Sunday, August 10, 2008

Mediterranean Sliders

Sliders have been popular lately.  Here's the gyro twist on them.

A healthy eating note, since "how are sliders supposed to be healthy?"  There's nothing in these sliders that's unhealthy. If you eat these and get fat (or stay fat), then you're eating too many of them OR eating them and something else that's pushing you over your limit.  That's the general problem in the world, too much food.  So, my suggestion is to have a salad, not fries, go light on the dressing and keep your calories under control.  Enjoy the sliders and make them work with you, not against you.

Even my kids will eat these, as long as they don't have to eat the tzatziki.  They are just burgers to them.

Oh, here's my tip on pressing burger patties, taken from years of my burger pressing experience at Farrell's Ice Cream Parlour and Restaurant.  First, press them into something, don't pat them into a patty between your hands.  You can't get them thin and firm enough like that.  Find and save some jar lids of various sizes.  The perfect burger patty typically starts off bigger than the bun it's going to be served on.  The lid from a two lb tub of protein powder might make a good lid to press a 1/4 lbs burger.  A mayo or large mouthed pasta sauce jar lid might work perfectly for these sliders.  I have a collection of sizes.

Once you have the lid, you need a plastic bag, piece of wax paper, foil, or plastic wrap for a liner.  Lay the liner on the empty lid, set the ball on the liner, then press.  Use the liner to remove the perfect patty.

Mediterranean Sliders

Serves 4 (8 sliders)

tzatziki (recipe below, go and make it now)
8 rolls (whole grain, whole wheat rolls.  parker house rolls, for instance)
8 slices of tomato
½ lbs lean ground beef
½ lbs lean ground lamb
1 clove garlic, minced or pressed
2 tbsp paprika
1 tbsp ground cumin
1 tsp dried oregano, rubbed between palms
1 tsp salt
fresh ground pepper
thinly sliced onion (optional)

Mix all ingredients from beef to ground pepper together in a large bowl.  Roll meat into 8 balls, then press them into thin patties. Cook the patties over medium high heat (or grill them) until done.

While the patties are cooking, warm the buns, if you like.  Spread each bun with some tzatziki, top with a patty, tomato, and onion (if desired).

½ cucumber, shredded or finely chopped
1-5 cloves minced or pressed garlic (optional)
1 cup Greek yogurt
½ tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1½ tsp lemon juice
salt to taste

Sprinkle shredded or chopped cucumber liberally with salt and stir.  Put cucumber in a colander to drain for 10 minutes.  After 10 minutes, squeeze out excess water with your hands.

Stir yogurt, olive oil, and lemon juice together so that it's well combined.  Stir in cucumber and mix well.  Salt to taste.

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