|Kofta Sliders with Lemon-Mint Sauce|
If you have been following More Than Burnt Toast you will know that I have been creating personal challenges based on a theme to infuse new life into my cooking adventures. Even every day food should be an adventure either with new ideas or experimenting with a new cuisine. Every day we should be excited about what we are eating even if it just means making use of a wonderful find at our local farmers market.
As my third personal challenge I am creating a menu from appetizer to dessert that highlights British Columbian cuisine and ultimately Okanagan cuisine. I will even be sharing a few recipes from local chefs and wineries. My Cuisine du Terroir Challenge reflects what our local producers have to offer in peak growing season. The most direct translation of the concept of terrior is “food of the earth”. Terroir is a French term used to describe the unique flavour imparted to food or drink by a region’s specific climate, soil, weather and growing conditions. I chose “Cuisine du Terroir” as the concept for my latest challenge because to me it means food with a strong sense of place. It has been 15 years since we moved across the country from the province of Ontario to live here in the Okanagan Valley in what they refer to as "God's Country. I can't envision anywhere else as my home and have the cascading vineyards and orchards, turquoise lakes and majestic mountains running through my veins.
To start us off I am offering my own version of Kofta Sliders with Lemon Mint Sauce for my Cuisine du Terroir menu. I find it difficult to find the tiny buns used for sliders so had a revelation while browsing the grocery aisles to use mini pitas instead. This in turn inspired me to create Mediterranean flavoured baby burgers/sliders which are a tasty beginning to our eclectic terroir menu. These are reminiscent of koftas, those deliciously fragrant kebabs flavoured with spices and fresh herbs. Add some feta cheese, a vibrant three-ingredient sauce, some heirloom tomatoes and lettuce for an easy barbecued appetizer that's sure to satisfy...while waiting for the next course to be served.
There are about 75,000 sheep in British Columbia. Forty three per cent of the sheep are raised on Vancouver Island and the Lower Mainland, with 19% in our region the Thompson-Okanagan. Local lamb can be sourced at one of our local producers Vale Farms in Lumby.
**Kofta Sliders with Lemon-Mint Sauce**
2/3 cup plain low-fat yogurt
2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
2 teaspoons grated lemon rind
1/2 cup feta cheese, crumbled
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 lb (450 g) ground lamb
1 tsp cumin seeds, crushed
1 tsp coriander seeds, crushed
1 tbsp pine nuts
3-4 tablespoons grated yellow onion, with juice
1 clove garlic, grated or finely chopped
1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup minced fresh parsley
pinch of cinnamon
12 baby pitas
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
2 plum tomatoes, thinly sliced
1/2 cup watercress leaves or shredded lettuce
To prepare sauce, combine the first 6 ingredients in a small bowl; cover and chill until ready to serve.
Toast the cumin seeds, coriander seeds and pine nuts over a high heat. Remove and place in a mortar and pestle or food processor and crush. Add the crushed seeds and nuts to the ground lamb as well as the garted onion, crushed garlic, onion, thyme, salt, turmeric, crushed red pepper, fresh parsley, and a pinch of cinnamon and combine.
To prepare sliders, divide mixture into 4 equal portions, then form each portion into three 3 (2-inch) patties.Grill or skillet-cook the patties 4 to 5 inches from medium heat 13 to 15 minutes, turning occasionally to ensure even browning on both sides, until lamb is no longer pink in center. To Broil: Set oven control to broil. Place patties on rack in broiler pan. Broil with tops 2 to 3 inches from heat 13 to 15 minutes, turning occasionally to ensure even browning on both sides, until lamb is no longer pink in center.
To each of the 12 pitas add one patty. Top each with red onion, tomatoes, watercress (or shredded lettuce), and 1 teaspoon of Lemon-Mint Sauce.
Serve to applause and enjoy!!!
You are reading this post on More Than Burnt Toast at http://morethanburnttoast.blogspot.com. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to the author/owner of More Than Burnt Toast. All rights reserved by Valerie Harrison.