Thursday, November 8, 2007

Lamb Burgers with Feta Sauce

Burgers have a special place in my heart. I'm always on the lookout for different recipes. I was watching the food channel the other day and ran into this creative Emerill Lagasse recipe. It is a really tasty variation on a traditional burger.

I used regular beef instead of lamb, used burger buns and skipped the black olives, and it still tasted great.

I also used my panini maker to grill, and the burgers turned out to be very juicy.

LAMB BURGERS WITH FETA SAUCE

Ingredients:
1 1/2 pounds lean ground lamb
2 tablespoons minced shallots
2 tablespoons minced garlic
2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint leaves
2 teaspoons chopped fresh oregano
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 pita breads or buns, warmed and split in half
Sliced tomatoes
Thinly sliced peeled cucumbers
Chopped black brine-cured olives
Feta Sauce (recipe follows)

Directions:
Preheat the grill. Combine the lamb, shallots, garlic, mint, oregano, salt and pepper in a bowl and work gently with your hands until thoroughly blended, but being careful not to overwork. Form into 4 patties, about 4 1/2-inches in diameter.

Lightly oil the grill rack and set 5 to 6 inches above the coals. Cook the patties until medium-rare, about 5 minutes per side. Remove from the grill.

Place the pita breads on 4 plates and 1 patty inside each. Drizzle the patties with Feta Sauce and top with tomatoes, cucumbers and olives. Serve immediately.

FETA SAUCE

Ingredients:
Makes about 1 1/4 cups
2 cups plain yogurt
1/2 cup well drained, crumbled feta cheese
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 1/2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon salt Pinch cayenne
3 tablespoons chiffonade fresh mint leaves

Directions:
Line a strainer with a layer of cheesecloth or a coffee filter and place over a bowl. Add the yogurt, refrigerate and let drain until thick and reduced to 1 cup, 2 to 3 hours. Discard the liquid in the bowl or reserve for another use, such as bread making.

In a blender, combine the feta, oil, garlic, lemon juice, salt and cayenne, and process until smooth, adding more oil 1/2 teaspoon at a time if needed. Add the strained yogurt and pulse to combine. Transfer to a bowl and fold in the mint leaves. Adjust the seasoning to taste. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

After making the sauce I saw that it can also make a healthy dip. I would also try substituting dill for mint. Yummy!!!

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