Thursday, April 15, 2010

Blue Rondo a la Turkey Burger (grilled turkey burgers with guacamole salad)

A bartender friend of mine once told me, “I like making drinks with vodka, because I get to show off. Rum, gin, tequila – they’ve all got flavors of their own, but vodka is the blank canvas where I can create…”

So it is with the humble turkey burger.

I love a good burger. One of my guilty pleasures is the Hardee’s mushroom ‘n’ swiss. Just love me some of that. But there’s a reason that it’s a guilty pleasure…

In the interest of waistlines, we end up cutting back, but that doesn’t mean that we have to eat tasteless, does it? Hell no! But turkey burgers? That almost defeats the purpose, no? There’s not much flavor inherent – especially if you’re getting the really lean stuff (usually 93/7). Doctoring up some ground turkey meat gives you the chance to eat healthy and make something very tasty.

This is another recipe where the Sweet Partner in Crime takes center stage. She’s got the touch with burger making. I handle the grilling part. So, round up:

  • 1 lb. or so lean ground turkeyIMG_0710
  • 1/2 a diced onion
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • salt & pepper
  • diced fresh herbs (we had some great fresh basil from our friend Rachel)
  • 2 avocadoes, diced
  • juice of a lemon
  • tomatoes for slicing, plus a couple more diced
  • minced garlic, cumin
  • lettuce, mustard, or other desired toppings

Put the turkey meat in a bowl. Season liberally with salt and pepper. Add the onion, salt & pepper to taste, and the herbs. You know, kind of like this:IMG_0711 Knead this all together. Then start adding the Worcestershire until it gets, in the SPinC’s words, “kind of meatloafy.” Coat form into patties, coat lightly in olive oil, and put it in the fridge for an hour or more. Make sure you get a chance to take it out to let it sit at room temperature for 20 minutes or so before you start grilling. During that time, slice your tomatoes, get your lettuce ready, toast your buns and whatnot. IMG_0714
Light the grill. When it’s good and hot, toss the burgers on there.
Grill the burgers over medium-high heat for about 5 minutes on a side or until the proverbial juices run clear. IMG_0715
While you’re letting the burgers rest, make the salad. Dice the tomatoes and avocado. Toss with salt, pepper, minced garlic, cumin, and lemon juice (basically, think unmashed guacamole). You’ll get something like this: IMG_0712
Put burgers on buns. Dress appropriately. Put the salad on the plates as a side. Serve it up and call it dinner. We decided to do a taste test with both an inexpensive New Zealand sauvignon blanc and a light red from the Languedoc region of France. Both ended up working out well:
The fun of turkey burgers is that you get to guiltlessly try different combinations of flavors. Grilling season is upon us. Give it a go.

Since you met Jessie Louise the Beagle last night, you should meet Mooch the Magnificent Mutt this evening. It’s only fair…

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