Thursday, June 27, 2013

Recipe of the Week: Leftover Lunches: Kefta Burgers

leftover lunches.  i hate leftovers, ever since i was a kid, and during the summer, i always had to eat leftovers, because there was no school lunch pizza on the menu at home.  so now that it's summer, i'm trying to design some of the things i make around having leftovers that i can easily whip into something different and delicious.  today we're making kefta burgers with red sauce, from the leftovers of fussy-sunday dinner.  when you make it, make a bunch.  the kefta keeps well, and retains its spiciness, even out of the microwave.  and the tomato sauce can be canned, or kept in the fridge for a while.  

reheat the kefta from the other day in the microwave.  place on a bed of lettuce on toasted great harvest virginia savory bread, top with the cold leftover tomato sauce, and chow down.  serve with a fresh tomato/cucumber salad and some pita chips.  delicious.  especially for leftovers.

2 lbs. ground beef
1 small onion, grated
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley, mixed with a little cilantro
1 stem of fresh mint, chopped finely
1tbsp oregano
1/2 tsp ground cumin 
1/2 tsp sweet paprika
1/2 tsp ras al hanout
1 tsp olive oil

finely chop all fresh ingredients.  in a large bowl, mix the beef in with spices and fresh herbs.
sprinkle with EVOO to keep the beef from being too sticky to work with.  knead the mixture repeatedly to ensure all ingredients are evenly mixed.  let rest for 10 minutes or so, then form into small 3 oz patties.  

throw onto a HOT grill surface and get quick char.  about 2 minutes (keep a close watch so you don't burn them [also use a clean grill]).  reduce the heat to low, flip and continue grilling.  cook to desired temperature.

tomato sauce:
2 lbs of roma tomatoes, peeled and seeded, and chopped
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup of wine
2 cloves of garlic
1 small onion
1 tsp of roasted crushed cumin seeds (heat a dry cast iron skillet, throw in your seeds, toss until you start to smell it, don't let it smoke)
3 tsp tomato paste
1 tsp dried chili or 1 or 2 whole dried chilis
1 lemon, juiced
1/8 cup parsley (mixed w/ a little cilantro)
dash of cinnamon 
1/4 tsp tumeric
1/4 tsp ras al hanout

boil the tomatoes for a few minutes, until the skin starts to loosen, then drop then in cold water.  peel, seed and chop.  in a sauce pan, heat the olive oil, then brown the garlic and onions.  add the tomatoes, tomato paste, wine, cumin, chili, cinnamon, and turmeric (leave the parsley, ras al hanout, and lemon for finishing the dish).  stir the mixture together.  put the heat on simmer, cover the pan, and simmer for at least 30 minutes, but you can simmer it for a couple of hours to help the flavors develop.  before serving mix in the parsley, ras al hanout, and lemon juice.  

tomato/cucumber salad:
2 tomatoes, seeded and chopped
1 cucumber, seeded and chopped 
1/4 cup of fresh parsley
1 small diced onion
1 tsp salt
1 medium lemon, juice
1 tbsp olive oil

chop up tomatoes and cucumbers. add salt and set aside to drain for 20-30 mins, then add the other ingredients and mix well together. it's best to let it sit for another 20-30 mins to let the flavors meld. simple, fresh and delicious. tastes very cooling on a hot summer afternoon.

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