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Spiced Lamb Burgers with Caramelized Onions & Spicy Fried Potatoes (Cloves)

The sun-dried unopened flower buds of a tropical evergreen tree, cloves lend intense spicy flavor and sweet, vibrant heat to these lamb burgers, which are topped with caramelized onions. Accompany with spicy fried potatoes.

Ingredients:

For the caramelized onions:

  • 2 Tbs. olive oil
  • 2 yellow onions, thinly sliced
  • Salt, to taste

For the spicy fried potatoes:

  • 1/2 tsp. cumin seeds
  • 1/4 tsp. black peppercorns
  • 1 tsp. Spanish smoked paprika
  • 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1 1/2 lb. yellow-fleshed potatoes, such as Yukon Gold
  • Peanut or canola oil for deep-frying
  • 8 fresh flat-leaf parsley sprigs
  • Sea salt, to taste

For the lamb burgers:

  • 1 Tbs. cloves
  • 1 tsp. cumin seeds
  • 1/2 cinnamon stick
  • 2 Tbs. minced fresh mint
  • 2 Tbs. minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 Tbs. finely diced onion
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • Cayenne pepper, to taste
  • 1 1/2 lb. ground lean lamb
  • Olive oil as needed
  • 4 hamburger buns, lightly toasted

Directions:

To make the caramelized onions, in a large, heavy fry pan over medium heat, warm the olive oil. Add the onions, season with salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are golden brown and caramelized, 25 to 35 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and cover to keep warm.

To make the spicy fried potatoes, put the cumin seeds in a small fry pan and set over medium-high heat. Toast the cumin, shaking the pan, until the seeds are fragrant and dark green, 2 to 3 minutes. Pour into a spice grinder and let cool completely. Add the peppercorns and pulse the grinder a few times, then process until the spices are finely ground, about 20 seconds. Transfer to a wide bowl and stir in the paprika and cayenne pepper. Set aside.

Put the potatoes in a saucepan, add cold water to cover by 2 inches and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to medium and cook until the potatoes are tender when pierced with a knife, about 10 minutes. Drain the potatoes. When they are cool enough to handle, peel them and let cool completely, then cut into quarters or wedges.

Line a platter with paper towels. In a deep, heavy fry pan over medium-high heat, pour in oil to a depth of 1 inch and heat to 365°F on a deep-frying thermometer. Add the parsley sprigs and fry, turning occasionally, until crisp, about 30 seconds. Using a long-handled mesh strainer, transfer to the paper towel-lined platter. Carefully add the potatoes in a single layer and fry, turning them with tongs as needed, until browned in several places, about 8 minutes total. Transfer to the platter to drain, then put the potatoes in the bowl with the spices. Using 2 forks, toss gently to coat the potatoes with the spices. Season with salt, add the fried parsley and toss again.

To make the lamb burgers, put the cloves, cumin seeds and cinnamon stick in a small fry pan and set over medium-high heat. Toast the spices, shaking the pan, until fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes. Pour into a spice grinder and let cool completely. Pulse the grinder a few times, then process until the spices are finely ground, about 20 seconds. Transfer to a wide bowl and stir in the mint, parsley, onion, salt and cayenne. Add the lamb and, using your hands, gently mix the ingredients together. Form the lamb mixture into 4 patties.

Lightly oil a stovetop grill pan and set over medium-high heat. Cook the lamb burgers, turning once, about 10 minutes total for medium. Transfer the burgers to the buns and top with the caramelized onions. Serve immediately with the spicy fried potatoes. Serves 4.

Adapted from a recipe by Williams-Sonoma.