Friday, November 4, 2011

Turkey Burgers

I am re-posting a couple of my turkey recipes for American Thanksgiving this week. Enjoy. :)

Good bloggers will always say "Never apologize for or on your blog." Well, I'm apologizing now as I have been absent from here as of late, again. Why am I apologizing for this?  Because I love to write, talk and think about food and lately it's only been the two latter ones. I'd like to think the people who read this are passionate about food and are reading to get better ideas or are just starting to learn more about what eating right and how good... no, great food can change your life. It did for me and I hope I can do the same for you.

There are a lot of people out there who eat a lot of turkey. Turkey bacon, turkey chili, turkey burgers, etc. They all look fine to me except for the bacon. It's loaded with sodium and I won't go near it. But all the other turkey applications, bring 'em on.

I've never taken the time to give turkey burgers the chance, so why not now? It's as good a time as any with US Thanksgiving coming up and the Canadian equivalent just passed. I'll have to admit I've seen many recipes for these over the years, but have just not had any interest in attempting to make them. I cleared it with Bonnie and started to write out different combinations of what I thought would work. Here are the final results. And by the way, I believe pictures are a smart way to get your point(s) across to someone when you are trying to teach them how you came to the conclusion you did when it comes to cooking (which is why I always add them to my blog), but unfortunately both cameras ran out of juice at the same tiime, so no pics on this one. Sorry.


- 1 kg ground turkey
- 1 clove of garlic, minced
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
- 1/2 tsp cayenne
- 1/4 cup dried cranberries
- the zest of one lemon
- small handful of parsley, finely chopped
- sea salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
- EVOO, 2 tsp for the mixture and a little more for the pan
- red hot chili pepper jack cheese (optional)
- Multigrain buns, cut in half


1) Combine all ingredients in a bowl (except the cheese and buns, of course). Hold off on the salt until you have the patties in the pan. Add the salt too early and you will dry out an already dry meat. Use your bare hands to combine it all together and don't over mix.
2) Grab some of the mix and place it in the palm of your hand, approximately 4 oz. Roll it around in your hand until it is round. Flatten it between your hands to form a patty. Place on a plate and continue with the rest of the mixture.
3) Heat a frying pan or large skillet over medium-high heat and pour a little EVOO in. When the pan is hot enough, place the patties in and turn the heat down to medium. This will ensure the patties get a nice crust on the outside. If it's not hot enough, your patties will look like they were steamed, not pan fried.
4) Cook the patties for about 4 minutes on the first side, flip them over and then 1-2 minutes on the second side. Take out of the pan and place on a plate. Lay a piece of red hot chili pepper jack cheese (or whatever cheese you like (assuming you want cheese that is...) over top and serve.
Yield: Makes 6 patties

These turned out to be a keeper in our family menu plan. I actually impressed myself on how good they tasted, especially for a first-time effort. Even if you're not a fan of ground turkey, you should at least try these. I did. It's a healthy meat to dine on, and as you can see in the recipe above, it's a good idea to add fat so they don't dry out. Turkey is a low-carb meat with high protein value and is loaded with tryptophan, selenium and vitamin D. Not a bad way to get some good food into your diet. If you want to cut down on breads, as we are, eat these burgers without the buns. This way you fill up more on meat rather than big, fat, puffy bread.

If you don't like cheese on your turkey burgers (or any burger for that matter), then don't use it. I used the red hot chili pepper jack cheese from Bothwell and was pleasantly surprised. It added a nice bite to the burgers but didn't take over the whole turkey experience. Besides the cheese, there is a little cayenne in here, but it doesn't add much for heat, just a little flavor. Even if you add more cayenne to the recipe, you're still ahead of the game. You can burn calories as you eat if there is some heat in the food. No kidding.

The cranberries in this recipe add a nice texture to the burgers and also a range of extraordinary health benefits. Along with a little vitamin C and manganese, they are full of antioxidants and help protect against urinary tract infections. It's never a bad idea to add these to salads, burgers or even just to eat them as a snack.

Little O's Menu

Our little schnitzel is going through another growth spurt. Perfect timing as Bonnie has loaded up the fridge, again, with so much food I'm having problems just trying to keep up. O even tried the turkey burgers and liked them. She did pick out the cranberries due to the texture though. I wasn't sure how she would react to them as she loves raisins, but I guess it's a different story when those little things are alone rather than hiding out in a big hunk of meat. She's also a big fan of Bonnie's Zucchini Chocolate Chip Bread, as am I. We had a piece yesterday after we ate a cup or so of pistachios. Like I said, growth spurt...

Quote Of The Day:

"Thanksgiving is an emotional holiday. People travel thousands of miles to be with people they only see once a year. And then discover once a year is way too often."

~ Johnny Carson (1925-2005) American television host and comedian, host of The Tonight Show for 30 years.

Until next time, good eating everyone.