Grill Skills


There are a few things I do really well: I have mastered the art of the two minute shower (can’t claim this as unique, though, as I know nearly every parent has), I can procrastinate all things related to organization and cleanliness with considerable skill (the last two things notwithstanding, I swear I have excellent personal hygiene), and I am an accomplished reader of children’s books (yup, I love doing voices, particularly in the setting of insipid rhyming).

Unfortunately, many other more useful skills are lost on me.  A love of gardening feels like it should go part and parcel with cooking, but I have killed unkillable plants.  And while I love the perfection of a beautifully pressed shirt, I can’t seem to iron anything that has a seam.   

And, then, there is grilling.  Oh, sure, I have TONS of opinions on how it should be done (just ask Tygh).  But when it comes to actually performing, I’d rather just stay in my kitchen.  So I am very lucky indeed that I am married to someone who has quickly become a grill master.

Part of Tygh's rapid ascension to "Expert Level Griller" comes from his willingness to try anything on the grill, even at the risk of certain disaster.  Often, the day will start with a "What if, tonight, we try grilling (insert obscure item here)?"  Then, with sparks flying and smoke rising, he dives in.  Such persistence has yielded us many a fine grill-marked meal.

This skill set of his is beyond helpful because then, when summer hits and my inherently lazy nature surfaces in the form of backyard lounging and multiple spritzers, Tygh fires up the grill, sparing me from a hot stove while simultaneously making sure our children don't go hungry.

Wait for it.

I first had these lamb burgers soon after June was born, when my mother-in-law came armed with a bunch of dinner recipes to help us out.  She made these fabulous Greek lamb burgers – not quite sure where she got the recipe – and Tygh and I have thrown them into our summer rotation ever since.  Though she wrote down the recipe for me, I soon lost the paper (see above for disclaimer about organization) and instead just started messing around with the ingredients I could remember. 

We usually serve them on brioche buns with mint sauce or tzatziki, but they are so flavorful, they need little adornment.  So if, for example, you forget your shopping list and said buns at the store, all will not be lost.

So what else has been on our summertime grilling rotation this year? Broccolini, whole red snapper, homemade pizza, peaches, scallops, hanger steak....hopefully to be shared in forthcoming letters. That is, if you can get me off this fab lawn chair. 

 "Hon? Is dinner ready yet!?..."

Greek Lamb Burgers

Fire up the grill or preheat your broiler.

1 lb ground lamb

4 oz feta

¼ C minced purple onion

1 clove of garlic, minced

3 Tblsp chopped fresh oregano

3 Tblsp chopped fresh mint

1- 2 Tlbsp Chopped fresh rosemary

Salt and pepper to taste*

Gently mix all the ingredients together, being careful not to overmix for fear of tough burgers.  Form 4 patties.  Grill or broil about 3-4 minutes each side!  Enjoy!

 *Grill tip: Salt and pepper the surface of your burgers, steaks, chicken, etc. more than you think they might need. As they cook,  the juices and seasonings drip into the grill, so you'll lose lotsa flavor if you don't start out strong!  As per Bobby Flay, you almost can't over-season!