Hamburgers are always great weekend fare, especially when DS is here. Recently we've tried and enjoyed bison burgers. While leafing through Sheila Lukins's All Around the World cookbook, I found a recipe for "Great Turkish Hamburgers." This proved to be a blend of beef, lamb, and Turkish seasonings, so I was excited to try it. DC and DS are big lamb fans, and DC is practically addicted to gyros.
Side dishes for burgers are always a challenge for me, since I am supposed to take it easy on potatoes. Sweet potatoes are great, but we do get tired of them! When I saw Girlichef's recipe for warm Gemstone Potato and Greenbean Salad, I knew I had to try it!
A last minute inspiration was to make homemade pita bread instead of using the French rolls Sheila's recipe called for. Homemade pitas are so easy and so good! If you can make pancakes, you can make homemade pitas. There is no yeast in the recipe I use. The pitas were a great platform for the burgers and condiments. To go along with, I made a tomato salad dressed with garlic mayonnaise and thin strips of sauteed Anaheim peppers (the closest thing I could find to Italian frying peppers).
Here is Sheila's recipe for
Great Turkish Hamburgers1 lb. ground sirloin
1 lb, ground lamb
1/4 c. coarsely ground onion
1 t. minced garlic
1 T extra-virgin olive oil
2 T. chopped Italian parsley
1 t. dried oregano
1 t. ground cinnamon (*I only used 1/8th t.)
1/2 t. ground cumin
1 t. coarse salt
1/2 t. ground black pepper
8 French bread rolls
Sauteed thinly sliced strips Italian frying peppers
Thinly sliced tomatoes
Thinly sliced shallots tossed with minced parsley
1. Place all the burger ingredients through the pepper in a large bowl and work with your hands to just combine. Do not overmix.
2. Form the mixture into 8 oval patties about 3" long, 2" across, and 1" thick. (I just formed them into large hamburger patties)
3. Grill, broil or panfry the patties, 8 minutes on the first side and 5 minutes on the second side.
4. Meanwhile, split the French rolls in half and remove some of the excess bread from the centers.
5. Place the patties in the rolls and serve immediately with a platter of the toppings.
These burgers were really yummy! I ended up using 1 lb. of ground sirloin and 1/2 lb. of ground lamb, since that's what I had on hand. Also, I am not a huge fan of cinnamon in meat dishes, so I added only a tiny bit to the burgers.
Girlichef's salad, I first created a dressing to toss with the hot vegetables. In the bottom of a serving bowl I combined 6 T. extra-virgin olive oil, 2 T. white wine vinegar, 1 t. salt, freshly ground pepper, 1 clove crushed garlic, and 1 t. dijon mustard. As Heather says, adjust the proportions of these ingredients to suit your taste.
Next, I cooked the potatoes and green beans. Of course, there were no gemstome potatoes at my market, but the baby Yukon golds looked delicious.
Finally, combine the hot vegetables with the dressing and toss well.
Easy, and delicious! Unfortunately, my green beans quickly turned a shade of army green, but they were still quite tasty!
We absolutely loved the salad! I am therefore bestowing the coveted Tasty Award upon Girlichef for her delectable recipe.
Thanks for sharing your tasty recipe, Heather!! :)
Here's a shot of my homemade pitas. The top one looks like a smiley face! See my earlier post for the recipe.
Tomato salad with garlic mayonnaise for topping the burgers:
Fried pepper strips:
To serve, I placed a pita on the plate, then added a burger and topped generously with the tomato salad. I added the sliced peppers. The green bean and potato salad went alongside. I really loved eating my pita-- all the yummy juices and seasonings had soaked into it, and it was so good. Alternatively, I could have wrapped the burgers in the pitas, gyro-style. But since we were eating on our laps, this arrangement was a little easier. With all the delicious flavors and toppings, we didn't even miss the cheese on our burgers!