A close friend of mine from undergrad recently sent me a cookbook based on the menu at Caseus New Haven, one of her favorite restaurants in the town in Euphemistic Connecticut where her fiance is working on his Ph.D. A few look too complicated by half, but this one is quite do-able. N.b. that the pea shoots are in season right now and are available pretty cheaply at Trader Joe's in my neighborhood.
The book recommends adding cured lemons to these. It apparently takes three weeks to make the cured lemons. Maybe I'll tackle curing lemons the next time that I'm looking for a weekend project; maybe some of you will, too. Still, these are delicious without them.
1 shallot, chopped fine
1 lb. ground lamb
1 clove garlic, chopped fine
A little butter for the pan
Mayonnaise (whatever brand you like; I went cheapskate because that's what I had in the fridge)
Neal's Yard Dairy Colston Bassett Stilton (available at Whole Foods, in our neighborhood at least. If you can't get it, another Stilton or a Roquefort would also probably be OK. )
1. Preheat the oven to 350.
2. Combine the lamb, chopped garlic, shallot, and salt in a bowl. Combine into patties with your hands. Drop them into a pan with butter and cook until they're brown on each side on medium-high heat. This will vary according to your stove and the thickness of your patties, but five minutes-ish on each side is a reasonable guesstimate of how long it'll take.
3. Slice and butter the rolls and put them in the oven to toast, along with the burgers. How long this will take will vary a bit, but I estimate about two minutes. At that point, take the burgers out and put a small slice of the Stilton on each. Toast for another minute.
4. Spread the mayonnaise on the bottom half of the rolls. Add the burgers on top. Top burgers with pea shoots.
I served these with a simple spinach salad because it's light enough to contrast well with such a rich dish. Lightly sauteed mushrooms might also be really good, though.
Unfortunately, Willow also had a bout of excessive enthusiasm about these. While Ilya was trying to get another helping, she... uh... jumped up on the counter and stole one from under his nose. Apparently dogs love rare and expensive Stilton! Good to know. Well, we'll work more on the counter-surfing this week. And we'll look forward to possibly picking up useful tips about it in exciting Intermediate Obedience.