A couple weeks ago, I entered the America's Test Kitchen Blogger Challenge when the theme for the week was burgers. I'm super proud to say that my post ended up in the top four and was excerpted in their Blogger Challenge Recap on The Feed!
I do have to admit, however, that I was a bit of a sore loser when the winner was announced. While the post they chose was quite good, I just couldn't believe the pickle-in-the-middle won out over my Man v. Food inspiration! My hard feelings vanished when I realized I had been a finalist, and I'm even more embarrassed by my initial reaction after the nice email I received from the Test Kitchen intern yesterday. Since I placed in the top four entries, she sent along the judges' feedback, and this is what they had to say about my post:
"Impressive that she was inspired by an episode of Man vs Food - most people would probably protect their arteries, but not this gal. Thumbs up."
"This blog just flowed nicely. Not too long, an easy read, and a relatable story."
"I loved this sentence: 'On the outside, it's an unsuspecting burger. But on the inside my Juicy Lucy is bold and bursting with flavor.' Yum!"
Nice incentive to continue competing, so I have a very special mac and cheese post coming up for the most recent Blogger Challenge :) Be on the lookout!
Now in my first entry, I noted that I was tempted to create a few spin-offs of the Juicy Lucy, including a Greek burger that I thought would be delicious! Because really, what sort of cheese-stuffed patty wouldn't be delicious? I got around to trying this the other night, and the results were just what I suspected ... a yummy burger that was a little bit salty (from the feta), a little bit tangy (from the tzatziki), and a while lot flavorful (from the whole Greek-inspired concoction)!
Even with Bill's complete and total aversion to condiments, he couldn't get enough of this tzatziki sauce (and I'm pretty impressed that I've gotten him to fall in love with turkey burgers!).
For Tzatzkiki Sauce
1/2 medium cucumber, peeled, seeded, and chopped
6 oz. plain Greek yogurt
1/2 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1 garlic clove
1 lb. ground turkey
2 tablespoons red onion, minced
1 green onion, white and green parts, sliced thin
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon cayenne
1 teaspoon cumin
Salt and pepper
3 tablespoons crumbled feta cheese
Olive oil, for brushing
3 burger buns
Baby spinach leaves
Red onion slices
To prepare the tzatziki sauce, combine all sauce ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth. Pour into a small bowl, cover, and chill until ready to serve.
To prepare the burgers, combine the turkey, onions, Worcestershire, cayenne, cumin, and salt and pepper in a large bowl. Shape into 6 thin patties. Top 3 patties with feta, then place the plain patties atop the cheese-topped patties, pressing the edges to seal.
When grill is hot, brush the tops of each burger with olive oil and place on grill oiled side down. Brush opposite sides of burgers with oil, and grill 12 to 14 minutes, flipping once or twice. Place buns cut side down on grill and grill until toasted, about 1 minute.
When buns are toasted, place a handful of spinach leaves and a few slices of red onion on the bottom of each bun. Top with burgers. Spoon tzatziki over burgers and top with remaining bun halves. Enjoy!