypt, we ate the (allegedly) "best pizza" Cairo had to offer - chicken, bbq sauce and cheddar cheese on something resembling white bread) - inept! This declaration may cause controversy, but lamb is a pungent meat with a very strong flavor, you need equally powerful seasonings like mint, cumin, coriander, etc. to temper it.

Needless to say, when I'm craving a burger, 9 times out of 10, I'll go with ground lamb. I season the meat with torn fresh mint leaves, cumin, coriander, dill, salt, pepper, hot sauce (unabashed about my love) and garlic. I then mix with breadcrumbs and egg. Instead of putting cheese on top while they're on the grill, I like to crumble feta (another flavor strong enough to compete with the lamb) into the mixture, as well.

See the mint leaf in the one on the right? Yummmm.

The biggest complaint anybody could have about lamb is that it's fatty, but much of that problem can be rectified with the help of a Lean Mean Grilling machine (no shame).

I slathered the inside of a pita with mouhammara before I used it to tastily encase the burger.