Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Greek Cheeseburger

The New York Times has been reporting on high end burgers in fancy restaurants over the last couple years. I don’t see why not. Bread, meat and condiments can take a lot of forms and not all of them with special sauce on a sesame seed bun. Here, on vacation in Greece, this is what we did with our kilo of ground beef :

Burger ingredients :
2 lbs ground beef or lamb
1 small egg (if you have large eggs, use either the yolk or the white)
½ sm onion, minced fine
1 lg bunch fresh parsley, minced fine
½ cup breadcrumbs
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp salt
½ tsp ground black pepper
4 thin slices of feta cheese

Assemble the ingredients as described on the counter. Mix all ingredients except for the feta in a large bowl with your hands. Divide mixture into 4 equal portions. Prepare a large plate with some plastic wrap to cover. Take one portion of the meat mixture and divide in two. Flatten one piece between your hands, trying to keep it evenly round at the edges. Once it is as flat as it can be, place it onto the plastic wrap and place 1 slice of feta over it. The feta should, of course, be smaller in diameter than the meat. Flatten the other half of the meat portion in the same way that you did the first and then place that over the feta. Now lift the plastic under the whole meat and cheese burger and place it between your hands. With your thumbs, connect the edges of the meat to completely enclose the cheese. Continue this way with the other three portions. Grill or pan fry the burgers as you please.

Sauce ingredients :
1 tsp olive oil
1 large garlic clove, minced
2 very ripe medium-sized tomatoes
½ tso dried oregano
salt and pepper to taste

As the burgers are cooking, place the oil in a small sauce pan over medium heat. Add the garlic and allow to turn blonde. Immediately add the tomatoes and simmer for about 5-10 minutes until the sauce reaches the consistency you like best. I cooked mine for 10 minutes and the result was thick enough to dollop on top of the burgers. During the last minute of cooking, add the oregano, salt and pepper. Set aside until the burgers are done. Serve on grilled bread, or if you insist, a sesame seed bun.

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