RECIPES: Recipe Details

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The Tzaziki lamburger

This is no gyro, and it’s not your typical burger. This is 1/3 pound ground Lamb served between a grilled pita and topped with a delicious cucumber and yogurt sauce. This is an American classic with a Greek foundation.

Ingredients 

Pita Bread:
1 ½ cups warm water 100-110â—¦ F
¼ oz package rapid rise yeast
5 cups bread flour, 3 ½ cups for bread, 1 ½ cups for flouring surface 1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1oz olive oil to grease the bread dough bowl and muffin tin
Tzaziki Sauce:
¼ large of an English cucumber (a plain cucumber is fine)
1 clove garlic finely minced
1 ½ tablespoons finely chopped fresh dill
6oz Greek style plain yogurt (or plain yogurt)
½ teaspoon red wine vinegar
¼ teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
Burger Patties:
¾ cup pitted halved Kalamata olives
2 lbs ground lamb
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons freshly ground pepper
2 roma tomatoes
1 small red onion
2oz olive oil for the grill

Instructions 

Preheat the grill to medium high. In a small sauce pan, with a heat resistant handle, heat the water to 110F on the grill. Measure the temperature with a thermometer. In a food processor equipped with a metal blade, combine the yeast and the water pulsing 5 or 6 times to fully mix. Allow to sit for 10 minutes, until foamy. In a large glass mixing bowl combine 3 ½ cups flour sugar and 1 teaspoon of salt. Pour half of the flour mixture into the food processor and pulse until incorporated. Add the remaining dry mix and pulse until a ball of dough forms. Use the remaining flour to dust a working surface for the dough (a little at a time). Remove the dough from the food processor, and lightly knead it on the floured surface to form a neat ball. Lightly grease the inside of the large mixing bowl with olive oil and place the dough in the bowl. Roll it around to slightly coat the dough with oil. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and allow to rise at room temperature for 1 ½ hours. Meanwhile, peal and cut the cucumber into pieces, and finely mince the garlic, and 2 tablespoons of dill discarding the stems. Combine the cucumber, garlic and dill with the yogurt in a food processor. Add ½ teaspoon olive oil, ¼ teaspoon salt and a pinch of black pepper. Blend into a creamy, yet chunky consistency by pulsing the food processor a couple of times. Cover and set aside in the icebox. Slice the tomatoes 1/8 inch thick, slice the red onion very thinly. Cover the tomato and onion and set aside. Slice the pitted kalamata olives into halves lengthwise. In a bowl combine the, kalamata olives and ground lamb. Divide the ground brisket mixture into 6 equal portions each weighing about 1/3 pound and roll into balls. Be careful not to overwork the lamb. Flatten each to 4 inches round on wax paper. Salt and pepper both sides, and cover with plastic and set aside. Heat the grill to medium high. The pita dough should have more than doubled in size after it has risen for 1 ½ hours. On a lightly floured surface, divide the dough into 12 equal balls, kneading each lightly to punch out the air. Keep separated by placing the balls in a muffin tin lightly greased with olive oil. Cover with plastic wrap and allow setting an additional 15 minutes. On a lightly floured surface, roll each ball out flat about 4 ½ inches to an imperfect round. Brush the grill with olive oil. The bread cooks quickly directly on the grill. Place the rolled-out pita dough carefully on the grill and watch closely. The bread should get nice browned grill marks but should not blacken. Each of the breads will need to be flipped after about one minute. Continue grilling on the other side for another minute. Remove the flat-bread from the grill, and cover them to retain the heat and moisture. Maintain the grill heat at medium high and apply olive oil to keep the grill lightly greased. Place each of the lamb patties on the grill. Leave them alone for 3 ½ minutes, then give them a 90 degree turn and allow to grill for another 3 ½ minutes. Flip the burger over and repeat this on the other side. Spread a generous ounce of tzaziki sauce on each pita. Evenly divide the mixture on each pita. Don’t waste any. Place a burger patty on 6 of the Tzaziki’ed pitas. Add 2 slices tomato and 1 very thin red onion slice. Top with the remaining 6 pita.

Comments 

Use Greek style yogurt if it is available.  If you can’t find it plain yogurt will work, but I highly recommend Greek style yogurt. Also, I like English cucumbers which are becoming more available, but a regular cucumber will work. Ask your butcher for ground lamb.