RECIPES: Recipe Details

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"Rockin the Kasbah" - Topless Morroccan Style Burgers

My family loves the exotic fresh flavor and rich spice of the Greek, Middle Eastern and North African parts of the world. The flavors are so distinctive and rich, with a unique spice and brightness like nowhere else. Using the flavors that we love from our experience with Greek, Lebanese and Morroccan cuisine, this burger has it all! It is exotic, flavorful and fresh, but not by any means heavy like a traditional burger, and is so easy to make. It is overwhelmingly delicious. On top of that it is beautiful to look at. Someday we hope to travel to those parts of the world to experience the true local flavors first hand!

Ingredients 

MORROCCAN SPICE BLEND:
1/2 teaspoon whole cumin seeds
1/2 teaspoon whole coriander seeds
1 teaspoon pink peppercorns
1 teaspoon smoked salt

CHARMOULA:
10 large pitted black Calamata style olives
6 cloves whole garlic rough chopped
1/3 cup fresh cilantro rough chopped
1/3 cup fresh flat leaf parseley rough chopped
1 teaspoon freshly grated orange zest
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 Tablespoon sundried tomatoes, packed in oil chopped
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons Morrocan Spice Blend

GROUND MEAT:
1 1/2 pounds Ground Beef Round
1/2 pounds Ground Lamb Chuck
Prepared Charmoula

KASBAH CHEESE SPREAD:
4 oz plain premium goat cheese
2 oz Plain Greek style yogurt, squeezed gently in cheese cloth
2 teaspoons fresh grated orange zest
2 teaspoons honey
2 Tablespoons minced shallot
2 Tablespoons minced dates
1/2 teaspoon Morroccan Spice Blend

SPICED CITRUS VINAIGRETTE:
2 Tablespoons minced Shallot
2 Tablespoons Fresh Orange Juice with plenty of pulp
5 Tablespoons Olive Oil
1 Tablespoon freshly grated lime zest
1 Tablespoon Honey
1 teaspoon Morroccan Spice Blend
2 Tablespoons Cilantro rough chopped
1 Tablespoon crystalized ginger

BABY SALAD:
2 Cups chopped baby arugula
1 Cup chopped curly endive
1 whole medium head of radicchio
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
1 teaspoon salt

BREAD:
3 large pieces of Naan flatbread
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
1 teaspoon salt

GRILL PREPARATION:
2 Tablespoons Vegetable Oil

Instructions 

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

To make the Moroccan Spice Blend, heat a dry small fireproof skillet on the grill until hot, add the cumin and corander seeds and swirl gently in the pan until fragrant, about 1 1/2 minutes. Place toasted seeds, peppercorns and smoked salt in spice or coffee grinder and pulse until fine, 30 seconds. Set aside in small bowl.

To make the Charmoula, combine all ingrediants in food processor with chopping knife attachment and pulse until blended and fine, about 30 seconds. Place prepared Charmoula in large bowl.

To make the patties, add the ground beef and lamb to the bowl with the Charmoula. Carefully break up the meat as you do so to enable good distribution of the Charmoula amongst the meat. Using caution not to overhandle the meat, toss with your hands so that the meat and Charmoula are well combined. Do not compress the meat as you do so. Form the meat mixture into 6 equal sized oval patties with a depression in the center, Patties should be just about the size and shape of your hand. The patties will each cover one half of one slice of Naan. Cover and refrigerate patties on platter until ready to grill.

To make the Cheese Spread, first, place the yogurt in a cheesecloth, and place inside a mesh strainer over bowl. Twist cheesecloth to gently compress the yogurt so as to release some excess liquid prior to adding to food processor. You will not remove all liquid but only some. Place strained yogurt and all other ingrediants in a food processor with slicing blade attachment and blend until smooth and fully incorporated, about 30-60 seconds. Place in small glass bowl, cover and chill until time for use.

To make Vinaigrette, combine all ingrediants in food processor with slicing blade attachment until well blended, about 30-60 seconds. Place in medium glass bowl, cover and chill until ready for use.

To make salad, first cut whole Radicchio into quarters leaving the stem in place to secure leaves. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Place on hot grill and roast until just wilted and slightly charred on edges, turning to grill all sides, about 5-6 minutes, total. Remove from grill and rough chop. in a medium bowl, combine chopped arugula, endive and radicchio. Cover and set aside until ready for use.

Brush the grill rack with vegetable oil. Place the patties on the hot rack, cover, and cook, turning once, until done to preference, 4 to 5 minutes on each side for medium.

To prepare bread, brush the Naan with olive oil on one side and lightly salt. During final moments of grilling the patties, place on the outermost or uppermost rack of the grill and toast the oiled side only, just until warmed through and only slightly toasted, careful not to scorch. Remove from heat and cut into halves width wise so that you have two pieces of Naan from each slice, each being about the size of your hand.

Just before serving, toss the salad with enough Vinaigrette to generously dress and moisten all of the greens.

To assemble the burgers, place the warmed Naan on the plates, oiled side up, spread with 6 equal portions of the cheese, top with a patty, top burgers with 6 equal portions of the salad, careful to drain excess dressing from salad as you do so.

Serve "Topless" or openfaced immediately.

Comments 

The complex mix of savory and spice and sweet is incredible! Be prepared to emberrass yourself when you keep wanting more!