Thursday Dinner: Cavender’s Lamb Burgers

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A long, long time ago, I asked for help to build a CNY food box for my friend in Little Rock, Ark. I did actually make one. It’s been sitting on my dining room table for weeks as I keep forgetting to pack and mail it to Allison. Her food kit arrived last month. Among the goodies involved was a shaker of Cavender’s Greek Seasoning. Greek seasoning from Arkansas?

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Yeah, Greek seasoning from Arkansas. Cavender’s has been making their Greek spice blends in Northwest Arkansas since the 1970s. Now call me crazy, but I didn’t think the Ozarks were a hotbed of Greek immigrants. Apparently, I am wrong.

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There’s less salt than my standby Greek seasoning from Symeon’s in Utica. This is good because it allows me (or you) to control the amount of salt that you are using in your recipe. This is not a lecture about controlling sodium, but controlling flavor. I like salt, but I also like adjusting flavors on my own.

Anyhow, the Cavender’s acted as the base spice for my lamb burgers.

WHAT WORKED: Cavender’s. I thought I went a little overboard here, but it balanced the lamb flavor nicely.

WHAT DIDN’T: Me. I had intended to open the pita by cutting along the edge, loading the pita with raw meat, then grilling it to cook everything through. What happened was that I mangled the pita with my paring knife. Instead, I made a traditionally-shaped burger and served it in between pita halves

WHAT DID THE WIFE SAY: “We should eat more burgers with pita. Sometimes I don’t like all of that bread from the roll.”

WILL IT MAKE ANOTHER APPEARANCE: Yes. I need a better pita to work with because I do want to make the burger inside of the pita eventually.

2014-09-11 at 17-23-37Cavender’s Lamb Burgers
By Jared Paventi

  • 8 oz. ground lamb
  • 1/8 cup Cavender’s Greek Seasoning (or other Greek seasoning)
  • 2 pita breads
  • Feta cheese
  • Spring mix lettuce
  • Tzatziki sauce

Preheat the grill on high, bringing it to at least 600 degrees.

Mix the ground lamb and Greek seasoning by hand in a bowl until the meat and spices are combined. Divide the meat into two equal portions. Pack the burgers by hand, rolling the meat with your palms, and forming a ball. Press the meat flat slightly by hand.

Add the burgers to the grill. Lower the heat on the side of the burgers to medium and press with your spatula to flatten. Cook 6 to 7 minutes and flip. Cook an additional 4 to 6 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 145 degrees.

Set the burger on one pita half, top with feta, lettuce, tzatziki and the other pita half. Serve.

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