Reinventing the Slider or Thank You White Castle

             

Ever hear of a guy named Walter Anderson? Well, he’s the culinary genius who gave us White Castle and the world famous concept of the slider (they call it a slyder, just so we’re clear here). Thanks to good ole Walt, we can all chow down on lots of teeny tiny burgers and call ourselves gourmets. While my youth was spent gobbling down those 2 ½ in square mouthfuls of ground beef and onions my adult years have seen me take my fascination with these burger babies to a whole new level.

This mini teeny tiny burgers craze has been sweeping low and high eating establishments for years now and I’ve taken it upon myself to sample quite a few of the more outlandish ones. Sliders are smaller than the super sized fast food staples we’ve grown accustomed to but small in size doesn’t mean it has to be small in the flavor department. Your sliders don’t have to be limited to beef they can be a reinvented by using chicken, or fish or even veggies.

If sliders are guilty pleasures then lock me up and throw away the key. Better yet, put me in the kitchen with these following recipes and sentence me to a life time of eating these delicious treats.

 Note: The best way to assemble and serve your sliders is to place all the sliced rolls (toasted if you prefer them that way) on a platter and  top each bottom, in an assembly line fashion with the lettuce, tomatoes, dressing, ketchup, mayo or mustard you’re using.

 

MUSHROOM AND BEEF SLIDERS

 

3 pounds ground beef

salt and pepper to taste

1 tablespoon margarine

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 lb sliced mushrooms (your choice but I like to use at least 2 different kinds)

1 red onion diced

2 tablespoons white wine

Dijon mustard and mayonnaise to taste

12 dinner rolls

 

Melt margarine and olive oil in large sauté pan. Add the mushrooms, onion and wine and sauté just until the mushrooms and onions are soft, season with salt and pepper to taste. Set the vegetables aside. In a bowl combine the ground beef, salt, and pepper in bowl, divide the meat into 4 ounces patties. You can cook them on a grill or in a grill pan. Toast the buns slightly and spread the mayonnaise and Dijon mustard on them.  Place beef patty on bottom bun and spoon the mushroom and onion mixture over the patty and top with the remaining bun.  Makes 12.

 

Submitted by Art Rostburn Trenton NJ

 

HOT LOX SLIDERS

 

1 lb lox (smoked salmon)

4 green onions, minced

2 tablespoons fresh minced dill

1 tablespoon lemon juice

3 tablespoons Dijon mustard

1 tablespoon olive oil

pepper

1 egg

3 to 4 tablespoon breadcrumbs

2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil

8 small dinner rolls, toasted

8 slices cucumber

8 slices of avocado 

 

Place the lox in the bowl of a food processor and pulse a few times to get smallish pieces. Be careful not to make it a puree. Place the minced lox in a bowl and add the, egg, bread crumbs, green onions, dill, and lemon juice, mustard and olive oil. Season with pepper. Form the mixture into 8 small patties. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a skillet and lightly sear both sides of the patty and immediately place it on the bottom half of toasted roll. Top with a cucumber and avocado slice and place the top on top. Makes 8

 

CARAMELIZED ONION TURKEY SLIDERS

 

Onions:

2 teaspoons olive oil

1 large sweet onion, thinly sliced

Pinch salt and pepper

2 teaspoon sugar

1/3 cup of your favorite BBQ sauce

 

Burger:

1 lb ground turkey

2 teaspoon olive oil

1 celery stalk, finely chopped

2 green onions, finely chopped

1 tablespoon Tabasco sauce

1 tsp smoked paprika

1/4 cup mayonnaise

salt and pepper

8 rolls

 

Heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil in a skillet. Saute the celery and green onion and season with salt and pepper. Cook until slightly soft, about 6 to 8 minutes. Set the mixture aside.

 

In the same skillet, heat 2 more teaspoons olive oil. When oil is hot saute the onions with the sugar and season with salt and pepper and cook. Saute about 15 20 minutes until the onions are golden, stir occasionally.

 

In a bowl combine the ground turkey, Tabasco sauce, smoked paprika, mayonnaise and cooked onion and celery mixture. Season with salt and pepper. Gently combine the ingredients. Make 8 small patties. Either spray a skillet with non stick spray or heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in the skillet. Cook until the bottoms are just turning brown, about 4 minutes. Flip the burgers, baste with bbq sauce and cook 4 more minutes. Flip once again, baste it with the bbq sauce and cook for 2 or 3 more minutes. Place patty in bun and top with caramelized onions. Makes 8.

 

LAMB SLIDERS WITH MOCK YOGURT SAUCE

 

Sauce:

1/2 cup mock yogurt

1/2 tablespoon minced garlic

3 tablespoons grated cucumber

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

salt to taste

 

Burgers:

1 1/2 pound lean ground lamb

2 tablespoons minced garlic

2 tsp salt

2 teaspoons cracked black pepper

1 tablespoon olive oil

8 to 10 small rolls, split (mini sandwich rolls or small dinner rolls work great)

Preparation:

 

To make the sauce: In a small bowl, combine  the mock yogurt, garlic, cucumber, olive oil, lemon juice, parsley, pepper and salt. Refrigerate until ready to use.

 

To make the lamb burgers: In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients except the oil. Form the mixture into 8 to 10 small, thin patties. Heat a skillet (cast iron is good to use) over high heat and brush with oil. Add the lamb burgers and cook for about 2-3 minutes on each side for medium.

 

Lightly toast the rolls, then place a lamb burger in each and top with the sauce. Makes 8 to 10.

 

Modified from epicurious

 

CHICKEN AND VEGGIE SLIDERS

 

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 green bell pepper, chopped

1/2 medium red onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, chopped

2 boneless skinless chicken breasts

1/2 cup barbecue sauce

1/4 can (7 ounces) chipotle peppers in adobo sauce

8 small buns

1/2 cup minced mushrooms (I like portabella)

8 tomatoes slices

2 cups bean sprouts

 

 Heat the oil in a skillet. Saute the pepper, mushrooms, onion and garlic in the skillet until they start to get a little soft. Add the chicken, barbecue sauce, chipotles and 1/4 cup water; cover and simmer until chicken is done, about 20 minutes. Preheat oven to 375. Remove chicken from sauce; place on a plate to cool for 5 minutes. Shred the chicken and return it to the sauce stirring to coat. Place the bottom half of the buns on a cookie sheet. Divide the chicken mixture evenly between them and then top with tomato slices and the sprouts. Top with the top of the bun, secure with a tooth pick and serve.  Makes 8

 

Modified from Self magazine recipe (date unknown)

 

SHRIMP SLIDERS

 

1 1/4 pounds salmon filets chopped (not too small)

1 large egg, lightly beaten

1 tablespoon mayonnaise

2 teaspoons lemon juice

A few dashes of hot sauce

2 teaspoons Old Bay seasoning

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

2 tablespoons chopped cilantro

3 green onions, chopped, green and white parts

1 1/4 cups crushed crackers (approx 24 crackers)

12 mini buns, split

Toppings: tartar sauce, sliced red onions, cucumber slices (at least 24)

 

Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and coat it with cooking spray. In a bowl combine the egg, mayonnaise, lemon juice, hot sauce, Old Bay, salt, pepper, cilantro, green onions. Fold in the chopped salmon and cracker crumbs, the mixture will be very thick. Shape the mixture into 12 patties. Place the patties on the cookie sheet and cover them with plastic wrap and refrigerate them for at least one hour (you can refrigerate overnight).

 

To Bake:

Preheat oven to 375. Place baking sheet with shrimp patties in the oven and bake for 10-12 minutes, or until firm and shrimp have turned pink.

 

To Pan-Fry:

Heat 2 tablespoons vegetable oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Cook shrimp patties 4 minutes on each side or until golden. Drain on paper towels.

 

To Finish:

Place the patties on bottom halves of buns, top with tartar sauce, red onions, and 2 cucumber slices each. Makes 12 sliders or 4 full-sized burgers;

 

Adapted Southern Living Magazine (date unknown)

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Hazelnuts Are 4 Everyone

Of all the nuts I have hanging around my house (hubby and kids not withstanding) the one that used to be taken out only for special occasions was the hazelnuts (AKA filberts). Then I was introduced to Nuttella ® a wonderful chocolaty hazelnut spread that made my taste buds stand up and say WOW give me more!!! I had, prior to that culinary revelation, only used hazelnuts in a few cookies and an occasional cake or two. Trying a chocolate hazelnut spread on toast for breakfast (don’t judge me) made me realize just how versatile that little nut could be.

A hazelnut has a sweet slightly unusual flavor and unique texture make them perfect for both sweet and savory dishes.  But, wait, there’s more. This nut has some real substantial nutrition to offer.

Hazelnut is a terrific source of vitamin E, protein, and fiber as well as being a great source for antioxidants. The hazelnut is readily available BUT they can be a tad more expensive than a peanut, pecan or almond. That’s why most recipes tend to use them as a side note or accent rather than a main ingredient. The following recipes will let you take them from appetizer to dessert and will open the door to hazelnut heaven.

Note: Nuttella ® is available at most grocery stores right next to the peanut butter.

 

CRUNCHY HAZELNUT BARS

Cookie

1 1/2 cup flour

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup butter, room temperature

1/2 cup cocoa

2 tablespoons flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

3 eggs

1/4 cup butter, at room temperature

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 cups packed brown sugar

2 cups hazelnuts, toasted and coarsely chopped

2 cups shredded coconut

Preheat oven to 350. Grease a 9 x 13-inch baking pan. In a bowl combine the 1 1/2 cups flour, 1/2 cup brown sugar and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Add the 1/2 cup butter and mix to combine until the mixture is crumbly. Press the mixture into the bottom of the greased pan. Bake for 15 minutes and remove from the oven. While to base is cooling make the topping

In a bowl, combine the cocoa with the 2 tablespoons flour, baking powder and salt and set it aside. In another bowl whisk together the eggs, butter, vanilla and sugar. Whisk in the cocoa mixture until blended. Stir in the hazelnuts and coconut. Pour the mixture over the crust and make sure it covers it completely.

Reduce heat to 325. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes. Cool for 15 to 20 minutes before cutting. Makes 16

Submitted by Ronnie Mixser-Hoffman Chicago IL

SIMPLE TILAPIA WITH LEMON AND HAZELNUT

6 six-eight ounce fillets of tilapia

Butter or olive oil

Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

1/3 cup hazelnuts, coarsely ground

Juice of 1 lemon

1 tablespoon butter

4 teaspoons flour

3/4 cup vegetable broth

3 tablespoons white wine

Preheat oven to 350. Grease a 9X13 baking dish and place the fillets in the prepared pan. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Brush the top of each fillet with melted butter and top each fillet with a tablespoon of chopped hazelnuts. Sprinkle the top of each fillet with fresh lemon juice Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the fish flakes easily. Remove the fish to a warm plate and then melt 1 tablespoon of butter in a skillet and add the flour.  Whisk to blend until smooth but don’t let it brown. Add the stock and wine and stir until smooth. Pour the sauce over the fish and serve. Serves 6

HAZELNUT CRUSTED CHICKEN WITH RASPBERRY SAUCE

Great over salad greens or rice

3/4 cup fresh raspberries (about 3 1/2 ounces)

3 tablespoons white wine vinegar

1 tablespoon sugar

1/2 cup oil

3 to 6 teaspoons water (optional)

Chicken:

1 cup chopped hazelnuts (about 4 1/2 ounces)

3/4 cup panko or plain dried breadcrumbs

1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon coarse kosher salt

3 teaspoons ground black pepper, divided

1/3 cup honey mustard

1/4 cup mayonnaise

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

4 large butterflied skinless boneless chicken breasts

4 tablespoons unsalted butter

3 tablespoons oil

4 cups salad greens

1/2 cup fresh raspberries

raspberry sauce:

In a food processor or blender combine the 3/4 cup raspberries, white wine vinegar, and sugar and process until smooth. With blender running, gradually add the oil. Add water by teaspoonfuls as needed to thin to desired consistency. Season raspberry sauce to taste with salt and pepper.

For chicken:

Preheat oven to 375. In a bowl combine the hazelnuts, breadcrumbs, 1 tablespoon coarse salt, and 2 teaspoons pepper.  In another bowl combine the honey mustard, mayonnaise, Dijon mustard, remaining 1 teaspoon coarse salt, and remaining 1 teaspoon pepper in bowl. Add the chicken to the mayonnaise mixture and turn to coat. Then dip the chicken pieces, 1 at a time, into crumb-nut mixture, coating both sides and pressing to adhere. Transfer coated chicken pieces to baking sheet.

Divide equal amounts of butter and oil between 2 large nonstick skillets; heat over medium-high heat. Add 2 chicken pieces to each skillet; reduce heat to medium and cook until chicken is light brown, about 4 minutes per side. Place chicken on rimmed baking sheet; transfer to oven. Roast chicken until cooked through, about 15 minutes.  Serve immediately with fresh raspberries and serve raspberry sauce alongside.

Modified from epicurious.com

  HAZELNUT LAMB BURGERS

Debbie Russell of Colorado Springs won a 1st Prize at the Build a Better Burger Cook-off with this recipe and it truly deserved to win, it’s amazing

2 pounds ground lamb

1/2 cup Cabernet Sauvignon

1/2 cup minced red onion

1/2 cup fresh Italian bread crumbs

2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

1 tablespoons chopped fresh basil, or 1 teaspoon crumbled dried basil

1 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary, or 1 teaspoon crumbled dried rosemary

1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme, or 1 teaspoon crumbled dried thyme

1 garlic clove, minced

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/2 cup chopped blanched hazelnuts

1/4 cup unseasoned dried Italian bread crumbs

Vegetable oil, for brushing on the grill rack

6 large sesame seed sandwich buns split

6 tablespoons fresh goat cheese (about 3 ounces)

1/4 cup Dijon mustard

1 bunch spinach leaves

6 large tomato slices

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

To make the patties, combine the lamb, Cabernet Sauvignon, onion, fresh bread crumbs, parsley, basil, rosemary, thyme, garlic, salt, and pepper in a large bowl. Handling the meat as little as possible to avoid compacting it, mix well. Divide the mixture into 6 equal portions and form the portions into patties to fit the buns. On a plate, combine the hazelnuts and dried bread crumbs. Press both sides of each patty into the nut mixture, coating evenly.

When the grill is ready, brush the grill rack with vegetable oil. Place the patties on the rack, cover, and cook, turning once, until done to preference, about 4 minutes on each side for medium-rare. During the last few minutes of cooking, place the buns, cut side down, on the outer edges of the rack to toast lightly. During the last minute of cooking, top each patty with 1 tablespoon of the cheese.

To assemble the burgers, spread the mustard over the cut sides of the buns. On each bun bottom, place several spinach leaves and a tomato slice. Add the bun tops and serve. Makes 6 burgers.

Reprinted from Sutter Home Family Vineyards, written by James McNair, Build a Better Burger, published by Ten Speed Press

 STRAWBERRY HAZELNUT COOKIES

1 cup hazelnuts

1 cup oatmeal

1 cup cake flour

Pinch of salt

Pinch of cardamom

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 cup maple syrup

1/2 cup oil

1/3 cup strawberry preserves

Preheat oven to 350. Grease 2 cookie sheets and set them aside. In a food processor chop the hazelnuts until they are coarsely chopped.  Add the flour and oatmeal and pulse 5 seconds and then place it in a mixing bowl. Add salt cardamom and cinnamon. Mix to combine and then add the maple syrup and oil and mix to combine. Make walnut-size balls and place on an oiled cookie sheet. Press cookies with the middle with your thumb, making a small indentation and fill it with about 1/2 teaspoon of strawberry jam.  Bake for 12 to 15 minutes until golden brown. Allow to cool for 5 minutes before removing to a rack to cool. Makes 3 to 3 1/2 dozen depending on size.

THAI HAZELNUT NOODLES

8 oz angel hair pasta

1 cup sugar

1/2 cup water

1/3 cup ketchup

1/4 cup fish sauce or soy sauce

2 tablespoons lime juice

1/2 teaspoon red or chili pepper

2 tablespoons oil

2 cups ground chicken or tofu cut into ½-inch cubes

1 tablespoon minced garlic

2 eggs, beaten

3 cups fresh bean sprouts (you can use canned but they don’t taste as good)

1 cup thinly sliced green onions

1 cup toasted chopped hazelnuts

1 English cucumber sliced thin

Juice of 1/2 lime

Cook noodles according to the package directions, drain and set aside. In a bowl combine the sugar, water, ketchup, fish sauce, lime juice and cayenne pepper. Whisk to combine and set aside.

Heat oil in wok or large frying pan over high heat. Add the chicken or tofu and garlic, stirring constantly, for 3 minutes. Add noodles, stirring constantly to keep from sticking. Add ketchup mixture, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes or until sauce is absorbed. Remove the noodle mixture to a bowl and then return the frying pan to the heat. Add the eggs and cook, stirring until almost cooked. Add the bean sprouts, 2/3 cup green onions and 1/2 cup hazelnuts, stirring until mixed with eggs. Return the noodles to the pan and cook while stirring constantly for about 3 minutes. Immediately remove the pan from the heat and place the noodles in a large wide bowl. Sprinkle the top with the remaining green onions and hazelnuts and decorate the cucumber slices. Sprinkle the lime juice on top and serve immediately.

I Like Lamb How About You?

            When my youngest son Avi was in 1st or 2nd grade (lo those many years ago) a teacher asked him, in the course of getting to know everyone in the class, what his favorite animal was. He happily said, “Oh, I like lambs”. When then prompted, the second time around the “getting to know you circle” as to his favorite food, his equally cheery reply was, of course, lamb. Sadly, not too many of his fellow 6 year olds found it as amusing as the teacher and I did.

Lamb is actually a very versatile and flavorful meat if cooked correctly. It can be stewed, grilled, sauteed, or roasted.  Lamb is meat from sheep less than 1 year old so the lamb you get in your in grocery stores is typically from a 5 to 12 months old sheep. The flavor of this typically domestically raised animal is quite mild. When buying lamb you want to look for a light pinkish color and it should be tender, yet firm to the touch.

            My son is still fond of lamb and if he had to choose one particular dish/cut of lamb that he prefers I would have to say it’s the lamb shank. Not to be confused with a leg of lamb a lamb shank comes from the bottom section of the front legs. They’re usually fairly inexpensive cut and are about the size of a turkey drumstick. Due to the slightly tougher nature of the cut the shank is most often prepared by braising it and then cooking in a liquid.

            The following recipes are a compilation of one’s I’ve made over the years and a few sent to me by readers, who like my son who love lamb.  

BRAISED LAMB SHANKS WITH CARAMELIZED ONIONS

4 tablespoons olive oil
4 large onions, sliced

2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary or 2 teaspoons dried
6 3/4- to 1-pound lamb shanks
flour
2 1/2 cups red wine
2 1/2 cups canned beef broth
1 1/2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 bay leaves

Preheat oven 375. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in heavy large Dutch oven over medium heat. Combine the sliced onions and the brown sugar and saute until the onions are brown, about 20 minutes. Mix in 2 tablespoons chopped rosemary, mix to combine, cook for 1 minute and remove the mixture from the heat and set it aside. Season the lamb shanks with salt and pepper then dredge the lamb shanks with flour. Heat remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil in heavy large skillet over high heat. Cooking one or two at a time sear the outside of the shanks on both sides and then set them aside on a plate.  Add 1 cup of wine to the skillet and bring the mixture to a boil, scraping up any browned bits. Pour the mixture into pan with the cooked onion mixture. Add remaining 1 1/2 cups red wine, beef broth, tomato paste and 2 bay leaves to the onion mixture. Stir to make sure the tomato paste dissolves. Add the lamb shanks to the pan with the onion mixture, turning to coat with liquid. Cover the roasting pan with a lid or tightly with foil. Place in the preheated oven and after 30 to 40 minutes of cooking, turn the lamb shanks over and return the covered pan to the oven. Reduce the heat to 350 and cook an additional hour or until the lamb shanks are tender. This can be made up to 2 days before you want to serve it and be reheated. You can remove the shanks from the liquid and boil it down to a thicker gravy consistency if you like. Serves 6.

ROSEMARY ROASTED LAMB SHANKS WITH POTATOES

2 lamb shanks
2 tablespoons of finely chopped fresh rosemary

salt and pepper
2 large onions, chopped finely
zest and juice of 1 orange
3 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup red wine
1 cup of beef stock  
6 potatoes peeled and cut into chunks
1 tablespoon sliced green onions
 3 tablespoons butter
2 teaspoons of Parsley
2 tablespoons minced garlic

Season the lamb shanks with rosemary salt and pepper. Heat the oil in a skillet and sear the lamb shanks on all sides. Remove the shanks to a plate and then add the onion to the pan. Cook the onion with the orange zest until the onion is browned. Add the wine, beef stock and the orange juice and bring the mixture to a simmer. Pour the onion mix in a heavy lidded roasting pan and add the lamb shanks. Cover and cook 1 1/2 hours. Meanwhile boil the potatoes in water until they are soft. Drain and mash them. Add the butter, green onions, garlic and parsley to the mashed potatoes, mix to combine and salt and pepper to taste. To serve, scoop a mound of the potatoes onto the serving plate, place a lamb shank on top and spoon the juice from the pan on top. Serves 2. This recipe can be doubled or tripled.

CROCK POT LAMB SHANKS

1 onion, diced

2 celery stalks, diced

2 carrots, peeled and diced

3 garlic cloves, crushed

2 cups chicken broth

1 cup chopped tomatoes

2 tablespoons tomato paste

1 tsp. chopped fresh thyme

1 bay leaf

4 lamb shanks, trimmed

salt and pepper, to taste

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 cup red wine

Put the onion, celery, carrots, garlic, stock, tomatoes, tomato paste, thyme and bay leaf in a crock pot and stir to combine. Season the lamb shanks with salt and pepper. In a large skillet heat the olive oil and add the shanks and brown on all sides. Place the lamb shanks in the crock pot. Pour the wine into the skillet and bring it to a simmer, stirring to scrape up any bits from the bottom of the pan. Pour the wine mixture into the crock pot, cover and cook on high for 6 to 8 hours. Transfer the lamb shanks to a large serving dish.  Remove the bay leaf from the sauce and pour the liquid into a blender or food processor. Puree until smooth. Pour some of the sauce over the shanks and serve the rest along side. Serves 4.

CRANBERRY LAMB SHANKS

2 tablespoons flour

salt and pepper

2 tablespoons olive oil

8 lamb shanks

cooking spray

8 carrots, peeled and cut into 1 inch pieces

2 onions, sliced

1 cup red wine

1 can whole berry cranberry sauce

6 cups water

2 tablespoons beef bouillon

Mix together the flour, salt and pepper and place in a plastic resealable bag. Add the lamb shanks and toss to coat. In a large skillet heat the 2 tablespoons of oil. Add the shanks and sear the outside. Remove the lamb and place them in the crock pot and then add the carrots to the lamb.

Add another tablespoon of oil to the skillet if needed and then saute the onion until they are golden. Add the red wine, cranberry sauce, water and beef bouillon powder, whisking until everything is completely combined. Bring the mixture to the boil and then immediately remove it from the heat and pour it over the lamb shanks and carrots. Cook for at least 4 hours on high. Serves 6 to 8

Submitted by Nancy Aldridge Burr Ridge IL

HERBED LAMB SHANKS

6 tablespoons oil
6 lamb shanks
Flour for coating
Salt and pepper
1 large white onion
6 garlic cloves, sliced
2 cups whole canned tomatoes, sliced
3 sprigs chopped fresh oregano or 2 teaspoons dried
3 sprigs chopped fresh thyme or 2 teaspoons dried
3sprigs chopped fresh rosemary or 2 teaspoons dried
8 cups chicken stock

Heat the oil in a saute pan. Dredge the shanks in flour, shake off the excess, and then salt and pepper them. Brown the lamb in the oil. You may have to brown in batches. Once a shank has browned evenly, place it in the roasting pan. Preheat the oven to 350. Add about 4 more tablespoons oil to the pan, and over medium heat add the onions and garlic. Cook until soft. Then add the tomatoes, oregano, thyme, rosemary, and the chicken stock and let simmer for a few minutes. Taste for seasoning and add salt and pepper if necessary. Pour the sauce over the lamb shanks, cover with aluminum foil, and put in the oven and cook for about 3 to 4 hours. Serves 6.

Submitted by Angela Coats NY, NY

BARLEY AND LAMB

2 teaspoons minced garlic
2 onions
2 carrots
2 stalks of celery
2 tablespoons fresh chopped parsley
4 tablespoons of olive oil
6 lamb shanks
salt and freshly ground pepper
2 cups of barley
1 1/2 cups of chicken broth
1 cup of white wine
1 bay leaf
a pinch of thyme

Preheat oven 325. In a skillet saute, in 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, saute the onions until they are pale gold. Add the carrots, celery, garlic and parsley and cook for 2 minutes and then remove the vegetables from the pan and set them aside. Do not clean the pan. Season the lamb shanks with salt and pepper. Brown the lamb shanks on all side but don’t cook them. In a Dutch oven pan, heat remaining olive oil and add the barley. Cook, stirring constantly until the barley is golden. Add the chicken broth, wine, bay leaf and thyme. Mix to combine. Add to lamb shanks and the vegetables. Add more liquid (if necessary wine or water), to cover the barley barley. Bake in a for 2 to 2 1/2 hour until done. Serves 6 

MOROCCAN WILD RICE AND LAMB SHANKS
2 lamb shanks

3/4 teaspoon Salt

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

2 tablespoons oil

1 large onion, chopped

1 1/2 cups water or chicken broth

1 1/2 large carrots cut in 1/4 thick rounds

1 sweet potato, peeled and cut in 1/2 inch pieces

3/4 teaspoon ground ginger

1/8 teaspoon cinnamon

2/3 cup pitted dates, cut in half

1/2 cup dried apricots, cut in pieces

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1 1/2 cups wild rice

4 1/2 cups water

Season the lamb with salt and cayenne pepper. In a deep skillet heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in large stock pot with tight fitting lid over moderately high heat. Brown on all sides, transferring to a plate when done. Add remaining oil to the skillet and cook onion, stirring until softened. Stir in the water or stock and bring to a boil. Scrape up any browned bits from bottom of pan before adding meat. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, until the lamb is tender (about 1 1/2 hours).

While lamb is cooking, combine the wild rice, water and salt in a large pot. Bring to a boil uncovered and then reduce heat to low and cover for 25 minutes, checking occasionally. At this point add the carrots and sweet potato to pot, and simmer until vegetables are beginning to soften, about 10 minutes. Drain any excess liquid at this point. Add the ginger, cinnamon, dates and apricots, stirring occasionally. Let cook covered 5-10 minutes more on low heat and season with nutmeg, salt and pepper, if needed. Serves 2. This recipe can be doubled or tripled

 Modified from a recipe from the California Lamb Council