Thursday, March 11, 2010

Moussaka Lamburgers Crowned with Creamy Feta Dressing

Switching gears this week, I would like to present a very different burger. This lamb burger is based on the classic Greek flavors of moussaka. Moussaka is a classic Greek casserole made of ground lamb, bechamel sauce, cheese and eggplant. Though one of the main ingredients of moussaka, eggplant, is not included in the burger it would be the perfect accompaniment to it simply served grilled with a bit of olive oil on the side. Seasoned with a touch of cloves, nutmeg and mint, and blended with lemon, tomato, red wine and garlic, these burgers have the zing of warm, aromatic flavors tempered with the delicate sweetness of lamb. I have also prepared a special topping to dress the burgers. Borrowing from the classic bechamel sauce used in moussaka, I have opted to change it out to creamy Greek yogurt, feta cheese and have echoed many of the warm spices from the burgers. A delicious combination that is both big in flavor and light on carbs. I hope you enjoy.

Moussaka Lambugers Crowned with Creamy Feta Dressing


Creamy Feta Dressing:
6 ounce container plain Greek yogurt
1/2 cup feta cheese, crumbled
1 Tbsp. lemon zest
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
1 1/2 tsp. mint, chopped fine
1 Tbsp. parsley, chopped fine
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 tsp. black pepper

1/2 cup onion, finely diced
2 Tbsp. garlic, finely minced
1/2 cup tomato, finely diced (no salt added canned is okay)
1 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 cup red wine
1 lb. ground lamb (80/20 if available)
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
pinch of nutmeg
1 tsp. dried mint
1 Tbsp. parsley, chopped fine
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
1 egg
vegetable spray

Begin by preparing the Creamy Feta Dressing. Place all dressing ingredients in a small bowl and blend well until combined. Cover and refrigerate for an hour or more to marry flavors.

Lightly coat a small saute pan with the vegetable spray and place on medium high heat. Saute the onion, garlic and tomato until translucent. Season with black pepper if desired. Carefully add the wine off the heat and return. Bring to simmer and reduce until there no longer is any liquid.
Let cool.

Place the ground lamb in a large bowl and add the cooled onion mixture and the rest of the ingredients. Blend well to distribute evenly throughout the meat. Form into four patties.

Coat a cast iron grill pan or other heavy bottom pan with vegetable spray. Place on high heat and preheat until screaming hot and beginning to smoke. Grill burgers for about 2 to 3 minutes per side or until desired doneness. Serve with a large dollop of Creamy Feta Dressing and optional grilled eggplant.

Nutrition Facts
4 Servings
Amount Per Serving
Calories 354.9
Total Fat 22.8 g
Saturated Fat 10.8 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.3 g
Monounsaturated Fat 1.4 g
Cholesterol 133.6 mg
Sodium 317.1 mg
Potassium 144.3 mg
Total Carbohydrate 10.9 g
Dietary Fiber 1.6 g
Sugars 3.0 g
Protein 23.2 g

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