Thursday, December 22, 2016

Week 52 - Israeli

I was really happy when the Week 52 challenge came up as Israeli. I immediately wrote down, "Something from Jerusalem," referring to the Ottolenghi cookbook on the shelf. I wasn't sure what I was going to make from the cookbook, but I knew it was going to be from there. Eventually after flipping through, I decided on the turkey and zucchini burgers with creamy sumac sauce. No idea how typically Israeli they are, but if it came from Ottolenghi's cookbook, that was good enough for me.

The ingredients for the burgers themselves were:

- 1 lb of ground turkey ($4.50)
- 1 large zucchini, grated ($1)
- 5 scallions, thinly sliced ($0.65)
- a few tbsp of chopped mint ($1)
- a few tbsp of chopped cilantro ($0.50)
- 3 garlic cloves, chopped ($0.12)
- 1 beaten egg ($0.20)
- 1 tsp of ground cumin ($0.05)
- salt and pepper ($0.05)
- a few dashes of cayenne pepper ($0.05)
- olive oil for cooking ($0.20)

The recipe also called for a creamy sumac sauce to go with the burgers, which we adapted a bit. The ingredients were:

- 1 cup plain whole milk Greek yogurt ($2)
- zest of 1 lemon ($0.20)
- juice of 1 lemon ($0.29)
- 2 garlic cloves, chopped ($0.08)
- 1.5 tbsp olive oil ($0.20)
- 1 tbsp sumac ($0.20)
- salt and pepper to taste ($0.05)

The cost of dinner was $8.32 for the burgers themselves, $3.02 for the sumac sauce, and $1.60 for the butter lettuce that we used (1 head of lettuce) to wrap up the burgers to eat. At a total of approximately $12.94, that wasn't super cheap but it was worth it.

The first thing to do was make the sauce since it had to chill. We left it in the fridge for at least an hour, however long it took to make the turkey burgers. Basically you just combine all of the sauce ingredients, adjust seasonings to taste if needed (wasn't necessary), and then chill the sauce until the burgers are done. A took care of doing this while I did prep work for the burgers because otherwise we might not have eaten until after midnight (started a bit late and was still giving turkey a cold water bath to thaw out later than planned).

For the turkey burgers, all of the work was pretty much in the prep. Once the zucchini was grated, and the cilantro, mint, garlic, and scallions were chopped, and the egg was beaten, everything (but the olive oil) just got mixed together and formed into burgers.

After heating the olive oil in a large skillet, I cooked the burgers in two batches until they were almost fully cooked through. Then it was time to bake them in a 425 degree oven for about 7 minutes. Other than the prep, making the burgers was really, really easy.

The burgers were so good. Just so much flavor. They were good on their own and even better with the sumac yogurt sauce. We loaded up our lettuce leaves with spoonfuls of the yogurt sauce and burgers, and it was such a good dinner. Great challenge to end the year.

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