Lamb Patties with Mint and Lemon Quinoa

Lamb Patties with Mint and Carrot Quinoa (0939)I can’t really remember the last time I wrote a recipe so quickly. The problem is not the recipe itself; it’s the intro which gives me grief many times. The thing is I just cannot bring myself to publish anything, in this case a recipe, without saying something about it. It does happen sporadically – I just start to ramble on, and after that you may get a teeny weeny paragraph at the end. That’s called writer’s block. Oh, those dreaded words…a creative slowdown, the loss of a deadline or the ability to produce new work, as Wikipedia defines it. The nerve! In my case, listening to Ed Sheeran isn’t helping. (Fans please note: this is not his fault. Of course.)

So I look for help whenever and wherever I can. Sometimes help just comes out of the blue. Case in point that’s exactly what happened today. The guys at WordPress are so good. I came across the following this morning:

I wish I were water.

That my words spilled out.

Truth be told I would love to witness their birth, these words.

For I myself don’t know their final form.

Excerpt from the poem I wish I were water by Miri Elm, from the blog A Short Conversation

and

It was like rubbing on unscented lotion. It’s therapeutic, no one really knows you’re wearing it, and it’s something you do for yourself. You’re not trying to leave behind little scent fragments of yourself. You’re just doin’ you.

Lu, from the blog coolpeppermint – Memories and Musings

Something clicked in my mind when I read these. I didn’t come up with a mega idea, or any inspired masterpiece. However I learnt. Because that’s one of the best things in life. We don’t need to be experts, and God only knows we’re not. There’s always someone else bigger that you, whatever your work and whoever you are. Humility, that’s one thing I strive for. It’s tough but I’m trying. What’s really challenging for me is voicing an opinion when it matters and pull back when it also matters. It’s a tricky business this, but I hope to get it someday.

Speaking about pulling back, you won’t find me much on FB and Twitter these days. Sorry but I have lost all interest. I still reply to all messages and queries, but that’s about it. I use Instagram on most days. So that’s where I’ll be, and here on C&T, which can go without saying. I prefer to invest in my time right here. There will be a time for everything on the blog – a time for photos, a time for coffee chats, more time for writing, about anything, and the recipes will keep on coming too. I just can’t stop.

So here’s my recipe for this week. Hope you make it and write to me if you do enjoy it. Write to me even if you don’t.

For the lamb patties:

  • ½ cup fresh mint leaves, loosely packed, washed and finely chopped
  • 500g lamb mince
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 6 tablespoons fine breadcrumbs
  • 2 teaspoons ras el hanout
  • pinch of salt
  • pepper
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 – 2 tablespoons olive oil for the pan; add more if needed

For the quinoa:

  • 1 cup pre-washed quinoa
  • 2 cups water
  • ½ cup fresh mint leaves, loosely packed, washed and finely chopped
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and cut into small cubes
  • pinch of salt
  • pepper
  • extra virgin olive oil

In a large mixing bowl, tip in half the chopped mint leaves, together with the lamb mince, onion, ras el hanout, breadcrumbs, salt, pepper and the beaten egg. Mix everything together – I find it easier to use clean hands for this, but use a spoon if you prefer. Shape the mixture into patties. Place them onto a tray lined with parchment paper and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

To cook the quinoa, tip it in a pan together with 2 cups of cold water and place over medium heat. Cook it as if you’re making rice. When it’s done, fluff it with a fork and tip it in another mixing bowl.

In the meantime, sweat the carrots in a shallow pan oven medium-low heat with 1 to 2 tablespoons of regular olive oil. Remove from the heat when the carrots are done to your liking, either when soft, or al dente, which is my preference.

Add the carrots to the cooked quinoa, together with another ½ cup of chopped mint, and a few glugs of extra virgin olive oil. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper, to taste. Set aside

To cook the lamb patties, you could chargrill them on a non-stick grill pan, or gently fry them in a shallow pan, turning them when either side is done or just cooked through.

Serve the patties over the quinoa.

Enjoy!

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