Tuesday, May 17, 2011

The Turkey Burger Unleashed

Have you ever sat down at a restaurant, looked over the burger section of the menu then scoffed in disgust at the 'turkey burger' option? I sure have. Normally, this item is a token for people who don't eat red meat but still want a burger for some reason. More often then not they are a dry, bland, hockey puck between bread.

But there is a better way!

Problem: Turkey is to lean for a proper burger.
Solution: Add oil. Flavor packed oil!

Problem: Turkey is bland.
Solution: Use the meat as a canvas for flavors.

Problem: Ground turkey falls apart on the grill.
Solution: Cook on a cast iron skillet.

Software: (measurements are all estimated I just through them in and hope for the best)
2 pounds ground turkey (not white meat)
1/2 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp canola oil
1 tsp ground coriander
1/4 cup finely diced shallot
1/4 cup chopped leak
salt and pepper
* You could do this with lots of different combinations. This one is very similar to my potsticker recipe.
** Good substitution for shallot and leak is 2 parts onion 1 part garlic. Not exactly the same, but similar.

Bacon (Optional)

Sautéed Brandy Onions (Optional)

Cast iron skillet - I have a flat one making this pretty easy, but it does splatter a bit.
Flipping device

Combine all the burger ingredients in a bowl. Its best to let it sit until room temperature if you have time.

Make patties. I like to roll them into a meatball, then flattern the ball into a half inch thick disk, about 4-5 inches in diameter. Thin is good. They will plump a bit when cooked.

Heat the skillet on medium heat either on the stove or grill.

If you are using bacon (which you should be doing) cook the baco on the skillet. Set it aside. Drain most of the grease from the pan, leave enough to coat.

Cook the patties in the bacony skillet for about 5 minutes on each side.

Top the burger with the brandy onions, eat. Use a hamburger bun is you want.

I don't use the white meat ground turkey because its dryer, blander, and more expensive.

The meat needs the oil. The extra fat helps it hold together. The sesame oil brings lots of flavor to the party.

Brandy onions are just onions sauteed with butter, deglazed with a little brandy, then reduced with some chicken stock. You could add some fresh herb or creme fraise to this as well.