Monday, July 4, 2011

Wednesday: Greek Turkey Burgers with "Z" sauce

Pin It Now! I love a killer ground beef burger any day, but there was no way I could eat 4 days worth of beef burgers (and not add to my husband's cholesterol!)  So, bustin' out the ground turkey.  Even though I haven't been too happy with previous Rachel Ray recipes, I'm going to give her another try (actually two this week)
My husband has been begging me to make "Z" sauce for weeks.  Traditionally known as Tzatziki sauce, it's a Greek yogurt sauce that tastes killer on grilled meats.  I didn't care for Rachel's version, so I found a different one to whip up.  
This is a great tasting, healthy burger with tons of flavor.  I'm also making Greek Zucchini for a side (which will taste awesome dipped in the Z sauce.)

I added extra spinach...these were so good!  Don't skip on the cucumber slices...the crunch is great!  And the sauce is just perfect!  Got rave reviews from everyone....keeper!

  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, 1 turn of the pan, plus some for drizzling
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 3 cloves garlic, 2 chopped, 1 crushed
  • 1 red onion, 1/2 chopped, 1/2 thinly sliced
  • 1 box, 10 ounces, frozen spinach, defrosted
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano, lightly crushed in the palm, divided
  • 1/4 pound feta crumbles
  • 1 1/3 pounds ground chicken or ground turkey breast, 1 package
  • 1 tablespoon grill seasoning (recommended: Montreal Steak Seasoning by McCormick)
    • 1/3 seedless cucumber, thinly sliced lengthwise, plus 1 small, 2-inch piece of cucumber peeled, trimmed and chopped
    • 2 plum tomatoes, thinly sliced lengthwise
    • Salt and pepper

    Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. To one side, add a little extra-virgin olive oil and a tablespoon of butter. When butter melts, add the chopped garlic and chopped red onion and cook 5 minutes. Transfer the onions and garlic to a bowl to cool. Return pan to heat.

    Wring the defrosted spinach dry buy twisting it in a clean kitchen towel over your sink. Separate the spinach as you add it to the bowl with cool onions, garlic and season with 1 teaspoon of oregano. Add in feta crumbles then  turkey, grill seasoning and a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil. Mix and form into 4 patties, 1-inch thick. Raise heat on pan to medium-high. Add patties and cook 6 inches on each side.

    Season the sliced cucumbers and tomatoes with salt and pepper. Toast rolls, if you prefer.
    Place cooked burgers on roll bottoms. Top the burgers with sliced cucumber, tomato, and a heaping Tbs (or more) of the Z sauce.

    Tzatziki Sauce: 
    3 cups Greek Yogurt
    juice of one lemon (about 3 T)
    1 garlic clove, chopped
    2 medium cucumbers, seeded and diced
    about 1 T kosher salt for salting cucumbers
    1 T finely chopped fresh dill (can substitute mint leaves for a slightly different version)
    Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste

    Peel cucumbers, then cut in half lengthwise and take a small spoon and scrape out seeds. Discard seeds. (If you use the small seedless or European cucumbers with few seeds, you can skip this step.) Slice cucumbers, then put in a colander, sprinkle on 1 T salt, and let stand for 30 minutes to draw out water. Drain well and wipe dry with paper towel.

    In food processor with steel blade, add cucumbers, garlic, lemon juice, dill, and a few grinds of black pepper. Process until well blended, then stir this mixture into the yogurt. Taste before adding any extra salt, then salt if needed. Place in refrigerator for at least two hours before serving so flavors can blend. (This resting time is very important.)

    This will keep for a few days or more in the refrigerator, but you will need to drain off any water and stir each time you use it.
    Greek Zucchini
    2-4 medium sized zucchini
    1-2 T olive oil to brush zucchini (since there are so few ingredients, use the best olive oil you have for this recipe)
    2-3 tsp. Greek Seasoning
    (If you don't have Greek seasoning, Penzey's lists salt, oregano, garlic, lemon peel, black pepper and marjoram as ingredients. Use whichever of those you have.)

    Wash zucchini. Cut ends off and cut into slices about 3/8 inch thick. Even thickness is important but they don't have to be perfect.

    Heat stove top grill pan with ridges until it is quite hot. (You should only be able to hold your hand there for a few seconds.) While pan heats, brush zucchini with olive oil and sprinkle on Greek seasoning. Grill until both sides are nicely browned and zucchini is cooked but still a tiny bit crisp, about 8 minutes total. (Actual cooking time will depend on how hot your pan is and how many zucchini you're cooking at once.) Serve hot.
    *I personally don't have a grill pan, so I'm just going to use my panini maker.  :)


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