Saturday, August 4, 2012

sweets in the kitchen: lamb tacos with spicy tzatziki

It's been a long, postless week, friends.  Sometimes The Grind gets the best of me, and I can't seem to juggle the 38 hours of retail, the 24/7 relationship (we live and work together, and I wouldn't have it any other way), the cookery, the photography, the writing, and the laundry.  My poor philodendron was looking drab from lack of watering, to top it all off.

Sometimes I just have to wait for my weekend to get things done.  And sometimes I rely on my other half to pick up the slack. 

And pick up the slack, she has.  My sweetheart, that is.  Hard at work in our shoebox of a kitchen, throwing this and that into a pan and delighting my senses with her dinnertime creations. (Plus her sweet, little soul just asked me to come into the kitchen so she could show me how she cleaned out the fridge. What a doll.)

But, back to dinner!  Welcome to Sweets in the Kitchen, part deux. 

For a few weeks now, my sweetheart has been mentioning and rementioning these lamb tacos she wanted to make.  Would you eat that? she'd ask, after alluding her desire for the billionth time.  Yeah, I'd eat that, my reiteration with each suggestion (we keep things short and sweet 'round here). 

And then we proceeded to sit on the idea.  Save it for a rainy day, or just some day in the future when we felt like taking some action.  It can be a chore sometimes, taking action, what with the tiredness brought on by our responsibilities (see above) and our schedules (first alarm at 3:30am = gross). 

But, finally, a plan was put in place to give life to her idea.

And all she needed was the lamb and the yogurt.

Psych!  If only that girl would make a list sometimes...  But a second trip to Safeway later, she was armed with everything needed for the recipe.  And I was more than ready to eat her lamb taco... (ahem).

So anyway, imagine a warm, soft, corn tortilla, loaded with spiced lamb and onions; spicy, cucumber-studded tzatziki; fresh cilantro leaves; and torn, fresh lettuce.  Yes, yes, I know.  You want one.

Well, I folded up and ate three of those bad boys, savoring the burn of Sriracha and the tang of yogurt on my tongue once the last bite was cheerfully scarfed, the drips of sauce wiped from the corners of my mouth. 

She knocked this one out of the ballpark, folks.

Thank you, sweets.

Lamb Tacos with Spicy Tzatziki
serves 4 - 6

1/2 red onion, diced
2 large cloves garlic, minced
1/2 jalapeno, minced
1 lb. ground lamb
1 T. ground cumin
salt and pepper, to taste
juice of half a lemon

1/2 English cucumber, diced
1 C. plain yogurt
1 T. Sriracha
juice of half a lemon

10 - 12 corn tortillas, heated until soft
fresh cilantro, chopped
lettuce, roughly torn or chopped

  • Heat 1 T. olive oil over medium-high heat in a large skillet.  Add onion, garlic and jalapeno, and saute for a few minutes until onions begin to turn translucent.

  • Add the lamb, and continue to saute, stirring often.  Add cumin and season with salt and pepper.  Continue to cook until lamb is just cooked through.  Remove from heat, taste, season with more salt and lemon, to taste. Set aside.

  • Combine yogurt, cucumber, Sriracha and lemon juice in a small bowl.  Set aside.

  • Place a scoop of lamb meat on each warmed tortilla, followed by cilantro, lettuce and a generous drizzle of tzatziki.  Serve immediately.

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