Sunday, October 24, 2010

Greek Turkey Burgers

Over the summer, I had a plethora of cucumbers to use. From my small porch garden, the cucumbers were the most productive this year. And since I can only tolerate so many pickles and salads, it was time to go Greek. One of my favorite Mediterranean sauces is tzatziki, a cucumber-yogurt sauce served on gyros and souvlaki. So, with the help of a Bon Appetit magazine recipe, I decided to make Greek turkey burgers (or in Iron Chef speak "turkey burgers with cucumber 2 ways").

Greek Turkey Burgers
Makes 4 servings. Adapted from Bon Appetit magazine.

1 1/3 lbs ground turkey
4 oz feta
1/4 cup red onion, finely chopped
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp lemon zest
1/2 tsp salt
Cooking spray
1/2 cup cucumber, grated
6 oz Greek yogurt
1 tbsp mint, chopped
1/2 tsp salt
4 hamburger buns, split and toasted
Lettuce, for topping
Tomato, sliced, for topping
Cucumber, thinly sliced lengthwise, for topping
Peperoncini, for garnish


Pheta Cheese

For this recipe, I used the "Pheta Cheese" from the local Chapel Hill Creamery. It came in large blocks in a salty brine. It wasn't as soft as some fetas, but it was still very a very tasty cheese. Stir together the turkey, feta, red onion, oregano, lemon zest, and salt, making sure not to overmix. Shape mixture into 4 patties, about 1/2" thick.

Heat a grill pan over medium-high heat and coat with cooking spray. Place burgers on the grill and cook each about 5 minutes per side or until they are done all the way through. Remember, this is poultry and not beef, so there's a fine line between fully cooked (not pink) and dried out.

Stir together cucumber, yogurt, mint, and 1/2 tsp salt in a small bowl. To assemble burgers, spread buns with tzatziki and load with burger and toppings of your choice. Garnish plate with peperoncini. I also prepared some oven roasted potato wedges to serve on the side that I seasoned with salt, pepper, and dried oregano.

Greek Turkey Burgers

I love burgers because they can make for a quick dinner on a busy weekday night. Form 'em, grill 'em and eat 'em. These burgers tasted great without being too greasy. In fact, the yogurt sauce and cucumbers gave them a fresh taste. Feel free to use whatever fresh herbs you want in the tzatziki. The mint in this version is a traditional Greek flavor, but fresh oregano, parsley or thyme could be great. So take a break from the weekly plain cheeseburger and go Greek!

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