Friday, May 27, 2016

Mediterranean-Style Burger with Shawarma Seasoning, Sliced Tomatoes, Cucumber, Red Onion, & Garlic Sauce

Gil and I recently tried, for the first time, Lebanese food at Sultan Bakery & Grill here in Murrieta. The beef and chicken shawarma were very flavorful, and the homemade hummus and garlic sauce really outstanding. Inspired by the shawarma spices, I made a seasoning blend to use on some American Kobe ground beef patties from Snake River Farms which we happened to have on hand. I sprinkled the spice blend liberally on both sides of each beef patty and Gil, the resident burger cook, pan fried them. I topped each with thinly sliced hothouse cucumber, tomato, red onion, shredded lettuce, deli-sliced pepper rings, and a dollop of the fab garlic sauce that we had purchased from the restaurant (hummus is a good substitute). It was yum. Yup, that's all I can say - Yum.

6-8 oz. patties of Kobe-style ground beef (or regular ground beef)
Shawarma spice blend*

Thinly sliced hothouse cucumbers
Thinly sliced ripe tomatoes
Thinly sliced red onion (soaked in cold water to tame the harsh onion flavor)
Jarred sliced pepperoncinis or deli-sliced mild pepper rings
Shredded iceberg lettuce

Lebanese garlic sauce and/or hummus

Your fav hamburger buns (I like potato bread, brioche, or Hawaiian buns)
Mayonnaise (optional)

*Shawarma Spice Blend:
1/4 tsp. turmeric
1 tbsp. ground cumin
1 tbsp. ground coriander
1 tbsp. garlic powder
1/2 tbsp. paprika
1/2 tsp. ground cloves
1/2 tsp. allspice
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 tsp. black pepper
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground ginger
2 tsp. kosher salt

1. Make the shawarma blend by combining all ingredients in a small jar. 

2. Season the hamburger patties well on both sides with the shawarma seasoning. 

3. Heat a small amount of olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the patties and sear 1-2 minutes. Reduce heat to medium and cover. Cook another 3-4 minutes, turn the patties over, cover, and saute another 3-4 minutes until just cooked through (I like mine with the middle still slightly pink - ok if your meat is super fresh).

4. In the meantime, toast the buns in a toaster oven (or on a baking sheet in your regular oven) at 350F for about 5 minutes. 

5. Remove the toasted buns to serving plates. If desired, spread a little mayo on the buns, then add some shredded lettuce to each of the bottom buns (this will help keep the bottom buns from getting soggy). 

6. Top the burger patties over the shredded lettuce on each bun; add a generous dollop of garlic sauce and/or hummus on top of each burger. 

7. Add sliced tomatoes, cucumbers, onion, and pepperoncinis or deli-sliced pepper rings,  according to taste.

8. Add the top buns, press down, and slice each burger in half (easier to eat that way).

 Season the hamburger patties liberally on both sides with the shawarma spices.

 Sliced tomatoes, red onions, hothouse cucumbers, deli-sliced pepper rings,
shredded lettuce, and Lebanese garlic sauce.

 Toast the buns and spread some mayo on them if you like.

 Place some shredded lettuce on the bottom bun and top with the burger. Add a dollop of garlic sauce and/or hummus.

 Garnish with sliced tomato, cucumber, onion, and pepper rings.

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