Posts Tagged ‘feta cheese’

California roll burger

by Sarah Steimer

The crab on top of this burger makes it extra rich, but also very summery. Other topping options could include pickled ginger, fish roe or other items usually offered at sushi restaurants.

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1/2 teaspoon fish sauce
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 6-8 ounce crab meat (tail, claw, whatever)
  • 1-2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2-1 teaspoon wasabi powder or paste (I added even more)
  • lettuce or spinach
  • tomato, sliced
  • avocado, sliced
  • nori strips (just take nori paper and slice into thin strips)
  • cucumber, sliced thin
  • sriracha (optional)
  • hamburger buns

Using your hands, combine the ground meat, fish sauce, salt and pepper. Form into four patties.

This is one tall burger – I highly recommend a soft bun so you can easily squash it down and jam it into your trap.

Mix together the crab meat with the 1-2 tablespoons of mayonnaise and set aside. Combine the 1/4 cup of mayonnaise with the wasabi, adjusting to your taste, to make the wasabi-mayo spread. Set aside.

Grill the patties to your desired “doneness” and remove from the heat. Pat off any excess grease with a paper towel – unless you enjoy that grease.

Place the tomato and lettuce/spinach on the bottom half of the hamburger bun (you’ll have too much balanced on top of the patties to add this later). Next add the hamburger patty, crab, nori strips, cucumber slices and avocado. Spread the wasabi-mayo on the top half of the bun, along with a swirl of sriracha if you so please.

Makes four burgers.

Recipe adapted from: Use Real Butter


Greek turkey burgers with pickled onions and tzaziki sauce

by Caitlin Saniga

I love that these burgers are bursting with flavor. And if you’re wondering about the bread I used, it’s double-round sandwich flatbread I saw on sale at Kroger. It was perfect for these burgers!

Pickled red onion (make ahead if using):

  • 1 red onion, sliced into 1/4-inch rings
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Tzaziki sauce:

  • 1 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup chopped cucumber
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon dried dill weed


  • 1/2 cup feta cheese
  • 1/2 cup chopped kalamata olives
  • 1/3 cup fresh chopped parsley
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoons dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1.5 pounds ground turkey (pork or lamb works, too)
  • 4 buns, pitas or flatbreads for serving
  • greens for serving

These super-easy pickled onions are a great way to get into pickling. They take minimal prep time, and most of the magic happens in the fridge. They last about 3 weeks.

To make the pickled onions: Bring a small saucepan of water to a boil. Add the onions, put the lid on and blanch for 1 minute. Drain in a colander. Put the onions back in the pan. Add the vinegar, salt and just enough water to cover the onion. Cover and bring to a boil. Simmer for two minutes.  Pour the onions and brine into a jar, cover and store in the fridge to chill. It’s best to make these a day before the burgers.

To make the tzaziki sauce: Mix all of the ingredients in a small bowl and store in the fridge to chill. This can be made up to a day in advance.

To make the burgers: Start up the grill or preheat a countertop grill (Foreman-style works.) if that’s how you plan to cook the burgers. (You can also make these in a pan.)

In a large bowl, mix the feta, olives, parsley, garlic, oregano, basil, pepper and salt. Add the ground meat and use your hands to thoroughly mash together the mixture. Shape the mixture into 4 round patties.

These burgers pack really nicely. I should know! I’ve been taking them for lunch at work for the past week. For picnics at the park, I suggest assembling the burgers with buns and greens, wrapping them in foil and packing the onions and tzaziki sauce separately to avoid mushy buns.

Grill or pan-fry the burgers until the internal temperature is 165 degrees, about 7-9 minutes on each side or 7 minutes on a countertop grill.

Serve on buns, pitas or flatbreads with pickled onion, tzaziki sauce and greens.

Makes four burgers.

Recipe adapted from: Food o’ del Mundo

Alfresco Refreshed is our spin on four traditional picnic staples: fruit salad, potato salad, iced tea and hamburgers. You can find all the recipes here.

Read Full Post »

by Caitlin Saniga

This dish is a little pricey to prepare, but you can't beat the crispiness of prosciutto. Maybe you decide $5 for five slices of prosciutto is ridiculous. Crumbled bacon or bits of ham (Easter leftovers, anyone?) could work in its place.

  • 2 thin slices prosciutto (2 ounces)
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 cups frozen peas
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced

Heat oven to 450 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper, and place the prosciutto in a single layer on the baking sheet and bake until beginning to darken, 10 to 12 minutes. Let cool (the prosciutto will crisp as it cools), then crumble.

Meanwhile, bring a large saucepan of salted water to a boil. Add the peas and cook until tender, 1 to 2 minutes. Drain and rinse under cold water to cool.

In a large bowl, toss the peas with the oil, Feta, scallions, prosciutto, and 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper.

Recipe adapted from: Real Simple

Photo: Holly Saniga

This recipe appeared in Seasonal Sundays (RealSustenance.com).

Read Full Post »

by Caitlin Saniga

I made this for Sarah when we lived together. She thought I was insane until she took a bite.

My family used to eat at Jimmy's Cafe somewhat regularly. I think this photo was taken in 2007. Check out the murals!

I first tried a sandwich like this at Jimmy’s Cafe in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio — a restaurant I believe may have closed in early 2009 (pity!). My grandma had stumbled upon this New Orleans-style eatery/coffee shop and fell in love with its colorful decor (the restaurant’s founder, Jimmy Van Hoose, was an artist) and its super-friendly staff. She took the whole family to Jimmy’s for dinner on several occasions, and every time, I’d order this magnificent grilled cheese. We asked for the recipe, and the chef let us in on the few secret ingredients. And now I’m letting you in on them, too. Enjoy!

  • orange marmalade
  • 4 slices Italian bread
  • 2 tablespoons crumbled feta cheese
  • 1 cup shredded Colby-Monterey Jack cheese
  • olive oil (I use extra-virgin)
  • Parmesan cheese

Sarah found a tip in a grilled cheese cookbook that suggested using shredded cheese for grilled cheese because it melts faster. I tried it, and it worked. But my grill ended up covered in little pieces of cheese.

Spread a generous layer of orange marmalade on two slices of bread. On each of the two remaining slices, spread a half-cup of shredded cheese. Sprinkle feta over the cheese. Assemble the sandwiches by putting a marmalade-covered slice on top of a cheese-covered slice. Lightly brush both sides of the sandwiches with olive oil.

Place sandwiches on an electric grill (I use a George Foreman grill), and close the press. Cook for about 5 minutes or until sandwiches have golden brown grill marks. (Check midway to assess dark spots, and flip sandwiches if necessary).

When sandwiches are done, remove from the grill with a spatula and sprinkle lightly with Parmesan cheese.

Serve warm.

Makes 2 sandwiches.

Recipe inspired by: Jimmy’s Cafe

Photos: Caitlin Saniga

*During the month of February, we’ll post six grilled cheese recipes as part of Grilled, Please — all of which can be found here.

Read Full Post »