Single In Seattle: Lamb Burgers & Oven Baked Frites

Note: Before I started Together In The Kitchen I had a blog of letters devoted to my daughter, Eva. It was my way of passing recipes down to her as well as stories of us being together in the kitchen.  I will continue letters to her on this blog from time to time.  xo, Michelle

Dear Eva,

I’m a lucky mama when it comes to your eating habits. So far you seem to like your greens: kale, spinach, bok choy, and collard. You enjoy them when simply prepared with olive oil, salt and pepper. But you seem to find JOY in them when I add garlic. Last night I sautéed organic spinach in sesame oil, garlic, salt and pepper and then added a sprinkling of sesame seeds. I almost fell over when you asked for more “leaves”. Moms tell me that toddler eating habits can change on a dime so each time you inhale your vegetables I wonder if it’s the last time and feel grateful.

When I lived in Seattle there was a restaurant I went to all the time: Cafe Campagne in the Pike Place Market. As a single woman, I enjoyed many a Sunday brunch there with girlfriends sipping coffee, reading the newspaper (yes, at that time we held in our hands actual newspapers! The iPad was only a remote patent in your father’s mind), and catching up on the latest gossip from the night before. When feeling decadent I used to order the Burger D’Agneau, a lamb burger with grilled balsamic onions, roasted red peppers, aïoli, and pomme frites.

Although my version of their lamb burger still needs work, and I bake the frites instead of frying them, this makes a fairly easy meal to put together on a weeknight.

Lamb Burgers: Place ground lamb in a bowl. In the meantime toast, in a small pan, a teaspoon each of coriander, cumin, and fennel seeds. Be careful not to burn them, you’ll know they’re ready when the seeds begin to give off a subtle and delicious aroma. Grind toasted seeds in mortar & pestle. Add to the lamb along with onion powder, garlic powder, a touch a cayenne, S&PP and gently mix. Form patties and grill. Serve with grilled onions.

Oven-Baked Frites: Think about one small russet potato per person. Cut into wedges, you can leave the skin on. Skinnier wedges make crispier (and to me, tastier) fries. Toss wedges with olive oil, S&P. Place tin foil on a baking sheet and add some cooking spray, otherwise the potatoes will stick. Spread out the potato wedges and bake at 400 degrees for about 25ish minutes until well browned and somewhat crispy.

Sautéed Spinach: Spinach is one of those vegetables that you have to wash many times to remove the dirt. I soak the spinach in bowl of water for a few minutes, rinse, then soak again in fresh water. You can use the salad spinner to dry the leaves. Or just use packaged pre-washed spinach, I do that all the time! Chop up some garlic, sautee in sesame or olive oil. When the garlic begins to brown add the spinach. It won’t take long to cook – and remember to start with a lot of leaves as spinach shrinks a lot when you sauté it.

If possible please try to use organic spinach. Spinach is considered on of the Dirty Dozen and may contain a high amount of pesticide residue.

I love you,

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