20 January 2011

Confessions of a Kofta Burger Lover

Kofta Burger with Tzatziki Sauce

I have a confession to make.
But before I do don't forget to send in your dish for the Best Thing I Ever Ate (recently) challenge here at More Than Burnt Toast. Send your submission to bestdisheverate@gmail.com by midnight February 15th. Read all about it here.

The confession.....here on these pages I am guilty of sometimes making dishes to share with those who read this blog that use ingredients I am not really crazy about. Shhh, that's our little secret.

Let me assure you a recipe that does not turn out well will not appear on these pages but sometimes certain ingredients don't have that SWOON factor for me personally. It is true that my own culinary skills are rejuvenated and I am happy with the recipes that appear on MTBT, but, in 2011 I think I should consider sharing more what I enjoy. I have been trying to incorporate more culinary vacations and learning experiences in my personal life but my life, like yours, revolves around others...but sometimes I need to get off the merry-go-round in the culinary sense?

If you have been following More Than Burnt Toast you will know that I have been creating personal challenges based on a theme to infuse new life into my cooking adventures. I fully believe that every day food should always be an adventure either with new ideas, or, experimenting with a new cuisine. We should always be excited about what we are putting into our mouths and not just eating for sustenance but for sheer pleasure. Yes it is exciting to try new things and new recipes, and I will always continue to experiment, but what if I don't really swoon over mussels or brussel sprouts but want to share the recipe with you! Here lies the dilemma.

There is a whole lot of waste going on here at the More Than Burnt Toast household because I have let others influence me. I eat eclectically and will continue to share what I love best and not let people tell me because I am not from Greece, the Middle East or France that I can't make an authentic dish. We are cooks and no matter where the idea for our recipes comes from originally we infuse our own character, personality and soul into each and every dish we create.

There is not a doubt in my mind that this recipe is all about ME and I will eat every bite, even the leftovers...if there are any!!!! I love Middle Eastern and Meditteranean foods. I am practically hooked up intravenously to yogurt, hummus, tabbouleh and kofta. Here is my vow to myself. I will continue to cook up a storm with exciting ingredients I love and not what I think others will love. The less than earth-shattering truth  is I know that what I love they will LOVE too!!!!

Little tidbit...These Beef Kofta Burgers are the perfect example and are quite popular here. The word kofta is derived from the Persian word kÅ«fta: In Persian, it means "to beat" or "to grind." In its simplest form, koftas consist of balls or logs of minced or ground beef or lamb mixed with spices and/or onions.

The secret is all in the seasoning. Enjoy!

  **Kofta Burgers with Tzatziki Sauce**
 (adapted from The Taste of Africa by Rosamund Grant and Josephine Bacon)

1 pound of ground beef
3 tablespoons finely minced onion
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley or cilantro
1 tablespoon plain yogurt
4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon garam masala
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 fresh green chili, seeded and finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
salt and ground black pepper
Tzatziki sauce, lettuce or spinach, red onions, tomato
buns or pita bread

Put the beef into a large bowl, add all the remaining ingredients (except bubs or pita) and mix well with your hands.

Roll into four large balls and flatten into patties 1/2–3/4″ thick. Refrigerate, separated by wax paper or plastic wrap, until the grill is ready.

Grill indoors or out over medium heat, 5–7 minutes on each side, or until the burgers are done to your liking.

Serve on a bun with tzatziki sauce and vegetables.

You are reading this post on More Than Burnt Toast at http://morethanburnttoast.blogspot.com. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to the author/owner of More Than Burnt Toast. All rights reserved by Valerie Harrison. Best Blogger Tips


  1. Like you I love Middle Eastern food and such "burgers"! Just droolworthy.



  2. Love it! My brother-in-law is Lebanese. And, when he is not performing surgery, he cooks. He is a wonderful cook and will go to any lengths to get just what he needs to create his native dishes as well as many others. I'd love to surprise him with this sometime!


  3. You have to cook with what you love and make no appologies. There are plenty of bloggers with a variety of taste that can cover the rest of the spectrum.

  4. You are not wrong there, Val. I would certainly LOVE these burgers. What a great mix of ingredients - wow!

  5. Val, your "burger" sounds delicious. I really enjoy Middle Eastern food and I must say this really appeals to me. I love your adventurous palate and will follow you anywhere:-). Have a great day. Blessings...Mary.

  6. I'm totally guilty of blogging about dishes I'm not crazy about, but I usually include a disclaimer when I do. I always love middle eastern though and this sounds like my kind of meal!

  7. Looks yummy. It took a long time to get my husband to eat ME food. He thought it was all lamb. He loves it now and we're addicted ot the Turkish place down the street. Now there is a new ME restaurant opening up soon. I'm excited to see what it will be all about.

  8. Tzatziki sauce and a burger are fantastic partners. It's one of my very favorite ways to serve a burger, with or without the bun.

    Sometimes I'll make something new and my husband will comment after dinner, "I wouldn't put this on the blog." I trust his judgement. I wish I had a dollar for every new recipe I've tried over the years.

  9. I don't normally cook things I don't like, but I do catch myself thinking everytime I cook something "Can I blog about this?".s

  10. I think you've proven to your readers that you have a trustworthy palate. If you like, we will too! This burger is a perfect case in point.

  11. Can I please order a to go ? These look incredibly delicious-no wonder you love them.

  12. I love the flavors in your burgers, Val. You have to know we're all going to try them, if they're your favorite! How can we resist?
    Of course, the Tzatziki sauce would be enough incentive for me!

  13. This does totally sound like the BBFF I know! I think I will try this using some ground lamb that I have. My mom is coming to visit this weekend, and I know that she'd enjoy it, as well. Thanks, Val :D

  14. Loe it. And. I love Lebanese food inspiration great aste.Thanks for share

  15. I love all the flavors in this great looking burger, especially when topped with a spoonful of tzatziki sauce. Yummy.

  16. Lovely and just my kind of food. I always look forward to your posts.

  17. This burger looks delicious! I agree with the rest of the commentors that say you have a great palate and we will love the recipes that you love best!

  18. Food blogging has personally challenged me to see if I can overcome food aversions that I've had for most of my life. That's a good thing. I always love the recipes that you post, because they make me think outside the box. You cook with passion, and I'm going to bookmark this recipe. It's lovely!

  19. Wonderful flavors in these kofta "burgers", they sound just perfect with tzatziki sauce!

  20. I just read an article in the NYTimes about family feuds over chicken adobo, so I am not surprised that some would give you 'tude. I've been the object of truly hostile criticism here and there; it gets composted w/ the coffee grounds, banana peels, and egg shells.

    Even though I'm now a vegetarian, this recipe is very scrummy. I've always liked your recipes, Val, and look forward to your personal touch in the kitchen.

  21. I like all of the spices that you combined in this kofta burger, which separates it from all the rest. It's no wonder you are a kofta lover, this looks so good!

  22. I made something similar last year and had forgotten all about it. I love burgers in all of their guises so I will be giving this a try.

  23. Love this Valli look absolutely yummy and delicious, awesome, my boy would love this!! gloria

  24. Val, we had these last night and your recipe is right on!! The herbs and spices were wonderful. Thanks. Susan

  25. Oh yes, I'd love one of these burgers- the flavors sound delicious! And don't let anybody tell you what you can and can't cook- everything you share looks amazing. :)

  26. i often dub something 'greek' just so i'll have an excuse to smother it in tzatziki. :)
    nice burger, val!

  27. This looks fabulous and I love all the ingredients! I totally agree, you should cook what you enjoy Val! I'm fairly certain that I could spend a week (or more!) with you and love every bit of food that came from your kitchen.

  28. I've made kafta (I've known this as kafta, not kofta for years now), but never thought of a burger format - I love the idea - Yum!

  29. I know what you mean, Val. I agree. I can only share foods I have learned that I love. As a foods teacher and a Thermomix Demonstrator I have learned to always preface everything I demonstrate with "I am teaching you how to make this according to my palate. You will need to adjust the seasonings to your own." That focus, learning how to understand and then please one's own palate has been huge. So many people, especially young cooks, don't think about what they could do to make the dish yummy to them. Sometimes it is as easy as "leave out the onions". "I can do that?" I know I am now a little off topic... but knowing how to cook is the essential part. And one will only do that if they are going to really enjoy what they make. Just giving my students or clients permission to change things up has been inspiring. You many think that would be obvious. But, truly, so many do not think about that. The taste is the barrier and so that idea is not a good one. That's why I love the "design your own" part of each unit so my students really get to play with their food and learn how to adjust seasonings, or at least experiment with them, to please their own palate. For my Thermomix clients, I ask questions and try to prepare the demonstration recipes to their taste: do you like ginger? etc.
    I was so surprised to see garam marsala in the kaftas, but I loved that you added this spice to them. That would really be a different touch to the "traditional" kafta. And, I make tzatziki too, but only with the yogurt cheese, cucumber, garlic, salt and EVOO. I know some add mint. You add parsely and lemon. I love both of those kinds, too.
    Obviously, you got me on a roll this morning!

  30. I love putting tzatziki sauce on falafel wraps! I will have to try out your recipe, Yum!

  31. Very exotics burger mixture with the spices but Tzatziki is a nice foil for that.

  32. Yum! Middle eastern food sounds great.

  33. I think your kofta burgers are quite legendary Val! I love the the tzatziki you served with them too!


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