The last time we visited Turkey Burgers here on OTB, it was nearly a year ago. And while I think the rules of bold seasoning still apply — I’ve personally gone from turkey burger as occasional curiosity to turkey burger as virtual necessity. Turkey burgers and ground turkey meat in general has become a staple in our household now that we have gone down the healthy lifestyle route. And why shouldn’t it? It’s a very malleable protein, which is great at absorbing flavors, be it used in a burger, sausage, kebab, chili or even stir-fry dishes. And it shouldn’t surprise you that in future cooking posts, you’re going to see this ingredient creep up a lot.
This last weekend we got particularly burger crazy, as we wanted something easy to cook because we were all burned out travelling to Connecticut and bringing back our new dog, Kona, from the folks at Flora’s Pet Project. And it didn’t help at all that we were all couch potatoed when we got back and watched dietician-chef Ellie Krieger on Food Network cook up some particularly tasty looking DIY Diner Food.
Our first Turkey Burger was a bit of a cheat, as it involved the use of pre-made frozen burgers from COSTCO. All hail the mighty Kirkland! But we amped up this burger with our Giant Mushroom Chili that we made for the Superbowl along with a small amount of melted cheddar cheese, served on a whole grain burger bun. But it was a quick and easy lunch, and really satisfied that Chili Burger craving. Hell, the last time I had a real chili burger was back in August at The Varsity in Atlanta. This one was just as good, and nowhere near as bad for you. Next time I’m going to use use fresh ground turkey meat instead of COSTCO pucks.
But wait! There’s more burgers in store. Click on the “Read the rest of this entry” link below for more.
The second burger is a full-out rendition of a diner classic, tweaked from Ellie Krieger’s do it yourself diner food episode from Healthy Appetite on Food Network, circa 2005. Ellie’s Turkey Burger, stuffed with mozzarella cheese and roasted red peppers is inspired genius. The only thing I could do to improve it was to add additional seasoning to the turkey meat, and I can’t even claim credit for what I did, which is to add Awase Miso paste to the meat in order to punch up that meaty umami taste giving the bland turkey meat a beefy flavor. This stroke of genius I can only attribute to Seattle resident, computer industry writer and academic Chris DeVoney, who suggested I do this. Combine this with Baked Sweet Potato Fries and Baked Onion Rings (with a Lay’s Baked Potato Chip crust!!!!) and a Burger Condiment-Flavored “Fixin’s” Salad and you got yourself a serious burger plate that stands on its own. And you don’t feel so guilty after eating it either.
Here we have 2oz of Lay’s Baked Original Potato Crisps. These are going to be blitzed in the food processor until they essentially turn into crumbs, sort of simulating Panko in consistency. Ellie uses an unidentified gourmet baked chip on the actual show, but because they are processed/extruded like Pringles, I find that the Lay’s give a nice consistent crumble and they are not oversalted. It’s really not a bad snack as junk foods go, with only 120 calories per 1oz bag, and zero cholesterol and transfats.
Here we’ve separated approximately 1/2lb of turkey meat into four patties. I’m using regular ground turkey meat here where Ellie uses turkey breast meat, which is leaner. But this is what I bought on sale at the supermarket, and it does taste more like real burger. To the burger mix I added pepper and 2 teaspoons of the Awase Miso paste. In her episode, Ellie uses jarred roasted peppers packed in olive oil — I just roasted a red bell pepper over the Garland burners using a pair of tongs and put it in a covered small plastic container to steam off the skin and to cool down. We then chopped it into a fine dice, and set aside 2oz of shredded skim milk mozzarella cheese. The burgers were then formed by sealing a mixture of the red pepper and cheese between two burger sides and sealed together by crimping the sides together tightly by hand.
30 minutes before cooking the burgers, slice up two nice sized sweet potatoes into thin fry shapes or pub chips using a mandoline and spray with PAM or olive oil. Bake in the oven at 450 Degrees.
Following Ellie’s Recipe, slice up two large sweet onions into large rings, dredge and coat in flour/buttermilk/hot sauce mixture. Bake for 20 minutes at 450 degrees until done.
Grill the burgers until completely cooked through, on both sides. Remember, this is poultry meat, you don’t want to undercook them. The pepper and cheese stuffing keeps them nice and juicy, though.
Onion rings should come out thusly.
Ellie’s “Fixin’s salad” combines all the great burger condiments in a salad. The only thing we did different here was to actually add yellow burger mustard to the vinaigrette.
Here’s another version we did, stuffed with peppers, sauteed mushrooms, garlic, mozzarella, with basil mixed into the burger.
The two halves were crimped together and the burgers were cooked in a non-stick pan.
This was then served on toasted whole wheat pita bread with a simple marinara sauce with tomatoes, basil. garlic and red pepper flakes. Turkey Pizzaburgers!
Pizza Burger closeup, with sweet potato chips and more of those great onion rings.
Here’s a “Tex-Mex” Turkey Burger, wth Red Onion, Mushroom Chili, Fresh Salsa, and melted Pepper Jack Cheese.
Here’s “The Greek” with cooked spinach,tomatoes, garlic and feta cheese.
Got a great turkey burger recipe? Chime in.