Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Turkey Burgers

Turkey burgers are their own breed.  Don't try to make a beef-tasting burger out of them because it's not beef.  It's turkey and it tastes good in its own right.  The ground turkey you buy in the store will not make a burger like this one, however.   Somehow that stuff is always too lean and just doesn't do well in a burger.  At worst it feels dry and tastes a bit off.  Grinding your own is not out of reach!  These burgers come out great using the food processor.  Cook's recommends the turkey thighs for the proper amount of juiciness.  Guacamole makes a perfect topping.  One trick to ripening those rock-hard grocery store avocados: put it in a paper bag with an apple, and in a day or too it will be soft and ready to eat.

Turkey Burgers
Adapted from Cook's Illustrated
Serves 4

For the Burger:
1 turkey thigh 1.5-2 pounds
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
2 tsp Dijon mustard
1 Tbsp vegetable oil

For the Guacamole:
1 ripe Hass avocado
1/4 onion, chopped fine
10 grape tomatoes, halved
1 small clove garlic, toasted
salt to taste
pepper to taste

For the Bun:
1 pack of potato rolls

1. Skin and bone the turkey thigh and cut it into 1-inch chunks.  Put them on a plate an place in freezer for half an hour until they are semi-frozen.  Working in 3 batches, pulse the chunks with 12 to 14 one-second pulses until it looks like evenly ground meat.

2. Put all 3 batches together in a bowl and mix in salt, pepper, Worcestershire sauce, and mustard.  Form patties by hand.

3. Heat a little oil in a skillet on medium-high.  Put the patties in and cook them so they get a nice brown crust on both sides and are cooked through, perhaps 5 minutes a side depending on how big you made them.

4. While the burgers are cooking, halve and peel the avocado into a large bowl.  Mash thoroughly with a fork or other mashing utensil.  (My molcajete is almost seasoned, but not quite ready for use).   Then stir in the onions and tomatoes.  If you like, mince a garlic clove, heat it momentarily in the pan with the burgers, and mix it in too.  Add a pinch of salt and some fresh pepper.  Taste.  Add more salt.  Taste.  Ad more salt.  Repeat until it tastes great.

5.  When burgers are cooked, serve on a potato roll with a heaping dollop of guac.

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