Mouthwatering Mediterranean Burgers and Zucchini Chips

Mouthwatering Mediterranean Burger and Zucchini Chips, Photo Credit: Accounting for Taste

Mouthwatering Mediterranean Burger and Zucchini Chips, Photo Credit: Accounting for Taste

 

Tzatziki. Mint. Feta. (Swoon.)  Tonight’s meal was a fantastic last-minute concoction.  It was “burger night” in the AFT household and as I was driving home from work the beau called me to ask if I would pretty please stop by the grocery store and buy him some cheddar cheese.  Apparently, all we had in the fridge was goat cheese, mozzarella, and feta.  That last one caught my attention.  Feta? Oh yeah… I could go for some feta on my burger. Or… IN my burger. With… onion… aaaaand… mint? Yes, mint. Oh man, this is getting exciting.  I happily dreamed up my burger as I made my way to the grocery store.  A dollop of tzatziki, a spoonful of diced cucumber and tomato, and a “schmear” of some Sriracha greek yogurt should finish things off nicely.

And every good burger needs a worthy sidekick. Last night I made sweet potato oven fries, so fries were out of the question.  I mentally sorted through a few healthy side dish options and decided on zucchini “chips”.  Faux fried dishes are a dieter’s best friend, let me tell you.  All the “yum” and none of the guilt? Sign. Me. Up.  (With last night’s sweet potato fries I made faux fried chicken tenders!)

Ingredients

For the burger:

  • 1 lb. ground beef (90% lean, 10% fat)
  • 1 Tbsp. seasoning salt
  • 1 Tbsp. coarse ground garlic powder (feel free to tweak this amount to suit your taste)
  • 1/3 c. finely chopped red onion
  • 2 Tbsp. crumbled feta cheese
  • 2 Tbsp. thinly sliced fresh mint leaves

For the tzatziki sauce, combine the following ingredients in a bowl:

  • 1/2 c. plain 2% greek yogurt
  • 1 tsp. minced garlic
  • 2 tsp. lemon juice
  • 2 Tbsp. seeded and diced cucumber

For the Sriracha greek yogurt, combine the following ingredients in a bowl:

  • 1/2 c. plain 2% greek yogurt
  • 1 Tbsp. Sriracha hot sauce
  • 1 tsp. lemon juice

For the tomato and diced cucumber “salad” topping, combine the following ingredient in a small bowl:

  • 1/2 c. diced cucumber
  • 1/2 c. diced tomato

For the zucchini chips:

  • 1 zucchini
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups panko breadcrumbs

Directions

After you prep the tzatziki and Sriracha greek yogurt sauces, you’ll want to start your zucchini chips.  They need to bake for about 20 minutes which is all the time you’ll need to prep and cook your burgers.

For the zucchini chips:

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees and prep your breading station.  To do this, first crack 2 eggs into a bowl and scramble with a fork.  Then pour 2 cups of panko breadcrumbs onto a paper plate.  Line a baking pan with a wire rack and coat the wire rack with cooking spray to prevent the zucchini from sticking.
  2. Cut the ends off the zucchini.  Using a mandolin, or cutting them by hand, slice the zucchini into thin, round “chips”.
  3. Dip the zucchini rounds into the egg and then coat them with panko breadcrumbs and place them on the wire rack.  Be sure to spread the zucchini out evenly, as you don’t want them on top of each other when they’re cooking or they won’t crispy nicely.
  4. Lightly spray the tops of the zucchini chips with non-stick cooking spray, which will help the panko to brown in the oven. Season with salt and pepper and bake at 425 for 20 minutes.

For the burger:

  1. Combine all burger ingredients in a bowl. Mix well. Form into patties, depending on how big or small you like your burgers. You can make (2) 1/2 lb. burgers or (4) 1/4 lb. burgers.
  2. Heat a saute pan on high heat.  This will give your burgers a nice sear when you first place them in the pan.  Once you add your burgers to the pan, immediately reduce the head to medium.  Cook to the desired level of doneness. I’m a medium-rare kinda girl, myself, so I cooked my burgers for about 2-3 minutes on each side and then set them aside on my cutting board to rest for a few minutes.  When you allow your meat to sit and rest after cooking (as opposed to immediately cutting right into it) you help keep the delicious juices in your meat.  Also, as the meat sits and rest it will continue to cook just a bit more courtesy of residual heat.

Now, build your burger! Toast your bun if you’d like (I like.).  Spoon a dollop of tzatziki sauce on top of the burger and about 1 Tbsp. or so of the tomato and cucumber salad on top of the tzatziki.  Spread some of the Sriracha greek yogurt on the top bun and top off your masterpiece of a burger.  Ta da! Sink your teeth in and appreciate the feta, mint, and onion mixed into the burger.  Savor the cucumber-garlic-lemony tang of the tzatziki and the cool burn of the Sriracha greek yogurt.  Is this what heaven tastes like?  Probably.

Wing Wednesday: Baked Apple Butter Brown Sugar Wings

This week’s wing deliciousness is brought to you by one of my new favorite food blogs, Damn Delicious.  I’ve pinned and prepared quite a few recipes from the Damn Delicious recipe repertoire and it’s everything I hope my little blog will grow into some day.

Baked Apple Butter Brown Sugar Wings

Baked Apple Butter Brown Sugar Wings, Photo Credit: Accounting for Taste

Baked Apple Butter Brown Sugar Wings, Photo Credit: Accounting for Taste

Baked brown sugar and apple butter sticky sweetness.  It’s also paired with a sour cream and sririacha dipping sauce, for an added creamy kick.  Thanks to this recipe, I now have an entire jar of apple butter to get creative with. (I’m talking to you, Pinterest.)

INGREDIENTS

  • chicken wings
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon Sriracha, or more to taste
FOR THE APPLE BUTTER GLAZE
  • 1/4 cup Musselman’s apple butter
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

INSTRUCTIONS

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Place a wire rack in your baking pan. Spray it with non-stick spray.

Place a wire rack in your baking pan, Photo Credit: Accounting for Taste

Place a wire rack in your baking pan, Photo Credit: Accounting for Taste

2. In a medium bowl, whisk together apple butter, brown sugar, apple cider vinegar and Dijon; set aside.

3. In a large bowl, combine wings, vegetable oil, brown sugar, garlic, onion and chili powder, paprika, salt and pepper, to taste.

Photo Credit: Accounting for Taste

Photo Credit: Accounting for Taste

4. Pour the apple butter mixture over the wings and toss to coat.  Place wings onto the prepared baking sheet.

Toss wings in apple butter mixture and place on wire rack, Photo Credit: Accounting for Taste

Toss wings in apple butter mixture and place on wire rack, Photo Credit: Accounting for Taste

5. Place into oven and bake for 35 minutes.

6. While wings are baking, prepare the dipping sauce.  Simply stir together the sour cream and the desired amount of Sriracha (depending on how spicy you want your dipping sauce).  If you aren’t sure, start small and add little by little until you’ve reached a spice level you’re happy with.

Bon appétit!

Baked Brown Sugar and Apple Butter Wings, Photo Credit: Accounting for Taste

Baked Apple Butter Brown Sugar Wings, Photo Credit: Accounting for Taste

Wing Wednesday: Spicy Apricot Awesomeness

This week’s wings were a winner! BIG TIME winner! My tummy is so happy right now. 🙂 Sticky, sweet apricot marmalade and Sriracha came together in beautiful, spicy-sweet matrimony.

Spicy Apricot Awesomeness, Photo Credit: Accounting for Taste

Spicy Apricot Awesomeness, Photo Credit: Accounting for Taste

 

Spicy Apricot Wings

Ingredients:

  • chicken wings
  • olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 cup apricot marmalade (sub any flavor preference if you don’t dig apricot)
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Sriracha sauce, more or less to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon each salt and black pepper, or to taste
  • cilantro (optional)

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

2. Drizzle olive oil over the chicken wings, just enough to lightly coat (I probably used about 3 tablespoons?).  Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

3. When baking chicken wings, I prefer to place a wire rack in my sheet pan and bake the wings on the wire rack.  It helps to make them crispy on all sides without having to flip them over during cooking.  However, you can also just spray your sheet pan with non-stick cooking spray and turn the wings halfway through cooking to achieve crispy wings. Do one of these things. 🙂

4. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, until wings are golden brown.

5. Meanwhile, to prepare glaze, heat 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic and saute until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add apricot marmalade, rice vinegar, Sriracha, and salt and pepper and simmer for about 5 minutes or until reduced and slightly thickened.

6. Chop about 2 teaspoons cilantro, if desired, and add to your glaze.

6. In a bowl, toss chicken wings with glaze until evenly coated.

Bon appétit!

Wing Wednesday: Honey Sriracha Chicken Wings

Welcome to the second installment of Wing Wednesday! (Let’s see how long I can actually keep this up.) 😉

This week’s wing deliciousness: Honey Sriracha Chicken Wings.

Photo Credit: Accounting for Taste

Photo Credit: Accounting for Taste

Yet another Pinterest gem!  This one came from an wonderful food blog called “Chew Out Loud.”  As usual, I drew inspiration from the online recipe and tweaked it a bit.  Specifically, I decided that some fresh ginger and garlic would be just amazing mixed in with the honey, sriracha, and soy sauce that make up the base of this wing sauce.  I used the same steam-and-saute method of cooking that I described in the last post.

Ingredients

For the wings:

  • vegetable oil
  • chicken wings (about 16-20 pieces)
  • fresh ground black pepper
  • kosher salt
  1. Add water to a Dutch oven (or other large pot) to a depth of 1 inch; bring to a simmer. Place chicken in a vegetable steamer. Place steamer in pan over water; cover. Reduce heat to medium-low. Steam, covered, 10 minutes.
  2. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil; swirl to coat. Add chicken to pan; sauté 5 minutes, turning to brown on all sides.

For the sauce:

  • 5 TB butter
  • ½ cup pure honey
  • ¼ cup Sriracha (use less if you want it mild)
  • 1 TB regular soy sauce
  • 2 tsp minced garlic (Generous teaspoonfuls. Garlic is our friend.)
  • 2 tsp freshly grated ginger
  • 2 tsp freshly squeezed lime juice
  • sliced green onion for garnish (optional)

While the wings are steaming, make the sauce.  In a small pot, melt the butter.  Add all of the remaining sauce ingredients to the pot. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer.  Cook for 10 minutes or so and allow the sauce to reduce, so it will thicken.

When the wings are almost done cooking, add the sauce to the sauté pan and toss wings to coat.  Allow to cook on low for 2 or 3 minutes. Turn heat off and allow wings and sauce to sit for a few minutes.  Sauce will begin to thicken as it cools. Garnish with sliced green onion (optional).