A thorough inquiry

Category: Recipes

Spicy Bun-less Burgers

Veal burgers with curried cauliflower and tomatoes

Veal burgers with curried cauliflower and tomatoes

These simple burgers are inspired by this habanero-in-protein recipe. Not overly spicy, but very bright and delicious.


  • 1lb ground meat (I used veal — lamb or beef or poultry would work)
  • 2 habanero peppers
  • 2tsp minced garlic
  • 1 egg
  • Salt & pepper


  1. Dice the habeneros to your preference for appearance and heat distribution
  2. Whisk the egg in a large mixing bowl
  3. Combine the egg with habaneros, minced garlic, and pepper
  4. Add the ground meat
  5. Salt — I do this after adding the meat because I’m accustomed to judging the amount visually. Be liberal!
  6. Using moistened hands, form into 4 evenly-sized balls. Don’t over-work or over-compress.
  7. Place in a pre-heated skillet at medium heat
  8. Smash into shape using a spatula, making them thinner than you want them to end up after cooking
  9. Leave them completely alone until browned on one side, then flip once

Braised Lamb Shanks

This year for New Year’s Eve, we decided to make a couple of old favourites: bacon-wrapped dates followed by braised lamb shanks and risotto. We’ve made the dates before, but I thought that there is room in this dish for a bit of acid and some more flavour, so we made some rosemary mustard filling.

Finely chopped rosemary and stone-ground mustard

Finely chopped rosemary and stone-ground mustard

  1. Slice the dates length-wise and remove the pit
  2. Use a small spoon to fill with desired filling
  3. Wrap with bacon of choice (we used European back-bacon)
  4. Bake at 450F until bacon is crisp (~20-30m)
Rosemary mustard bacon-wrapped dates

Rosemary mustard bacon-wrapped dates

Next up were the shanks. After seasoning with salt and pepper, we simply browned them in our tajine, added sliced garlic, rosemary, and ~3/4c of chicken stock, then covered and braised in the oven at 300F for 3h.

Lamb shanks with garlic and rosemary

Lamb shanks with garlic and rosemary

A risotto recipe will have to be a separate post, so here’s the finished dish:

Lamb shank with basic risotto

Lamb shank with basic risotto

Flank steak and bacon potato salad

I thought I’d post a very summery dinner we did a little while ago before the leaves turn brown. Here’s what went into the very simple and very bacon-y potato salad:

  • Bacon mayonnaise (thanks to Brad for the suggestion of using bacon grease instead of oil)
  • Potatoes
  • Homemade bacon bits
  • Finely diced dill pickles
  • Herbs and spices (salt, pepper, fresh dill, chili powder, cayenne)



I’ve been experimenting with various mayonnaise recipes recently, and have come up with a nice basic starting point with few ingredients that doesn’t require any appliances to prepare:

  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tbsp lime/lemon juice or vinegar (I like lime, personally)
  • up to 1/2c or so of oil*
  • pinch of salt
  • (optional) 1 tsp of dry mustard or 1.5-2 tsp mustard of your choice

Add the yolk, citrus juice or vinegar, and mustard into a medium-sized mixing bowl and whisk briefly to combine. I like to place my mixing bowl on a damp cloth on the counter so that I don’t have to hold it with my non-whisking hand (important for the next step). Whisking continuously, slowly add the oil (quite slowly at first, then a bit quicker as you go) until the desired consistency is reached. I really like keeping my oil in a standard kitchen plastic squeeze bottle for handiness and ease of dispensing.

The mayonnaise will increase in viscosity as more oil is added, and you can stop at any time when it’s appropriate for your dish! Season with a pinch or so of salt (always to taste), and add any fresh herbs or additional flavours that you feel like!

* Choice of oil is critical to the overall flavour of the mayonnaise. I recommend a very high-quality unrefined, cold-pressed oil such as extra-virgin olive oil (the good stuff, not the 4l jug from Costco), or perhaps something more exotic. As always, Mark Sisson has a great guide for choosing oils from a health perspective.