Beef-less burgers even the Midwestern Mideater loves

14 May

Turkey burgers

There’s a possibility that five or so people read this. If so, I promise that I have not caved into MM and been dining with delight at Burgers Supreme (replace with your favorite grease bin here). I have had my fair share, and probably your share, sorry about that, of burger joints over the past three weeks. MM graduated and is looking forward to helping other people count their sheckels, since he’ll be an auditor. We spent the time after his graduation traveling in a large golden van, mood lighting and cruise ship accents at no extra cost. Six or so days on a trip to the Grand Canyon (also large, but I vote for Southern Utah–is that blasphemy against a national wonder?) and back to P-town. Several boxes later, we went from one casserole land, through the beef belt, and have landed where casseroles are “hot dishes.” Thank you, MM’s family, for moving us in the magical golden van. Sorry that all of our stuff nearly killed everyone. I owe you dinner. Side note: the beef belt, where my Midwestern Meateater has relatives who surpass him in beef-loving intensity, is a cultural phenomenon for me. These are people who talk about bovine in terms of “head” (as in, “we have 300 head”) and who have steak for breakfast. No offense to those of you who agree–but as you can probably gather from my posts here, i am the least, least likely candidate to help myself to a meaty slab ‘o flesh, morning, afternoon, or evening. I prefer food either bloody or gray. But visit the beef belt just for funs.

Despite all said, I will eat a fowl burger. Might as well be called “fridge burgers,” because they do an excellent job of absorbing things in your (or my) fridge. But would guests come for tasty “fridge burgers”? Neither would I. These are the ultimate in kitchen resourcefulness, a trait which I’d say is vital to every good home cook (and otherwise, if I dare say).

Anyone who’s been reading my blog for a little bit of time knows that a primary impetus shaping my food is a bend on resourcefulness. Sure, I may have started thinking this way in college with wanting to stick to a small budget, but it’s a really useful, maybe even vital, trait that I think every home cook should have. Buy what you eat, eat what you buy, don’t waste. It’ll save you money, time, space, and certainly impact the world around you a little bit when you throw away less that was good once. So that’s the story of this burger, and maybe it’ll inspire you to look in your cupboards, fridge, and see possibilities. Almost every dish I create originates this way.

MM’s turkey burgers
Not because he made them, but because he ate…most of them.

From raw to eating: 30 min.
Makes: 6 thick burgers or more less-thick ones

On a sunny and pleasant day, I looked in the fridge, freezer, and cupboard, and remembered we were moving soon. The time had come for wild creativity, ground turkey, and a few other friends. Several ingredients later and a grilling later, something magical happened. These burgers *rocked.

Note: this is the scariest-sounding recipe I’ve presented yet. Don’t be afraid. The results…cliché, but…speak for themselves.

12 oz. ground turkey, thawed
½ bell pepper, diced (I used green)
3 cloves garlic, minced (seems like a awful lot—refer to customer review)
¼ medium onion, diced (I used yellow)
2 T ketchup
1-2 T prepared mustard (honey, whole grain, brown, English, etc.)
2-3 t “Italian” seasoning (MM had a little package left from making something—you can make your own)
2 T homemade pesto sauce (I warned you it was a magnet for fridge leftovers)
½ t salt
pepper, to taste

1-2 ripe avocadoes, skin removed, pitted, and flesh cut into slices of desired thickness
One large tomato, sliced to desired thickness (I did medium)
burger buns
crunchy lettuce (I used iceberg)

Turn your grill or grill pan (I used the second) on to medium heat.

Combine everything and mix thoroughly with also thoroughly clean hands (sing the alphabet while you rub, like your mom taught you). Form into burgers, patting into shape. Let rest first couple of patties rest while you make the others.

Grill each burger for about 5-7 minutes per side, depending on thickness. And this is important: this is not beef, so it’s not okay to have a “rare” burger. No pink, in other words. Remember that poultry is considered safe/cooked when it has reached an internal temp of 160-170 F, and the juices run clear/it is brown throughout.

Serve with avocado slices, tomato, and anything else you love.

*Based on customer review. Actual sentiments were “you can make these again,” “I wouldn’t mind if you made these again,” “these were really, really—no, I mean it—good.”

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One Response to “Beef-less burgers even the Midwestern Mideater loves”

  1. Mark May 15, 2008 at 8:16 pm #

    let’s see some pics of you and the kids for goodness sake
    no too into cooking as you may know

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