The first thing I eat when I fly into Copenhagen and the last thing I eat before flying home is a shawarma pita from Shawarma Grill House on Strøget in Copenhagen. My friends who have visited agree: This is the best pita any of us have tasted anywhere in the world.
A typical Sloppy Joe consists of “ground beef, onions, sweetened tomato sauce or ketchup and other seasonings, served on a hamburger bun.” Well, we decided to make our own version of the Sloppy Joe, which we call the Sloppy Pope. We use a pandesal bun, a feta-beef-patty, and our own homemade chunky chili. To top if off and make it look real pretty, we add a little parsley. As for the name “sloppy pope?” Well, let’s just say it’s a long story…
A Kafta (or Kofta or kūfta, is Persian in origin. کوفتن (Kuftan) means “to beat” or “to grind”, according to WikiPedia. One could say that a Kafta patty is like a spicy meatball. In any case, it’s delicious, and since we recently made some, a wonderful Kafta Burger (ok, maybe more of a sandwich, given the bread) is in order. We made our own version of the traditional yogurt dressing, because we can. We love this Middle Eastern food so in the future expect to see more recipes like this. We think Middle Eastern food should be a food group!
This kafta sandwich is very spicy due to the black bean chili. We wanted to create something with more ‘umph’ to it, but also something fresh. So we came up with adding lemon and yogurt dressing to take the edge of the chili, and the combination really worked well. This sandwich will make your hair grow long and strong, and turn boys to men and men to sheep. It also goes well with any episode of Law & Order.
At our favorite shawarma shop on Strøget in Copenhagen, known as Shawarma #1 (presumably because the address is at #1, but also because it was the first shawarma shop in Copenhagen anno 1980), one of our favorite sandwiches is the kafta burger. When ordered, you must wait patiently while the patties grill for 10-15 minutes and frequently ask yourself “did they forget me?” In 20 years, they have never forgotten me, and the wait is always worthwhile.
Living in San Diego, we wanted a way to re-create our own version of the kafta burger. So, we created this recipe, which is a mix of several other recipes found online. We wanted our own unique blend of spices; More spicy, more parsley, and of course with fennel.