Grilled and chilled

feta-stuffed burgers on the grill

If The Hub and I keep getting invited to the annual Grillin’ and Chillin’ feed at Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church, we may have to convert. The Raleigh church holds a lot of food-related events – because Greeks love to eat, for heaven’s sake.

And they have members who know how to make proper dolmades (stuffed grape leaves). No, those weren’t grilled, but peaches were. As were herbed chicken, sausage, pork and the perennial favorite, feta-stuffed burgers. I’ve mentioned those before.

It’s not quite like the old church potlucks from when I was a kid. I don’t remember anyone there passing out lovely cocktails.

The church is gearing up for the annual Greek Festival Sept. 14-16 at the State Fairgrounds. When the festival started decades ago, it was a chance to sample exotic treats. There are more Greek restaurants now, but the home cooking-style food the festival offers is special. See more photos from the event here.

Bird and bacon burgers

I saw a fast-food establishment’s commercial raising a flap over its new, and so-called healthy, turkey burger. I have never eaten a turkey or chicken burger that tasted better than overcooked yard mulch, no matter whether it was one I made myself or purchased. Then I noted the latest trend in beef burgers: Instead of putting bacon on top of the patty, it’s worked into the meat. Sean Brock at Husk in Charleston, S.C. has a biggie here.

Bacon makes everything better, so maybe it could redeem bird burgers. I ground about three pounds of boneless chicken thighs with three slices of smoky bacon (a strip per pound sounded right), three cloves of garlic and half a Vidalia onion. I intended to use the grinder attachment to my mixer, but the mixer died (anyone know where I can get a KitchenAid repaired?). The food processor made an adequate substitute. I chilled the mixture for at least an hour., then shaped it into patties.

Unless your grill grate is nonstick, oil it first or brush the patties with olive oil. When flipped the patties, I brushed the cooked sides with a sweet-smoky barbecue sauce. To serve, I brushed the bottom of toasted buns with the same barbecue sauce and topped the patties with Romaine lettuce (just picked, delivered by a neighbor) and a little mayo.

They were probably the best bird bird burgers I’ve had, although upping the bacon wouldn’t hurt one little bit. It never does.