RECIPES: Recipe Details

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Hands Off-a My Kafta Burger

Ingredients 

GARLIC SPREAD
14 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon salt
½ jalapeno pepper, minced
¼ cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
1 1/4 cups canola oil
1 egg white

"FATTOUSH" MARINADE
¼ cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
2 tablespoons fresh squeezed lime juice
2 tablespoons fresh curly parsley,finely chopped
1 tablespoon fresh mint,finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt
Dash pepper
1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon dried sumac
3 tablespoons canola oil

12 large tomato slices
6 large yellow onion slices

KAFTA BURGERS
2 pounds ground chuck
½ pound ground lamb
1 ½ cup fresh curly parsley,finely chopped
½ cup fresh mint,finely chopped
1 cup onion, diced
2 1/2 teaspoons salt
½ teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoons pomegranate molasses (if unavailable, you can substitute with ½ c. pomegranate juice simmered until reduced to 2 tablespoons)

2-3 tablespoons vegetable oil ,for brushing on the grill rack
6 large sesame seeded deli hamburger buns
1 head romaine lettuce, sliced across leaves into thin ribbons

Instructions 

To make the garlic spread, put garlic in a food processor with salt and jalapeno. Turn on the food processor. Drizzle lemon juice into the processor while it is running, one teaspoon at a time. Next, one teaspoon at a time, add about half of the canola oil. Add egg white, following by the rest of the canola oil (remembering to drizzle it in one teaspoon at a time, allowing it to emulsify). Mixture should be thick and white when finished. Place garlic spread in a covered bowl in the refrigerator.

Prepare a medium-hot fire in a charcoal grill with cover, or preheat a gas grill to medium-high.

To prepare fattoush marinade, in a small bowl whisk together lemon juice, lime juice, parsley, mint, salt, pepper, sumac and oil. Place tomato and onion slices in a shallow dish and pour marinade over top. Set aside.

To make the patties, in a large bowl combine ground chuck, lamb, parsley, mint, onion, salt, pepper and pomegranate molasses (or reduced pomegranate juice). Handling the meat as little as possible, to avoid compacting it, mix thoroughly by hand. Divide mixture into 6 equal size portions, shaping each portion into a patty.

When the grill is ready, brush the grill rack with vegetable oil. Place burgers on the grill, cover and cook, turning only once, for approximately 3-4 minutes on each side, until medium-rare.

During last two minutes of grilling patties, place buns, cut side down, on indirect heat, or outer edges of grill, to toast lightly.

When patties are cooked, place on cookie sheet to rest.

To assemble burgers, generously spread garlic spread on cut sides of the top and bottom bun. Place a small handful of lettuce on the bottom bun, followed by a burger patty, two slices of tomato, and one slice of onion. Add bun tops and serve immediately.

Makes 6 burgers

Comments 

Growing up in Michigan, there were always middle-eastern restaurants around the corner. I moved to L.A. for six years in the late 80’s; and as the song goes, "Ya don’t know what you've got ‘til it’s gone". So, I had to improvise and come up with my own middle-eastern comfort dish to hold me over until I was home. Even though I’ve been back in Michigan for almost 20 years now, this burger still rivals the best!