Rush-Hour Gourmet

Posted: April 05, 2007

Burgers with a Greek twist - a mix of lamb, kalamata olives and feta cheese with garlic sauce - make for a quick meal with incredible flavor.

The recipe is from Cat Cora's Cooking from the Hip: Fast, Easy, Phenomenal Meals (Houghton Mifflin, $39.95).

Cora, the Food Network's first female Iron Chef and executive chef of Bon Appetit magazine, uses bread crumbs (she favors panko, a Japanese flaked type) to help keep burgers and meat loaves moist and tender.

Greek Lamb and Olive Burgers With Garlic Sauce

(Makes 4 servings)

1 pound ground lamb

1/3 cup chopped kalamata olives

3 tablespoons dried bread crumbs, preferably panko

2 tablespoons minced onion

1 tablespoon chopped scallions

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1/8 teaspoon black pepper

1 teaspoon chopped fresh oregano

2 tablespoons crumbled feta cheese

1/4 cup plain yogurt

2 cloves garlic, minced

4 onion hamburger rolls, split and toasted

4 leaves lettuce, washed and dried

4 slices tomato

4 slices each: cucumber and/or red onion (optional)

1. By hand or with a wooden spoon, mix the lamb, olives, crumbs, onion, scallion, salt, pepper, oregano and feta, distributing all ingredients evenly.

2. Divide and shape mixture into 4 patties, 1/2-inch thick.

3. Heat a grill or grill pan. Cook the patties over medium-hot coals or heat to medium doneness, 5 minutes per side.

4. Mix the yogurt and garlic.

5. Put a burger on the bottom half of each roll, spoon on a little garlic sauce and top with lettuce, tomato and, if using, onion and cucumber. Cover with the top half of the roll and serve.

Note: For a thicker sauce, strain the yogurt through cheesecloth or in a fine-mesh strainer over a bowl or cup, discarding liquid.

Per serving: 506 calories, 26 grams protein, 28 grams carbohydrates, 5 grams sugar, 31 grams fat, 89 milligrams cholesterol, 646 milligrams sodium, 2 grams dietary fiber.

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