Christos Anesti! Χριστός ἀνέστη! Christ is Risen!
Following Bright Week we resume our normal fast on Wednesdays and Fridays. To learn more about Bright Week, check out our blog Bright Week Kouzina. More about Greek Orthodox Lenten cuisine can be found in our blog, Lenten Cuisine~A Faith Inspired Journey.
The Go-Greek Burger (Lamb-burger filled with feta and topped with tzatziki)
KOUZINA TIP: Don’t overhandle the meat when preparing the burgers and flip only once halfway through cooking to avoid the burgers becoming tough.
2 large unpeeled garlic cloves
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
3/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1 1/2 pounds lean ground lamb (or an equal mixture of lamb and beef)
1/2 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1/4 cup grated red onion (for more flavor, sauté in olive oil until softened)
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh mint leaves
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
Pita breads (with pockets) or burger buns
Organic mixed baby lettuce
Red onion, thinly sliced (we like to caramelize them, using 2 onions)
Ripe tomato, thinly sliced
Cucumber, thinly sliced
1/4 to 1/3 cup pitted kalamata olives, halved
Tzatziki sauce (your own or try ours in our Meze and Spreads & Dips cookbooks)
1. Heat oven to 400°F. Tightly wrap the garlic cloves in foil and roast for 40 minutes, until softened. Let stand until cool enough to handle, then peel and mash; set aside. (You can also toast the cloves in a small skillet over medium-high heat, cooking until starting to brown, about 5 minutes. Let stand until cool enough to handle. Peel and mince. This is not as flavorful as roasting but when pressed for time, it works!)
2. Meanwhile, heat outdoor grill on medium (if cooking indoors, see step 5). In a small bowl, combine the feta and oregano for filling; set aside.
3. In a medium bowl, break up the lamb (or combine lamb and beef). Add the roasted garlic, parsley, grated onion, olive oil, mint, cumin, salt, and pepper; mix just until combined well but don’t overhandle. Divide into 4 or 5 patties and gently form each into a ball. Make a dent in the center of each and divide the feta filling among the burgers. Shape the meat around the filling, covering it completely. Flatten each into oval (Greek style) or round patties. Transfer to an airtight container, cover, and refrigerate until ready to cook (chilling will ensure a juicy burger).
5. Oil grill grates and place patties on grill. Cover and cook until desired doneness, turning just once halfway through, 3 to 4 minutes per side for medium to medium-well. (To cook indoors, oil and heat a cast iron skillet over medium heat until hot but not smoking. Cook patties 3 to 4 minutes per side, turning once halfway through.) Let patties rest about 5 minutes before assembling burgers.
6. Meanwhile, grill the pitas or buns until warm and very lightly toasted, about 1 minute per side. For pitas, cut in half and open pockets. Serve in pita (or buns) with lettuce, onion, tomato, cucumber, olives, and tzatziki.
Recipe by Kelly Salonica Staikopoulos
Copyright © Kukla's Kouzina: A Gourmet Journey~Greek Island Style
More about Greek meat and how to prepare it can be found in our Meat the Greek blog.
I hope you enjoyed Bright Lamb Week. More recipes can be found in our Meze and Spreads & Dips cookbooks. Stay tuned for future blogs on foods, customs, and spiritual awakening.
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Kali orexi! Good appetite!
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