I’ve been holding onto this damn recipe for monthhsss. Back at the beginning of the summer, entered Sutter Home’s Build a Better Burger contest and this past week I was chosen as one of the 4 Semi Finalists!
So off we went to Chicago! The cook off was held in the parking lot outside Wrigley Field and judged by 3 top Chicago chefs and MLB Hall of Fame Andre Dawson from the Chicago Cubs. After the competition we all headed off to the game to watch the Mets get destroyed… but we’re just not gonna talk about that…
The winner of the Semi-finals competes in California in Oct to win $25,000. Unfortunately, that was not me…Maybe I shouldn’t have worn my Mets jersey…
Win or not, it was still such a fun experience and I would do it over in a second. Most people enter this contest year after year and never make it but I was chosen on my first entry, first burger I came up with.. so as far as I’m concerned thats a win in itself. 💁🏻
I made a Greek style lamb burger. Surprise surpriseeee, Lexi made lamb. Mike is in charge of naming all of my contest entries so he came up with “The Zeus”. Lamb patty stuffed with kalamata olives and feta, melted mozzarella, grilled eggplant, smoky hummus, peppery arugula, crisp red onion topped with fresh tzatziki sauce.
Not to toot my own horn buuuttttt… this burger is 🔥🔥. Even my mom who keeps claiming she hates lamb was ranting and raving about this thing so…
I needed to get everything done and plated in an hour so Mike ate a lotttt of lamb burgers while I was prepping to get my timing down. No complaints.
So before I divulge the secret recipe… heres some pics and stuff from the contest, courtesy of my designated photographer, Mike.
So right out the gate, in true Lexi fashion, I dropped my glass bottle of olive oil on the floor and was grating a cucumber and it went flying across the tent. Good thing I know myself and brought plenty of backup produce..
Each of the burgers had to be paired with a Sutter Home wine. The wine pairing was a big portion of the judging criteria and as I’m not a sommelier, I did some quick googling and took a shot with the Riesling. Professional wine drinker I am, professional wine pair-er, I am not.
So this thing…. thissssss damn thing.
If you’ve never used a manual food processor, don’t. Due to lack of electricity, we had to use a hand crank food processor. This thing was the bane of my existence for the day. Not only were the directions in Japanese, but I had to make 2 different elements of my burger in there with no running water or a sink to wash in between. The handle flew off about 5 times and I was yelling it at for the whole hour competition. No need for a gym membership…. just make hummus in one of these things and you’re set…
Ok so enough of my blabbing.. Now onto what you actually want, the recipe.
- 1 1⁄2 Pounds ground lamb
- • 6 Garlic cloves, minced
- • 1⁄2 Cup kalamata olives, finely chopped
- • 3 Teaspoons oregano
- • 1 1⁄2 Teaspoons parsley
- • 1 1⁄2 Teaspoons salt
- • 1 Teaspoon black pepper
- • 3⁄4 Teaspoon red pepper flakes
- • 1⁄2 Cup bread crumbs
- • 1-2 Tablespoons crumbled feta
- • 6 Slices mozzarella
- • 1 Large or 2 small eggplants
- • 2 Teaspoons salt
- • 1 Teaspoon pepper
- • 2 Teaspoons garlic powder
- 19 Ounce can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- • 3 Garlic cloves
- • 2 Teaspoons fresh lemon juice
- • 1⁄2 Teaspoon cumin
- • 1⁄2 Teaspoon smoked paprika
- • 2 Teaspoons salt
- • 1 Teaspoon pepper
- • 2-3 Tablespoons olive oil
- • 2 Cups plain greek yogurt
- • 3⁄4 Of a cucumber
- • 4 Garlic cloves, minced
- • 2 Tablespoons dill
- • Juice of half a lemon
- • 1 Teaspoon salt
- • 1⁄4 Teaspoon black pepper
- • 1⁄2 Teaspoon onion powder
- • 1 Cup arugula
- • 1 Red onion
- 1. Add ground lamb, olives, seasonings, and breadcrumbs into a large bowl and mix with hands until
- well incorporated. Be careful not to overwork the meat or it will become dry and tough
- 2. Split into 6 even portions. Roll each portion into a ball and press your thumb into the center to
- create a hole
- 3. Stuff with 1-2 tablespoons of crumbled feta. Close the hole and form into a patty
- 4. Heat grill to medium-high heat. Grill burgers about 4 minutes each side for a medium cook
- 5. Add sliced mozzarella cheese the last 2 minutes of cooking and let melt
- Grilled Eggplant:
- 1. Slice eggplant about 1⁄4 inch thick
- 2. Sprinkle with salt and set aside for 20-30 minutes
- 3. Pat dry to remove excess moisture and season each with salt, pepper, and garlic powder
- 4. Grill for 3-4 minutes on each side, or until tender but still firm
- 1. Put all ingredients except olive oil into food processor and blend. Slowly stream in olive oil to reach
- desired consistency
- Tzatziki Sauce:
- 1. Peel and grate 3⁄4 of a cucumber. Sprinkle with salt and set aside for a few minutes to bring out
- excess moisture. Squeeze in a cheesecloth or kitchen towel to get rid of liquid
- 2. Put all ingredients into a food processor and pulse until combined but not completely smooth. Chill
- 1. Heat up buns on the grill
- 2. Spread a layer of hummus on the bottom bun, followed by the burger, grilled eggplant, sliced red
- onion and arugula. Drizzle tzatziki sauce on top and top with another bun
- 3. Serve with extra tzatziki on the side if desired.