Sunday, May 16, 2010

Sweet and Spicy Sliders with Marrakesh Carrot Salad

This recipe is a delightful combination of beef and lamb with chopped apricots, dates that gives it a Moroccan flare! 

This recipe calls for an ingredient called Harissa; which is most commonly used  in North African cuisines in countries such as Tunisia, Morocco, Libya and Algeria.  It is a delicious sauce that adds a depth of flavor and the right amount of spice to your dish.  You can find a variety of Harissa recipes on-line; if you wish to make it homemade, but most specialty stores will carry prepared Harissa.

Sweet and Spicy Slider Burgers


1 ½ pounds ground beef
½ pound ground lamb
2 ounces dried apricots, diced
2 ounces pitted dried dates, diced
1 ½ teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
3 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
1 tsp minced garlic
1/4 tsp ground fennel
1/4 tsp coriander
1/4 tsp cayenne
2 teaspoons harissa
2 teaspoons kosher salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Wheat dinner buns for sliders or regular hamburger buns.
Green lettuce rinsed and dried

Prepare a medium-hot fire in a charcoal grill with a cover, or preheat a gas grill to medium high.

Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl. Handling the meat as little as possible to avoid compacting it, mix well. Weigh 3oz of beef mixture to create sliders or 6oz to make a regular hamburger patty.

Brush the grill rack with vegetable oil. Place the patties on the rack, cover, and cook, turning once, until done to preference, about 5 minutes on each side for medium.

During the last few minutes of cooking, place the rolls, cut side down, on the outer edges of the rack to toast lightly.

Marrakesh Carrot Salad

Juice of 1 lemon
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground paprika
¼ teaspoon crushed red chile flakes
1 teaspoon kosher or coarse sea salt
1 teaspoon honey
1 teaspoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound carrots, peeled and grated

Combine the lemon juice, garlic, cumin, cinnamon, paprika, chile flakes, and salt in a bowl. Mix well to combine. Add the honey, parsley, olive oil, and carrots and mix well. Cover and refrigerate until assembling the burgers.

To assemble the burgers, drain the carrot salad and squeeze out excess moisture with your hands.  On each roll bottom, place lettuce, a patty, and some carrot salad. Add the roll tops and serve. 


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