cook like rocco (lamb burgers)

Regular readers know I’m a huge fan of chef Rocco Whalen of Fahrenheit. With that personality of his and infectious passion for our city, how can you not be? And now I have two more reasons: his recipe for lamb burgers and some fun random bits of quirkiness he shares with us at the end of this post.  (PS, next time you see Rocco – like perhaps tomorrow at the Taste of Tremont – be sure to congratulate him on his recent marriage.)

Rocco’s Lamb Burgers (makes 8, 6 oz burgers)

3 # ground lamb
1 clove garlic
2 tablespoons flat leaf parsley
2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
 3 teaspoons mustard (French)
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper   

Lemon Dill Dressing

1 cup yogurt
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon minced dill
1 clove garlic
1 tablespoon mustard
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar  
Salt and pepper  

Mix all ingredients together. Top burgers with Bulgarian Feta and Rocco suggests using  soft egg rolls, with a nice charred burger.

This post was sponsored by Heinen’s. When making these burgers at home, Carolyn Maldonado, a wine consultant from the Pepper Pike store, suggests Petite Sirah or White Blend from X Winery (both $12.99). She explains that the Petite Sirah is great to pair with lamb because it’s a rich wine and is a blend of Petite Sirah, Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon. The White Blend would complement the lemon and dill flavors in the dressing and contains Sauvignon Blanc, Albarino and others.

Fun food for thoughts with Rocco Whalen:

1. Favorite non-chef owned restaurant in Cleveland? Diamond Grill-Akron

2. Clogs or Converse Chucks? Converse

3. Favorite non-cooking activity? Thai massage

4. Favorite coffee? Civilization

5. If you were held up at gunpoint and shoved into a walk-in, which chef’s walk-in would it be? Baricelli  

6.Watch of preference?Raymond Weil

7. Shirts or skins? Skins  

8.Gravestone will say? In short ribs we trusted

9. Favorite junk food? Slim Jims  

10. Would you have rather sacked John Elway on the last play of the famous “drive” and still potentially lost the superbowl or save the game in World Series game 7 against the Marlins in 1997 ala Jose Mesa?  Sacked Elway


  1. Posted July 17, 2010 at 9:46 pm | Permalink

    Yum, we will have to try making these! Anything coming from Rocco’s kitchen has GOT to be good. Thanks!

  2. Posted July 23, 2010 at 4:21 pm | Permalink

    My uncles own the Diamond Grill in Akron, you should do a feature on their restaurant. Its one of the last remaining old school jazz era steakhouses, complete with a cash only service or they will bill you ;) Really amazing place!