Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Roman Turkey Burgers

There is a seemingly infinite number of turkey burgers out there.  If you search for "turkey burger recipe" on Google, you get 147,000 results.  Not every result is a recipe for a turkey burger.  However, the search produces turkey burgers of every variety inspired by cuisines across the world.  There are southwestern turkey burgers, which usually include some chipotle or ancho chiles in the recipe, and "Greek" turkey burgers, with yogurt, oregano and feta cheese in the burgers.  And, there are quite a few "ultimate" turkey burgers. 

Recently, I wanted to make turkey burgers for my beautiful Angel. I perused page after page of turkey burger recipes but none of them really caught and held my attention.  I eventually decided that I would create my own turkey burger recipe.   A turkey burger recipe raises two questions, one that is easily answered and another one that is a little more difficult.

The first question is what type of ground turkey to use.  One has two choices: ground turkey breast or ground turkey thighs.  Personally, I think turkey thighs are better because they have a higher fat content, which helps to prevent the meat from drying out during the cooking process. If you are looking for a healthier turkey burger, you could use one-half thigh meat and one-half breast meat.  However, given the fact that you are making a turkey burger, as opposed to a regular burger, you are already making something that is relatively healthier.  

The second question is what to add to the ground turkey.  If you don't add anything to the turkey burger, you have a simple meal.  A simple, boring meal.  That is why there are so many different turkey burger recipes.  Many people have experimented with different ingredients that are mixed into the ground turkey to create a more flavorful and delicious burger.  

In the end, I decided to incorporate some Italian ingredients into this recipe.  I started with some sun-dried tomatoes.  I bought a jar of sun-dried tomatoes in olive oil, which provided an additional way to add flavor to the turkey.  I also bought some fresh basil and flat leaf parsley, both of which are chopped rather finely.  I rounded out the ingredients with some minced garlic and some grated Parmesan cheese.  All of these ingredients are complementary, working very well together in the ground turkey mixture.  

Overall, this recipe worked out very well.  It is a relatively easy and quick recipe to make during the week.  This means that I will be making it again, probably very soon.

A Chef Bolek Original
Serves 4

1 pound of ground turkey (preferably ground thighs)
6 sundried tomatoes in olive oil, thinly sliced
1 to 2 tablespoons of olive oil
2 tablespoons flat leaf parsley, chopped
2 tablespoons Italian basil, chopped
1 tablespoon of grated Parmesan
2 cloves garlic, minced
Sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 large tomato, sliced
1 red onion, sliced thinly

1. Prepare the burgers.  Place the turkey in a bowl.  Gently add the sun-dried tomatoes, garlic, parsley, basil, salt, and pepper.  Mix the ingredients thoroughly.  Then add 1 tablespoon of olive oil.  Mix the ingredients gently.  You can add an additional tablespoon of olive oil, but that is optional.  Form into 4 patties and make an indentation in the middle of each one to help the patties cook evenly.

2.  Cook the burgers.  Pre-heart the broiler.  Broil the patties until firm and brown, about 3 to 5 minutes per side.  Serve on toasted buns with lettuce, tomato and onion. 


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