Wednesday, July 27, 2011

When Vacation Gives you Lemons...

Reentry is hard. This week I am trying my darndest to get back in the groove of the grind after a full seven days of family time in the sun, surf and sand. 100+ degree weather just isn’t as fun on the steamy blacktops of suburbia as it is in a beach chair with my feet in the cool ocean water and the beach breeze in my hair.

As it goes with vacation, I came home to a fridge of random ingredients. I had feta, some frozen ground turkey, greek yogurt, spinach, rotten milk, frozen hamburger buns, some cucumbers from a neighbor, and a million lemons. Not a bad lot, but definitely not a whole lot of options for Superman, sorry buddy :)

My neighbor and chef extraordinaire, Tawnya, had recently told me about some tasty Spanikopita burgers she made that I knew I wanted to try out. And when vacation leaves you with a million lemons, make Tzatziki? After I scrounged up some tomatoes I got to work. For a fridge full of random ingredients, this turned out pretty dang good.

Spanakopita Burgers
(adopted from Rachael Ray’s recipe)

1 pound of ground turkey or chicken
1 bag of spinach
half an onion and a couple cloves of garlic (I always always have onion and garlic)
1/2 cup of crumbled feta
Hamburger buns (optional)

For the tzatziki topping:

1 cup of Greek Yogurt
1 cucumber
half a small red onion
2 cloves garlic
cherry tomatoes
1 lemon
2 tsp Dill
Olive Oil

First thing’s first, heat a saute pan over medium high heat and add a turn of the pan of olive oil. Chop the garlic and onions.
Add to the saute pan and let them go for about 2 minutes.
Then add the spinach. I did use the whole bag. The original recipe called for frozen spinach but I just really have something against frozen spinach. Fresh spinach is so pretty! I added about half (enough to fit in the pan), let it cook down, and then added the other half
Like so

While that spinach is doing it’s thing, get started on the Tzatziki. Add the greek yogurt to the mixing bowl. (P.S. I got to use my new Bamboo fiber mixing bowls from Pampered Chef’s not yet released fall collection, I love them). Then add the 2 tsp of Dill. Fresh dill is so much more flavorful but dry will do.
Add two cloves of garlic.

Oh hey, spinach is done. Put that in a separate bowl to cool while you finish the Tzatziki. You will inadvertently cook the ground turkey if you try and mix it all while it’s hot!

Focus Karen, back to the tzatziki. Add the lemon juice.

Peel the cucumber

I really wanted the cucumber pulverized so I used the food chopper and got the pieces nice and teeny.
Add it in the sauce.
Chop tomatoes. I love the colors of these.
Score and cut the red onion (I would leave this out if I wanted the tzatziki to be more of a dip and less of a burger topping)
Then toss it allllll together.
To the spinach bowl, add the 1/2 cup feta and about a tablepsoon of oregano.
Then the ground turkey and mix it well. I just really think you can’t mix a burger well unless you get in there with your hands, so don’t be shy just do it.
Form into patties and refrigerate until you are ready to go.

When you’re ready, heat some olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. I would recommend pan frying these versus grilling because they are a bit juicy and might fall apart on the grill.
Cook through on both sides until they are golden brown and cooked through. I think this took me about 10 to 15 minutes.

I actually ate these open faced but I thought for the picture they looked cuter with a hat. Next time I would definitely throw some Hot Pepper Rings or Pepperoncini on there because I’m insane and have to have something spicy in every meal I eat. Might try pita instead of Hamburger Rolls too!


Christine Bilek said...

Chase ALL CAPS HEARTS tzatziki...I'll have to give it a try :)

The Samson Family said...

yummm!!!! We love all types of burgers over here and I can maybe sneak in some green :)