Friday, April 23, 2010

Greek Turkey Burgers with Garlic Feta Sauce

I'll be honest, when it comes to burgers, I'm a ground beef kinda gal. I cook with ground turkey quite often, but when it comes to burgers, I just prefer beef. But in my effort to be healthier and try new recipes, I've recently made several new turkey burger recipes. Some were just okay, and some were down right awful, but this week we had one that was truly blog-worthy.

I adapted a "Greek Burger" recipe from Rachael Ray, that originally called for ground lamb. I know ground lamb would make the burgers much more Greek, but I was afraid the meat might be to strong for my little one. Turkey was the perfect substitute.

The burgers were easy to prepare, full of flavor, and extra fun for my two year old because it was wrapped in a pita instead of a bun. I'm not sure why anything out of the ordinary makes dinner more fun, but hey, I'm not complaining :) I also highly recommend making the accompanying yogurt sauce, which I tweaked slightly by adding feta. All in all, the whole family loved these burgers, and I have a turkey burger recipe I will definitely be making again!

Note: The picture above, shows the burgers with a Greek salad - it was the perfect side dish!

Greek Turkey Burgers with Garlic Feta Sauce
Adapted from Rachael Ray, via Serves 4

* 1 1/2 pounds ground turkey
* 1/2 medium yellow onion, peeled
* 1 teaspoons allspice
* 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
* 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
* 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
* 1 egg, lightly beaten
* A handful plain breadcrumbs
* salt and freshly ground black pepper
* 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

* 1 cup Greek yogurt
* 1 large clove garlic, peeled
* 1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
* 2 tablespoons mint leaves, finely chopped

* 4 large soft pitas
* sliced tomato, red onion and lettuce for garnish


Put the turkey in bowl. Using a box grater, grate the onion over the bowl so that the pulp of the onion and juices fall into the meat. Add the spices, egg, bread crumbs, salt and pepper, to taste, and mix to combine. Form the meat mixture into 4 patties, thinner at the middle and thicker at the edges for even cooking.

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and coat with oil, or coat the burgers in oil and grill on outdoor grill. Cook the patties about 10 minutes, turning once.

While the patties cook, add the yogurt to a small bowl. Grate the garlic into the yogurt using a fine grater or zester. Add the mint and feta and stir to combine.

Eat the burgers in or on the pita bread topped with yogurt sauce, sliced tomato, red onion, and lettuce.

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Monday, April 19, 2010

Lobsters Rolls with Garlic Parmesan Fries

Let me begin by stating we do not frequently cook lobster for dinner. Such indulgences are usually saved for a special occasion like a birthday or anniversary. But it seems I have happened upon a new phenomenon. Send your husband to the market for hamburgers and he will return with lobster tails! And better yet, he will cook a fabulous dinner.

I am blessed to have a husband who enjoys cooking. And every once in a while (especially when lobster tails are on sale), he gets a wild hair and creates an amazing meal for us. Sunday was one of those occasions. He recreated one of the best meals I've ever eaten - lobster rolls from Neptune Oyster in Boston, Massachusetts.

I loved that my husband created an "open face" variation of the sandwich. They were out of this world, especially accompanied by some incredible garlic parmesan fries! So please enjoy this meal for a special occasion or just an ordinary Sunday dinner.

Lobster Rolls
serves 4

* 6 lobster tails
* Four slices Shepherd's bread, thickly cut
* 1 stick butter (use a portion for buttering bread, and the remainder for melting)


Fill a large steam pot with water. Bring to a boil, and steam lobster tails for approximately 5-7 minutes, or until tails turn red and meat is cooked through. Remove meat from the tails, and roughly chop, so you have large chunks of lobster. Set aside.

Butter bread on both sides. Toast bread in a skillet over medium heat, until each side is golden brown. Approximately 3-4 minutes per side.

Top toasted bread with chunks of lobster. Drizzle with desired amount of melted butter.

Enjoy as an "open face" sandwich.

Garlic Parmesan Fries

1 bag frozen shoe string french fries
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons flat leaf italian parsley, finely chopped


Cook french fries as directed (frying method works best for this recipe). After cooking the fries, toss with garlic, parmesan and parsley. Serve immediately.

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Friday, April 16, 2010

Slow Cooker Asian Short Ribs

I think I may have found my new favorite Crock Pot recipe! I am a huge fan of Real Simple Magazine, and love perusing through their recipe archives. When I came across this recipe for Asian Short ribs, I knew I had to give it a try. First off, there was no cream of anything involved (score #1), secondly, I had almost all of the ingredients on hand (score #2), Finally, it sounded completely delicious (score, score, score!!!).

This recipe can be thrown together in minutes, and once it begins to simmer in the crock pot the house permeates with amazing smells that will leave you counting down the minutes until dinner. Served with some garlic mashed potatoes it was simple perfection!

I can't wait to serve this meal again when my husband's parents come to visit in a couple of weeks. I think it will be the perfect send off meal, as they stay with us before they leave for a two week vacation in Asia.

Slow-Cooker Asian Short Ribs
Adapted from Real Simple Magazine, October 2008
Serves 4

* 1/2 cup low-sodium soy sauce
* 1/3 cup brown sugar
* 1/4 cup rice vinegar
* 2 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
* 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
* 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
* 8 beef short ribs (about 4 pounds)
* 15-20 peeled baby carrots
* 2 tablespoons cornstarch
* 1 tablespoon sesame oil
* 4 scallions, thinly sliced (optional)


In a 4- to 6-quart slow cooker, combine the soy sauce, sugar, vinegar, garlic, ginger, and red pepper. Add the short ribs and arrange in a single layer. Lay the carrots on top.

Cook, covered, on high for 5 to 6 hours (or on low for 7 to 8 hours―see note below), until the meat is tender and easily pulls away from the bone.

Transfer short ribs, and carrots to a serving plate. With a large spoon or ladle, skim the fat from the cooking liquid and discard.

If the slow cooker is on the low setting, turn it to high. In a small bowl, whisk together the cornstarch with 1 tablespoon of water until smooth. Whisk into the cooking liquid and cook until thickened, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in the sesame oil. Spoon the sauce over the short ribs and carrots and sprinkle with the scallions (if using).

Suggested serving: Serve over garlic mashed potatoes

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Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Revolution Chicken Curry

Recently I've become addicted to ABC's new series, Jaime Oliver's Food Revolution. If you have not seen it, I highly recommend watching it, or for those of you who have lives on Friday nights (unlike me), record it.

Although the idea of getting "America's Unhealthiest City" to change their eating habits in a matter of weeks may seem a little far-fetched, the premise leaves you thinking. Jaime's overall mission is to get America cooking simple, healthy meals from scratch. Personally, I think he's a food hero and I hope if nothing else, more people will get back in the kitchen after watching his show.

Right around the time the show first aired, I happened upon one of Jaime's recipes on a great blog, La Fuji Mama. Of course, I was thrilled to find one his recipes, and even more excited to find such an inspirational mama cooking great things for her family. Together, we're doing our part to pass on Jaime's Food Revolution.

I just made a few changes to the recipe by adding chicken instead of tofu, and adding a bit of fresh mint, because I love the combination of curry and fresh mint. All in all, it was fast, simple, delicious and healthy.

Revolution Curry Chicken
Adapted from La Fuji Mama, via Very Simple Curry, p. 271, Jamie’s Food Revolution
Serves 4

* 6 scallions, finely sliced
* large bunch of fresh cilantro, finely chopped
* 1 tablespoon fresh mint, finely chopped
* 3 tablespoons olive oil
* 5 heaped teaspoons curry powder
* 1 tablespoon butter
* 2 cans (14-ounces each) coconut milk
* sea salt
* juice of 1/2 lemon
* 3 large chicken breasts, sliced into 1/2 inch pieces


In a skillet over medium-high heat, brown chicken in 1 tablespoon of olive oil, until cooked through. Set aside.

Put a pan over low heat and add the remaining 2 tbsp. of olive oil. Sprinkle the curry powder over the oil and add the scallions. Stir everything together and then add the butter. Continue to stir and cook for 20 to 30 seconds more. When it’s all bubbling, add the coconut milk. Bring everything to a boil, then turn the heat down and simmer for 2 minutes. Finish the sauce by seasoning it to taste with salt and then stir in the cilantro, mint, and lemon juice.

Add chicken to the curry, simmer 2-3 minutes

* Suggested serving: serve curry chicken over jasmine rice.

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