RECIPES: Recipe Details

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Stuffed Feta Burgers with Calamata Aioli

I jokingly refer to these burgers as my "feta insteada chedda burgers". The inspiration came from my love of all things Mediterranean, especially feta cheese and calamata olives. They’re easy and inexpensive to make, yet can be served to the most discerning of burger enthusiasts. One bite and you’ll agree— feta is, indeed, betta than chedda.

Ingredients 

Calamata Aioli
1 cup mayonnaise
¾ cup pitted Calamata olives sliced
¾ cup unpeeled, chopped cucumber
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
¼ cup chopped fresh oregano leaves
2 cloves garlic, minced
Feta Filling
1 cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes in olive oil, drained
3 oz block of feta cheese
Garnish
2 medium red peppers
6 thin slices red onion separated into rings
Patties: 1 1/2 pounds ground chuck (preferably fresh ground from butcher)
1/2 pound ground lamb (preferably fresh ground from butcher)
2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary
2 teaspoons sea or kohser salt
½ cup Sutter Home Zinfandel wine
Colavita Olive Oil for brushing on the grill
6 large bakery style hamburger rolls or Kaiser rolls

Instructions 

To make the calamata aioli: Mix together the mayonnaise, olives, cucumber, lemon juice, oregano and garlic in a small bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and store in refrigerator. Aioli should be prepared at least 2 hours ahead. To make the feta filling: Finely crumble the feta cheese Mix the crumbled feta and the tomatoes together in a small bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and store in refrigerator until ready to use. To prepare the red peppers: Wash the peppers and dry with paper towel. Prepare the grill for high heat . Place the red peppers directly on the grill and cook, turning often until peppers are charred on all sides, about 5 minutes. Remove from grill and place in a bowl. Cover with a plate for 5 to 10 minutes or until peppers are cool enough to handle. Remove skins, cut down one side of each pepper to lay completely flat, remove seeds and membranes and cut each pepper in 3 sections. Trim each section to fit the size of the bun. Store at room temperature until ready to assemble burgers. To make the patties: Using chilled hands (rinse hands with cold water) thoroughly mix the ground chuck, lamb, rosemary and salt together in a large bowl working as quickly as possible. Add the wine and mix well but gently, trying not to compact the meat. Separate the beef mixture into 6 balls. Form the balls into “bowls” making sure that you leave enough on the sides to later fold over. Spoon 1/6 of the feta/sun-dried tomato filling into the center of each meat bowl and fold over the sides to completely cover the mixture. Work the meat into a patty and slightly press down. The feta mixture should be completely covered and tucked securely into the center of each patty. To grill the burgers: Preheat a gas grill to medium-high. When the grill is ready, brush the grill rack with the olive oil. Place the patties on the grill, cover and grill approximately 5 minutes per side for medium, turning once. Adjust grilling time depending on your preference. During the last few minutes, place the buns, cut side down, on the grill and toast for approximately 1-2 minutes or until golden. To assemble the burgers Spread 2 teaspoons of the aioli on the cut side of the top bun. Place a patty on the bottom bun, top with a slice of red pepper and a slice of red onion. Add the bun tops and serve immediately. Serves 6

Comments 

Prepared, store purchased roasted red peppers may be substitued in this recipe.