I just began eating lamb in Iceland this past December. Seven months later, you’d have sworn I was in utero looking like Pebbles with a lamb shank. Minus the red hair.
A juicy lamb burger with bright notes of parsley, chopped scallions, garlic, curry, and cumin, pan-fried and topped with creamy mint yogurt sauce and crunchy red cabbage. Such a happy marriage of flavors.
In other news, tomorrow I’m flying to Las Vegas for the World Series of Poker. Daniel plays in the tournament every year and I…well…I lie in the sun. And pretend to be Doug in “The Hangover”- semi-successful on that front. The first time I went to Vegas was my senior year of college. Daniel, Justin, and another of our guy friends, me, my sister, and our best friend, Sabrina. Essentially the cast of “Friends” but much more obscene. It was such a fun trip. And oddly enough, none of us quite operates under the notion of “What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas,” so we’ve got a trash bag full of tales to tell and retell and then tell again. Bless our children.
We’ve gone to parties at Pure, the Palms, and Tao, visited most of the casinos, stayed at Caesar’s Palace, the Rio, and now the Venetian. Lots to do in Vegas. I think the key to avoiding that feeling of “I’m unclear as to whether that woman in front of the Tropicana is actually a gentleman” and “Hey, is that a scantily-clad thirty-something or a prostitute?” is to take Vegas for what it’s worth. In all reality, it can be a very swanky place. Lots of luxury and even grandeur. There are beautiful casinos, five-star hotels, pools, and most importantly, some of the best restaurants in the country. It seems like every celebrity chef has opened a bistro or a lounge in the City of Sin. And the weather, as far as I’m concerned, is sublime. Hot, hot, hot, but without humidity. Gives me a chance to take off my semi-permanent wool socks for a minute.
I’m thrilled to be going this year because Daniel and I always have the best time. We’ve got tickets to Cirque de Soleil “O” on Friday night. Last year we saw “The Beatles: Love” and, for lack of a better word, loved it. I’ll be blogging throughout, so keep your fingers crossed that I come back without a shaved head, 2 1/2 Chinese symbols inked on my neck and forearm, and a marriage license. All very possible. But in a worst case scenario, here are my hopes: that I would look half as good with no hair as Demi Moore did in “G.I. Jane,” have 2 1/2 tattoos of symbols that actually mean what I intend them to (one being “cookie monster” and the other- “friend to dogs”), and Leonardo DiCaprio as my husb… you get the picture.
Have you been to Vegas? Did you like it?
For the Lamb Burgers (makes 1 burger)
- 4 oz fresh ground lamb
- 1 TBSP minced scallions
- 1/2 TBSP minced fresh parsley
- 1 tsp minced garlic
- dash each- salt, pepper, cumin, curry powder, cayenne pepper
For the Minted Yogurt Sauce
- 2 TBSP greek yogurt
- 2 tsp minced fresh mint
- dash each- salt, pepper
- pinch garlic powder
Combine all burger ingredients in a bowl and mix well with your hands.
Form into a patty and grill for about 5 minutes per side. You can also pan fry them with a teaspoon of olive oil for about 6 minutes per side.
In a small bowl, stir together the yogurt sauce ingredients and refrigerate for 10 minutes to let the flavors blend. Serve on top of your freshly grilled burger.