Well Dined

31Dec/120

Christmas 2012

I wanted to do a big Christmas dinner, but I didn't want to be in the kitchen all Christmas Day. I also wanted to try something different than the usual rib roast and Yorkshire pudding. So I decided to do dinner on Christmas Eve and to do some easy, low-prep dishes for Brunch on Christmas Day.

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I ordered a half fresh ham through Whole Foods to try cooking a Christmas ham for the first time, but I made a few mistakes.  I wanted to cook it in the slow cooker with brown sugar and cider to make a glaze, but I didn't realize that "fresh ham" is not really what we consider ham - without the curing or smoke, it is more like a pork roast - so I didn't really get the flavor that I wanted.  I also couldn't get the whole thing to fit in my (very large) slow cooker insert, so I had to chop a chunk off - which actually ended up being a good thing because I roasted that piece and it came out better.

20Dec/120

International Burgers

Just because it's cold outside, doesn't mean you can't still make burgers.  And they don't have to be the standard plain burgers, either.  Here are two recipes that put a bit of a twist on the classic burger.

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First up - a Middle Eastern inspired spiced lamb burger with a creamy yogurt sauce.

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To make the patties, combine bread crumbs, lamb, turkey, onion, an egg, parsley, garlic, coriander, cumin, cinnamon, allspice, salt, and pepper.  Use a grill pan, griddle, or electric grill to cook the burgers.

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Make a sauce with yogurt, scallions, parsley, mint, oregano, lemon zest, lemon juice, cumin, coriander, sugar, and pepper.

Place the burgers inside pitas and stuff with fresh tomatoes and the yogurt sauce.

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For a Southwestern twist, we have Salsa Verde Turkey Burgers with Avocado Mayonnaise.

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To form the burgers, simply combine ground turkey, jarred salsa verde, breadcrumbs, and an egg.  Combine avocado, mayonnaise, and garlic to make a sauce.  Cook the burgers on a griddle (turkey falls apart too much to grill) and top with Pepperjack cheese and the sauce.  If they are in season - green tomatoes are also an excellent topper.