As much as I act all worldly, I can honestly say that one of my favorite meals is just a burger and fries (though I didn’t make that for my birthday favorites this past year). Juicy beef burger. Ketchup. Mustard. Lettuce. Tomato. Onion. No frills thin cut (but not shoestring) fries or all-frills waffle fries. And the best of the best can be found at CJ’s Pub in good old South Bend, Indiana. But I digress.
It’s been a while since I’ve had a good ole burger. And I can’t even remember the last time I had French fries. That’s a problem, to be remedied tonight.
Don’t worry, I’m still in Russia. I haven’t abandoned the original plan, but rather adapted the Chicken Kotleti into something more. Much, much more. To start, chicken kotleti is essentially a Ukrainian/Russian pan fried chicken patty. The original author at Olga’s Flavor Factory changed it up a bit by stuffing said patty with sautéed mushrooms which, just so happens, is not an uncommon burger topping. Since I’d indecisive about what to serve alongside the Kotleti, tonight’s burger idea was born.
So, what started this week as Chicken Kotleti turned into a Mushroom-stuffed Chicken Kotleti Burger topped with a carrot slaw and dill yogurt sauce. Served sweet potato fries. Yum.
The idea for the slaw came from some shredded carrots leftover from the borscht, and all the recipes I found online for Russian-style carrot salad had the added “hmmm” of ground coriander. Interesting, thought I.
As for the sauce…what’s a burger without some kind of slather? I figured I’d carry the dill flavor over from the borscht and add it to a creamy yogurt to complement the crunchy carrot. I figured right.
The result was ah-maz-ing. AMAZING. Pat on the back to me for this one.
The Order of things:
First, make the carrot slaw
Second, make the mushrooms
Third, make the chicken patties
Lastly, make the dill sauce
For the chicken patty
1 pound ground chicken
¼ cup panko bread crumbs
2 TB milk
1 small onion, grated
2 TB Greek yogurt
Salt and pepper, to taste
½ teaspoon pepper
¼ cup parsley, finely chopped
½ cup flour, for dredging
Oil, for pan frying the kotleti
1. Mix all the ingredients, save the flour, together in a bowl. The mixture will be very soft.
For the mushrooms filling:
8 oz. fresh mushrooms, finely diced
1 shallot, finely diced
1 TB butter
1. Melt the butter in a skillet. Add the shallot, season with salt and pepper. Cook for about 3 minutes.
2. Add the mushrooms. Season with salt and pepper. Cook for about 7 minutes until the mushrooms are softened, and all the liquid is evaporated. Set aside the mushroom stuffing.
Assemble the Kotleti:
Note: Use moistened hands to shape the kotleti, otherwise they will be too soft to handle. Keep moistening your hands every time you make another.
1. Take a portion of meat, form it into a meatball and make an indentation in the center. Place a heaping teaspoon of mushroom filling into the indentation. Cover the filling with the meat on the sides of the patty and shape into an oval or round.
2. Dredge the patty in the flour, brushing off the excess. Repeat with the remaining meat mixture and the mushroom stuffing.
3. Heat 1 Tablespoon of oil in a nonstick skillet on medium heat. Add the kotleti and cook until golden on both sides, approximately 5-7 minutes per side.
For the carrot slaw:
1 pound carrots, shredded
1 tsp coriander
2 garlic cloves, crushed
2 TB olive oil
5 TB white vinegar
1 TB sugar
Smoked paprika, a heavy sprinkle
Salt and pepper to taste
1. Mix the carrots with the sugar and crushed garlic. Let it stand for 10 minutes.
2. Mix with the rest of the ingredients and let it stand for 6 hours. Before serving make sure you mix it thoroughly because the juice tends to settle on the bottom.
While the patties are cooking, mix together 1 TB dill with ¼ cup of Greek yogurt. That’s your dill sauce.