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Archive for the ‘Sandwiches’ Category

If you’ve been reading for a while then you might be familiar with my tendency to create a recipe including things like feta, spinach, sundried tomatoes and kalamata olives and call it Greek. Case in point – Greek Pasta, Greek Chicken Breasts and Greek Inspired Flounder. Actually, there are 11 recipes in my “Greek” category…right up there with the 12 in the “Italian” category. We just love foods with Mediterranean flavors!

Brandon and I were enjoying happy hour at our local brewery last night and brainstorming ideas for dinner. I remembered seeing feta and spinach turkey burgers on Jenna’s blog this week and I mentioned making an amped-up version of those. Brandon is always up for a good burger so he happily went along with the plan.

We prefer ground chicken over turkey so we started with that as our base. I pretty much went through the fridge and pantry and added in anything that I thought went with my Greek chicken burger theme. We ended up mixing in sundried tomatoes, kalamata olives, spinach, feta, parsley and oregano. I made a spin on tzatziki sauce to accompany the burgers.

These “on the fly” burgers totally ended up exceeding our expectations. After all the mix-ins, this was definitely not your average boring chicken burger. They were so easy to make and full of flavor.  I cooked them inside in a skillet but I’m sure they would be great grilled too.

One Year Ago: Mini Quiche (and dinner at Top Chef Kevin Gillespie’s restaurant!)
Two Years Ago: Lady Strawberry Cake

Greek Chicken Burgers
(Recipe inspired by Eat, Live, Run)

Ingredients:

FOR THE BURGERS
1 pound ground chicken
1 egg, slightly beaten
1 cup baby spinach, chopped
1/4 cup sundried tomatoes, chopped
1/4 cup kalamata olives, chopped
1/2 cup feta cheese, crumbled
1/2 teaspoon dried parsley (or 1 -2 tablespoons fresh)
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano (or 1 tablespoon fresh)
1 teaspoon kosher salt
A few cranks of freshly ground pepper

FOR THE SAUCE
1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 teaspoon olive oil
Squeeze of lemon juice (maybe 1 teaspoon)
1/2 teaspoon dried parsley (or 1 tablespoon fresh)
Salt, to taste

Directions:

Whisk together ingredients for the sauce. Set aside.

In a large bowl, combine all of the burger ingredients and mix together (it’s easiest to use your hands here). Form into four patties. The mixture will feel pretty wet and like it’s going to fall apart but it will firm as it cooks.

Heat a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Add a little oil and burgers. Cook about 6-8 minutes per side or until internal temperature reads at least 160 degrees in the thickest part of the burger.

Serve on toasted, buttered buns with sauce, lettuce and tomato. Top with extra feta if desired.

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This recipe has been starred in my Google reader since October 3, 2009. Every time I scrolled through my starred recipes I would think, “oh that looks good, I need to make it soon.” And it finally made it on to the menu plan this week! Artichokes are one of my all-time favorite “special” vegetables and stuffing a burger with artichokes and cheese just sounded perfect.

The verdict? I am glad that I made these burgers nine months after originally staring them! They were an awesome change from traditional burgers. The original recipe used fontina but suggested subbing feta. I had a big block of feta in the fridge so I went with that. The feta was delicious!

The only negative about the burgers is that they were a little hard to work with. The turkey was difficult to shape – the mixture seemed really wet. Brandon was concerned about getting them on the grill but they ended up grilling nicely and firming up.

Overall, I would recommend these burgers to anyone looking for a twist on traditional burgers or looking for a lower fat (or red meatless) option. We might try the burgers with ground chicken next time!

One Year Ago: Strawberry (or Cherry) Muffins

Artichoke and Feta Stuffed Turkey Burgers
(Recipe adapted from Proceed with Caution, originally from Good Things Catered)

Ingredients:

1 pound lean ground turkey
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1/4 medium sweet onion, finely diced
1 large garlic clove, minced
Salt and pepper, to taste
2 artichoke hearts, quartered
4 ounces crumbled feta
4 burger buns

Directions:

Mix together turkey, onion, balsamic, garlic, salt and pepper in a medium bowl. Form three or four patties (depending on the size of your buns and keeping in mind that the burgers will cook down a bit on the grill). Place patties on a plate and remove the top third of them. Create a small well and place an artichoke heart quarter and one ounce of feta in the well. Replace the meat you removed on top of the filling and seal the edges.

Heat grill to medium. Cook burgers about 8-10 minutes per side, or until a thermometer registers at least 160 degrees. Be careful placing the burgers on the grill and try not to move them around much (so they keep their form).

Place on buns and serve.

Yield: 3 to 4 burgers

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68 Days of Gourmet: Day 50

This was my first time making pita bread and it was a huge success. I followed the recipe directions exactly and the dough was a breeze to work with. I can’t even explain to you how much better this is than any store bought pita bread. It’s so soft and has that delicious homemade bread flavor.

Brandon asked if it would have a pocket and honestly, I had no clue. But while it was baking it puffed up and we were excited to cut into it and see that the pocket had “magically” appeared. I served this with kefta, homemade taziki and zucchini. I’ll be sharing that recipe tomorrow!

We’ve really enjoyed the leftovers for sandwiches this week and I’m already planning on adding this to the regular rotation. It would be so easy to make a big batch on Sundays and use if for the week. Also, The Gourmet Cookbook says they freeze well.

The only complaint I have is that Gourmet calls these whole wheat. But with only 1-cup of whole wheat flour and 2-cups of white flour, I didn’t feel like I could really call it whole wheat. I’m going to experiment next time with increasing the wheat to white ratio.

If you’re a pita lover this is a must try! :)

One year ago: Grilled Chicken Salad

Whole Wheat(ish) Pita Bread
(Recipe source The Gourmet Cookbook, published in Gourmet May 2003)
Printable Recipe

Ingredients:

1 (1/4-ounce) package active dry yeast (2 1/2 teaspoons)
1 teaspoon honey
1 1/4 cups warm water (105–115 degrees F), divided
2 cups bread flour or high-gluten flour, plus additional for kneading
1 cup whole-wheat flour
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
Cornmeal for sprinkling baking sheets

Directions:

In a large bowl (or the bowl of a stand mixer if using), stir together yeast, honey and 1/2 cup warm water. Let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes. If mixture does not foam, start over with new yeast.

While yeast mixture stands, stir together flours in another bowl. Whisk 1/2 cup flour mixture into yeast mixture until smooth. Cover with plastic wrap and let stand in a draft-free/warm place (I like to use my oven – I turn it on for about a minute to get it warm – about 80-82 degrees and then turn it off and place dough in oven) until doubled in bulk and bubbly, about 45 minutes.

Stir in oil, salt, remaining 3/4 cup warm water and remaining 2 1/2 cups flour mixture until a dough forms. Either turn dough out onto a floured surface and knead, working in just enough flour to keep dough from sticking, or use a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook and on low speed to knead until dough is smooth and elastic, about 8-10 minutes.

Form dough into a ball and place in a large oiled bowl, turning once to coat. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let dough rise in draft-free/warm place until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.

Prepare 2 baking sheets by sprinkling with cornmeal. Punch down dough and cut into 8 pieces. Form each piece into a ball, flatten the ball and then roll out into a 7-inch round on floured surface with a floured rolling pin. Transfer round to prepared baking sheet. Make 7 more rounds in same manner, arranging them on baking sheets. Loosely cover pitas  with clean kitchen towels (not terry cloth) and let stand at room temperature 30 minutes.

Adjust oven rack to the lower third of oven and remove other racks (I left the other racks). Preheat oven to 500 degrees.

Transfer 4 pitas, 1 at a time, directly onto oven rack (alternatively, I think you could bake these on a preheated baking stone so they don’t get wire marks from the oven). Bake until puffed and pale golden, about 2 minutes. Turn over with tongs and bake 1 minute more.

Cool pitas on a cooling rack 2 minutes, then stack and wrap loosely in a kitchen towel to keep pitas warm. Bake remaining 4 pitas in same manner. Serve warm.

Yield: 8 pitas

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chickengyropita

If you read my blog regularly you’ve probably noticed that I love Greek foods and flavors. When I read Annie from Annie’s Eats rave about this being her new favorite recipe I knew I had to try it.  We don’t do a lot of sandwichy things for dinner so this was a nice change for us. I love tzatziki sauce and smothered my pita in it (which is why you probably aren’t seeing the chicken in the photo above).

The only complaint I had was not having time to make homemade pita bread and all they had at the grocery was very wheaty and dense pitas. I look forward to trying this again with a more traditional pita.

Chicken Gyros
(Recipe heavily adapted from Annie’s Eats)

Ingredients:

FOR THE TZATZIKI SAUCE
16 ounces plain lowfat yogurt
1/2 hothouse cucumber or 1 regular cucumber, peeled and seeded
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
Salt and pepper, to taste
Juice of about 1/4 a lemon
Extra virgin olive oil

FOR THE CHICKEN
2 cloves garlic, minced
Juice of 1 lemon
2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons plain lowfat yogurt
1 tablespoon dried oregano
Salt and pepper, to taste
2-3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, sliced

TO ASSEMBLE
3 pita bread rounds
1/2 cup grape tomatoes, sliced in half
1/2 cucumber, thinly sliced

Directions:

FOR THE TZATZIKI SAUCE

If you want a thicker tzatziki sauce you can strain your yogurt. I actually prefer mine a little thinner (I know I’m in the minority here) so I skipped this step.

Finely shred the cucumber and wrap in paper towels to remove as much water as possible. Whisk together yogurt, shredded cucumber, garlic, white wine vinegar, salt, pepper and lemon juice.  Drizzle lightly with olive oil.  Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before serving to allow the flavors to develop.

FOR THE CHICKEN
Whisk together garlic, lemon juice, red wine vinegar, olive oil, yogurt, oregano and salt and pepper in a medium bowl. Add the sliced chicken and coat well with marinade mixture. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes to 1 hour.

Preheat the broiler to high. Place a wire rack coated with cooking spray over a jelly roll pan. Line chicken slices on rack. Cook chicken for about 4-5 minutes. Remove pan from oven and flip chicken. Continue cooking for another 3-4 minutes or until the internal temperature has reached 160 degrees.

TO ASSEMBLE
Heat pitas (by wrapping and placing in microwave or oven). To serve, layer a few chicken pieces over pita, drizzle (or in my case drench) with tzatziki and top with tomatoes and cucumber.

Yield: 3 servings

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bbqchicksand

Brandon grilled up a beer can chicken on the Egg for dinner Friday night. We had a lot of leftovers and he had fun creating this sandwich on Saturday for lunch.  This isn’t really a “recipe” but I know that people are always looking for ways to use leftover roasted/grilled chicken and this sandwich was delicious!

Beer Can Chicken BBQ Chicken Sandwich
(Recipe source Bakin’ and Eggs)

Ingredients:

2 slices of bread (we used sourdough – highly recommend!)
3/4 cup shredded leftover grilled or roasted chicken (about 1 1/2 thighs or 1 breast)
2 slices sharp cheddar cheese
BBQ sauce (your favorite – recently we’ve been enjoying  Grendeddy Dave’s Hot BBQ Sauce)
Mayonnaise
Salt and pepper, to taste.

Directions:

Preheat convection oven or regular oven to 400 degrees.

Spread a thin layer of mayonnaise over one slice of bread. Place shredded chicken on top and then drizzle desired amount of BBQ sauce over the chicken. Add salt and pepper to taste. Place cheese on the other slice of bread.

We use our convection oven for heating sandwiches. This sandwich cooked for four about 5-6 minutes. In a normal oven, you may want to start out at about 10 minutes and watch it. When cheese is melted and chicken is warm the sandwich is ready. We cook the sandwich open faced and then place the cheese slice on top of the chicken before serving.

Told you this wasn’t a recipe! More of a creation! :)

Yield: 1 sandwich

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indianchickenburgersday

I saw this recipe on Savory Spicy Sweet and sent the link to Brandon to see if he was interested (I do this often when I’m reading recipes online). His answer was a resounding “YES!” so I added it to the dinner menu this week. He’s been looking forward to it all week asking me when I was going to make the naan so we could have this for dinner. This is a relatively simple and quick dinner if you either buy naan or make your dough the night before.

The recipe calls these burgers but we made ours more slider/meatball size. They were the perfect size for lining up on the naan. The chicken mixture had a lot of flavor and the yogurt sauce was delicious. I really recommend you try these for something a little different.

Brandon took one bite and said “this is something I could eat a lot.” I got lots of “mmms” during dinner and he’s excited about leftovers for lunch tomorrow.

Indian Spiced Chicken Burgers
(Adapted from Savory Spicy Sweet, originally from Everyday Food: Great Food Fast)

Ingredients:

FOR THE CHICKEN BURGERS
1 lb ground chicken
2 green onions, diced
2 tbsp fresh ginger, grated or finely diced (forgot this at the grocery and used about a teaspoon of dried ground ginger)
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 tsp paprika
1-2 tsp ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Coarse salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
6-8 pieces of naan
1 cucumber, sliced thinly (optional)
fresh cilantro (optional)

FOR THE YOGURT SAUCE
1/2 cup plain yogurt
1/2-1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 clove garlic, minced
coarse salt and ground pepper, to taste

Directions:

Mix together everything above from the ground chicken through the salt and pepper. Put mixture aside and let rest for at least 10 minutes, up to 30 minutes.

Preheat the grill to 400 degrees. Combine ingredients for the yogurt sauce. Adjust seasoning to taste.

Form the chicken mixture into about 8 patties. Grill patties about 5 minutes per side or until the internal temperature reaches 160 degrees. You can also cook these on the stove top by heating olive oil in a skillet over medium to medium-high heat and cooking 3-4 minutes per side. Again, until internal temperature reaches 160 degrees.

Arrange 2 chicken patties on a piece of naan and top with yogurt sauce. Serve with sliced cucumbers and cilantro if desired.

Yield: 3-4 servings

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We had some leftover blue cheese that I wanted to use. I was browsing blue cheese recipes on some of my favorite food blogs and I came across this recipe for Buffalo Sloppy Joe’s on Savory Spicy Sweet. I sent it to Brandon and not surprisingly he said, “Yes! Can we have this tonight?” He looked forward to these all day. I seriously haven’t seen the boy so excited about dinner in a while. Before he even tasted them he asked me to make extra so he could have leftovers for lunch.

These were really easy to put together. Dinner took 20-30 minutes tops from start to finish. These will definitely be going in the make again recipe file and for some reason I have a feeling I’ll get a request to make them again soon :)

Buffalo Sloppy Joes
(Recipe source Savory Spicy Sweet)

Ingredients:

1 tbsp olive oil
1 lb ground chicken
1/2 carrot, peeled and chopped or grated
1 stalk celery, chopped
1 yellow onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped or grated
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 tbsp brown sugar
1/2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1/8- 1/4 cup hot sauce (recommended: Frank’s Red Hot)
1/2 cup tomato sauce
1/2 cup chicken stock
4 good quality burger rolls, split and toasted
1/2 cup blue cheese crumbles

Directions:

Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add meat and break it up with wooden spoon, cook about 5 minutes. Add in carrots, celery, onions and garlic, season with salt and freshly ground black pepper, cook 7 to 8 minutes more. In a bowl combine the vinegar, sugar, Worcestershire, hot sauce, tomato sauce and stock. Pour into the pan and stir to combine. Simmer a few minutes more until sauce thickens. Pile filling onto buns and top with blue cheese.

Yield: 4 servings

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