Sunday, July 1, 2012

Greek Style Lamb Pita Sandwiches
from Cooks Illustrated More Best Recipes

For pita burgers:
4 large (8-inch) pita breads (or substitute bread crumbs)
1/2 medium onion, chopped coarse
4 t juice from 1 lemon
1 T minced oregano
2 medium garlic cloves, minced
1/2 t salt
1/4 t ground black pepper
1 pound ground lamb (I usually use 1 pound lean ground chuck)
2 t vegetable oil

Tzatziki sauce (see recipe below)
shredded lettuce
feta cheese

Tzatziki sauce (best if made before and chilled in fridge):
1 cup Greek yogurt
1 medium cucumber, peeled, halved lengthwise, and seeded
2 T extra virgin olive oil
2 T minced fresh mint and/or dill leaves
1 small garlic clove, minced or pressed through a garlic press
salt and ground black pepper
Note: sauce keeps in fridge, but not for more than a few days.

Shred the cucumber on the large holes of a box grater.  Whisk the yogurt, oil, mint, and garlic together in a medium bowl.  Stir in the cucumber and season with salt and pepper to taste.  Cover and refrigerate until chilled, about 1 hour.   

Pita burgers:
1. Adjust an oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350.  Cut the top quarter off each pita and tear into 1-inch pieces. Wrap the remainder of the large pitas in foil.
2.  Process the pita pieces, onion, lemon juice, oregano, garlic, salt, and pepper in a food processor until a smooth paste forms, around 30 seconds.  Transfer the mixture to a large bowl, add the lamb or ground chuck and gently mix with your hands until thoroughly combined.
3. Divide the mixture into 12 equal pieces and roll into balls.  Gently flatten the balls into round disks about 1/2 inch thick and 2.5 inches across.
4. Put foil-wrapped pitas directly on an oven rack and heat for 10 minutes.
5. Meanwhile, heat oil in skillet over medium-high heat until just smoking.  Add patties and cooke until well browned and a crust forms, 3-4 minutes.  Flip patties, reduce heat to medium and cook until well browned and a crust forms on second side, about 5 minutes longer.  Transfer to paper-towel lined plate.
6. Put patties into pitas with toppings and enjoy!

I like to make a bunch of the patties at once and freeze them -- makes for a really easy dinner later.

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