Fire up the Grill


Chef Daniel Esses shared a version of this recipe with me years ago when he was the man behind the menu at Three Muses on Frenchmen Street. Today he mans the kitchen at Rimon in Tulane University’s Hillel Center, but these robust, flavorful burgers remain a timeless reflection his style for combining fresh, bright flavors in unexpected ways. The tomato chutney makes the very best of the current crop of Creole tomatoes so consider making extra.

  1. Ground turkey (use dark, not white) or beef may be substituted for the lamb.
  2. Softened Boursin cheese with garlic and fine herbs may be substituted for the goat cheese blended with herbs.
  3. The tomato chutney is amazing on anything: with softened cheese and crackers; as a spread on sandwiches; or serve it, heated, as a condiment alongside a cheese omelet.

Lamb Sliders with Creole Tomato Chutney 

Serves 6

  • 1 1/2 pounds ground lamb (see notes)
  • 1/2 pound ground pork
  • 1 small onion, finely diced 
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup flat leaf parsley, chopped
  • 1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
  • 1/4 cup mint, chopped 
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon red chili flakes
  • Creole seasoning, such as Tony Chachere’s Less Salt, More Spice, to taste
  • 4 ounces softened chèvre (goat cheese) blended with 1 teaspoon each minced fresh parsley, basil, and rosemary (see notes)
  • 6 slider-sized burger buns
  • Creole Tomato Chutney (recipe follows)
  • Esses’ Kosher Dill’s (recipe follows), sliced into sandwich chips, optional 

1. Heat a gas or charcoal grill for direct cooking or heat a large, heavy skillet, preferably cast iron over high heat until smoking.

2. Combine the lamb, pork, onion, garlic, parsley, cilantro, mint, cumin, chili flakes, and salt and pepper in a large mixing bowl and blend thoroughly. Form the mixture into 6 even patties. 

3. Cook until desired doneness, about 4-5 minutes per side for medium.

4. To serve, top the bottom half of each bun with the burgers. Spread the top halves of the buns with generous layers of goat cheese and Creole Tomato Chutney. Top with dill pickle chips, if desired. Serve.


Creole Tomato Chutney (see notes)

  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon garam masala (available in Indian markets or the specialty section of better supermarkets)
  • 2 cups chopped ripe fresh tomatoes, preferably Creole, or one 14.5 can chopped tomatoes 
  • 1-2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

1. Heat the oil in a saucepan set over medium heat. 

2. Add the onion cook until translucent, about 5 minutes.

3. Add the garlic and garam masala. Mix well and cook until ingredients are blended, about one minute. Add the tomatoes and stir. 

4. Reduce the heat to low and cook for 15 minutes or until the tomatoes break down. Taste. 

5. Add sugar to obtain desired sweetness. Add the vinegar. Puree with an immersion blender or food processor or smash with a potato masher for the coarser texture.


Esses’ Kosher Dills

No jarring and processing necessary: These refrigerator pickles marinate in a covered container in the refrigerator. Start the pickles 1 week before you plan to use them.

  •  3 quarts water
  • 1quart white vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon dill seed
  • 1/2 cup Kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons brown mustard seed
  • 1 teaspoon chili flakes
  • 1/2 bunch chopped fresh dill
  • 1 full head garlic, smashed
  • 1 pound small, washed Kirby cucumbers, scrubbed

1.Combine all ingredients except the dill, garlic and cucumbers in a large saucepot set over high heat.

2. Bring to a boil and cook until the sugar and the salt have dissolved. Remove from the heat and cool until slightly warm.

3.Add the cucumbers, garlic, and dill to a large, lidded plastic or glass container. Pour the brine over the cucumbers.

4.Allow the cucumbers to soak in the brine for 1 week.

Will keep, refrigerated, for 3 weeks.



Cook With Us!

Join Jyl in the kitchen each third Thursday of the month for a cook-along with tips, tricks and more. @NewOrleansMagazine



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