Nigel Slater’s Eat is a nice volume of mostly-quick meals. We picked up a copy in Britain. (It has not yet been released in the United States.) Another “in Britain” bonus was getting to view several episodes of Downton Abbey months before the American audience does. (Spoiler alert: Violet, Dowager Countess of Grantham, at times becomes discomfited by modern manners.)
Among the fun things for us about British cookbooks is the constant reminder that cooking terms are not nearly as universal as we’d like to think, and that we’re more American than we usually let on. Most people use Centigrade, but we’re more familiar with Fahrenheit. We consistently see “marrow” as the delicious stuff you crack bones to get, not a vegetable. And please, don’t get us started on “aluminium.”
We first made these simple, mildly spicy patties in our rental house (that’s “holiday cottage” to you Brits), liking them so much we vowed to make them at home. Some parts of this recipe did not survive the trip across the Atlantic (Americans have access only to yogurt, not “yoghurt”) and some didn’t survive a first reading (we add grainy mustard in addition to Slater’s mustard seeds). Nonetheless, we find them quite enjoyable, easy and “savoury,” as Slater would say.
SPICED SESAME LAMB WITH CUCUMBER AND YOGURT
(adapted from Nigel Slater’s Eat)
- 1 medium cucumber
- 1 TB chopped mint
- 4 TB
yoghurtyogurt 500g1 lb. mincedground lamb
- 1/2 TB mustard seeds
- 1/2 TB grainy mustard
- 4 TB sesame seeds
- 2 scallions (or equivalent amount of shallot), chopped
- 2 tsp. garam masala
- Olive oil
Peel, seed and dice cucumber. Put in a colander and salt well. Let drain for 15 minutes or so. Rinse, then dry on paper towels. Place cucumber in bowl and mix in mint and
yoghurt yogurt. Cover and refrigerate.
Put lamb into a bowl. Add mustard seeds, grainy mustard, sesame seeds, scallions, garam masala, salt and pepper. Mix together, then divide into eight portions. Flatten the meat mix into patties about the thickness of a
digestive biscuit cookie.
Heat some olive oil in a shallow, non-stick pan. Cook the patties over medium to high heat for 1-2 minutes on each side, until browned. Drain on paper towels.
Serve by topping patties with cucumber mixture.