A weeks worth of lunch

I try to bring my lunch every day to work for a couple of reasons. The first is the savings in $$$ and the second is the relative low-quality of the cafeteria in my building. Lunch is often leftovers from the big Saturday night dinner I host each week. When someone else hosts I end up having to create something from scratch. The most recent example is as follows.

1 box Goya Arroz Amarillo (yellow rice)
2.5 cups water
1 tbsp butter

1/4 pound bacon
1 red onion, medium dice
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 pound ground beef
1 15.5 oz black beans
1 cup water
1 tbsp cumin
2 tsp ground yellow mustard
2 tsp chili powder

salt & pepper

Following the directions on the Arroz Amarillo prepare the rice in the microwave.

Cut the bacon into 3/4″ pieces and cook over medium-high heat until brown and tasty. Remove bacon from the pan, leaving the fat behind.

Add the diced red onion, season with salt & pepper and saute until translucent (about 5 minutes). Add the garlic and cook from about 90 seconds until fragrant. Remove onion & garlic from the pan.

Toss ground beef into the hot skillet. Break up the mound into smaller chunks and season with salt & pepper. Stir the ground beef regularly to break up the chunks into smaller pieces. Cook until all of it is brown. Remove excess beef fat.

Toss the bacon, onions, garlic, and remaining ingredients into the skillet. Stir to combine and cover. Allow to cook for 5-10 minutes until the black beans at heated.

If you are lucky the rice will be finished right around the same time as the rest of the meal. You can get fancy and plate some rice followed by a helping of the beef & beans. Or you can just add the rice to the skillet and combine everything together as I did.

Quite tasty on flour tortillas with a little sour cream.

Grilled lamb patties

The weather was in the mid 60s for this year’s holiday party. I was originally going to make these lamb meatballs from Nigella Lawson. Instead I made grilled lamb patties. The recipe is roughly based on one in Joy of Cooking (1997) for Ethan’s Lamb Patties.

One of the criteria for this recipe was that it had to avoid onions, peppers & garlic due to the allergies of assorted guests. Even ground pepper can be a problem.

Grilled Lamb Patties

2 tsp dried thyme
2 tsp salt
2 tsp ground rosemary
juice of 1 lemon
4 tsp sherry
4 tsp soy sauce
2 pounds ground lamb
1.5 cups panko bread crumbs

With a mortar and pestle grind the dried thyme, salt and ground rosemary until the thyme is well crushed.

Dump in bowl with the liquid ingredients and mix to combine.

Add the lamb and panko to the liquid mixture. Use you hands to combine all the ingredients.

Form patties using ~1 tbsp of lamb mixture by rolling them into a ball and then flattening. Place on a plastic wrap lined cookie sheet. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes once all patties are formed.

Heat gas grill for ~15 minutes on high then drop the temp to medium. Oil the grill and then fill the grill with patties. Cook on the first side for about 2 minutes and then flip. Cook for approx. 1 more minute and remove.

Yield was 35 small appetizer sized patties or probably 8 or 9 full sized ones.