Yesterday I bought some ground turkey breast, thinking I'd make some meatballs. But since those are a lot of work, I asked Jeff if he'd like to have turkey burgers instead, and I was a little alarmed with the immediacy and certainty of his response when he said, "Turkey burgers." Like, no question about it.
I've made these burgers a few times this summer (even impressed the in-laws with them), and if you don't mind a lot of fine-dicing, they make a probably-healthy meal. Note my use of a whole grain bun here. Yeah. Dead serious about eating healthy today.
Recipe by the dreaded Rachael Ray from what appears to be the cooking-for-kids section of her website, but don't hold that against these turkey burgers. (I made some adjustments here and there, and since her site prohibits copying/pasting, I'm just going to paraphrase the directions.)
As Garrison Keillor would say, "Heavens, they're tasty."
- 1 1/3 pounds ground turkey breast <-- the average weight of one Jennie-O package
- 1/3 medium red onion, finely chopped <-- pretend it's the mise-en-place onion mincing challenge on Top Chef; I do
- 1/4 pound sharp cheddar cheese, cut into 1/4-inch dice <-- pepper jack is better if you like it spicy
- 1 rounded tablespoon chili powder
- 2 teaspoons cumin
- 1 jalapeño or serrano pepper, seeded and finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- salt and freshly ground black pepper <--1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon? (not sure; I wish the recipe would say!)
- small amount of extra-virgin olive oil
Combine all ingredients (except olive oil) in a large bowl and mix with your hands until you have a really ugly-looking mass. Divide this mass into six equal portions for normal burgers, or four if you want the kind of head-sized burgers Rachael Ray specializes in. Create patties that are the same thickness throughout, i.e. not fat in the center.
Heat a large nonstick frying pan/grill pan/what-have-you to medium. Note to self: on our stove, on a scale from 1 to 10, this is a 4.5. Once it's at 4.5, add the burgers and drop it down to 3.5. End of note to self.
Drizzle a little olive oil on the tops of the burgers and place them, oil side down, on the hot pan. Add a bit of oil to the other side. You'll probably have to make these burgers in small batches if all you have is a frying pan. If you are only feeding two or three people, Ha, NO BIGGIE; you'll be done in a hurry and you can freeze the rest for some other time.
Cook for something like 3 minutes per side for small burgers and 5 minutes per side for big ones. They hold together well and you can peek before flipping and turn them multiple times if you like. Drop the heat down if they get too dark too fast. The burgers will seem mostly pale and noticeably firmer and more solid when they're done. Cut into one and check for doneness if you're worried about it, but please know that this one will be *your burger.*
If you've gone the extra mile in terms of chopping excellence, you'll notice perfect cube-like cavities in the cooked burgers where the cheese has melted and is oozing. It's something you'll want to point out and is definitely a good conversation-starter.