You may not typically associate turkey burgers with the word “deluxe,” but anything is possible in the psycho kitchen. The phrase “turkey burger” most readily conjures up images of frozen, gray hockey pucks, dry in texture and with a processed flavor, but they don’t have to be like that if you make them at home. I like turkey burgers because they offer a bit more creative license than beef burgers. When purchasing good quality ground beef, burgers should be an exercise in simplicity. Since ground turkey is a little blander, it lends more flexibility with flavor profiles and add-ins, without feeling like I’m messing with a good thing. For these turkey burger, I added all of the things I would want on top of a burger, but I chopped it all up in little bits and pieces and mixed it into the ground turkey. My ingredients not only added tons of flavor, but great texture to the patties themselves.
I used chopped shitake mushrooms, grated Gruyere, white wine, minced shallots, Dijon mustard, and fresh tarragon. Thyme would also be a great choice, as it pairs perfectly with poultry. The mushrooms and the shallots add both flavor and moisture to the patty. I love putting grated cheese in my burgers because it makes the whole thing salty and rich, and a little bit of the cheese oozes out as the burger cooks, and forms a lovely crust on the outside. This burger was so tasty I ate on a bun with only a little arugula to add some peppery freshness. Okay, fine, I’ll admit it: I put a touch of olive oil mayo on the bun too. Mayo tends to be controversial on burgers, but I thought it rounded everything out. I made my burgers in a cast iron pan, but they would be great on the grill. In hindsight, I might have used a non-stick pan because I lost a bit of my cheesy crust to my cast iron skillet. It didn’t exactly ruin my dinner, but take heed, and learn from my mistakes.
Psycho’s D-Lux Turkey Burgers (makes 4 patties)
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1/4 shitake mushrooms, stems removed, diced small
1 large shallot, minced
1/2-2/3 cup shredded Gruyere cheese (I went with 2/3 cup of cheese because cheese is my favorite)
1 tablespoon minced tarragon
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon Bragg’s liquid aminos (or 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt)
1 tablespoon white wine (optional)
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 pound ground white turkey
1/2 pound ground dark turkey
Burger accompaniments of your choice: buns, greens, mayo, mustard, avocado, etc.
- Mix together 1 tablespoon of olive oil with all of the remaining ingredients. Divide into four equal portions, and shape into patties, gently using the heel of your hand to shape them. Make your burgers a bit thinner in the middle. This will prevent your finished burger from being thicker in the center.
- Preheat a large skillet over medium heat with the remaining tablespoon of olive oil. Distribute oil evenly. Cooking your burgers in batches so they don’t steam, place two patties in the pan, and allow to cook undisturbed for 6-8 minutes on one side. When the sides of the patty begin to look opaque, and juices rise to the top of the patty, flip the burgers. Cook on the remaining side for another 5-6 minutes, or until the burgers are firm to the touch. They should be cooked all the way through.
- Set the cooked burgers on a plate. If the pan looks dry, add another thin coat of oil, and cook the remaining patties in the same way as in step one. Dress your burgers as desired and enjoy.
June 11, 2015