Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Chimichurri Turkey Burgers

My bad! What I thought was ground chuck turned out to be ground turkey and I didn't realize it until I started to make dinner. Bob's favorite treat after weeks away from home is a hamburger and I dropped the ball. A better wife than I might have run to the store to correct the mistake but I decided to make the best of it and took another tact. As a bride, I was known to create days of fast and abstinence when I forgot to take meat from the freezer. Bob, who was not particularly well-versed with the liturgical calendar, always considered my declarations as fiat. These days I use recipe contests as an excuse to cover my tracks. Then, as now, things turned out fairly well. I'm not big on gourmet burgers; they've always seemed to me to be a contradiction in terms. A hamburger was/is something I throw on the grill when I've lost yet another battle with the clock - they're quick and flavorful and very easy to do. Turkey burgers are another story - they need all the help they can get. A quick look in the vegetable bin and freezer produced the "Eureka" moment that led to the creation of this turkey burger. It requires a bit more chopping than I care to do but the burger is flavorful and not at all dry. I actually kind of like it. Here's what I did.

Chimichurri Turkey Burgers

1 tablespoon + 1/3 cup olive oil
1/2 cup chopped red onion
3 tablespoons coarsely chopped garlic, divided use
1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon chopped jalapeno, divided use
2-1/4 teaspoons kosher salt, divided use
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1-1/4 pounds ground turkey
1/2 cup ricotta cheese
2 teaspoons ground cumin, divided use
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1 cup packed Italian parsley leaves
1 cup packed fresh mint leaves
1/4 cup lime juice
Five 6-inch pita pockets
Red onion slices
Lettuce leaves

1) Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a medium skillet. Add onion, 1 tablespoon garlic, 1 tablespoon jalapeno and 1/4 teaspoon salt; cook until softened. Transfer to a mixing bowl. When cool, add turkey, ricotta cheese, 3/4 teaspoon salt, pepper, 1 teaspoon cumin, oregano and cilantro; mix gently until just combined. Shape into 5 patties. Set aside.
2) Combine, parsley, mint, reserved 1/3 cup olive oil, lime juice, 2 tablespoons reserved garlic, 1 teaspoon reserved jalapeno, 1 teaspoon reserved cumin and 1 teaspoon reserved salt in jar of a food processor. Process until a thick sauce is formed. Add additional salt to taste.
3) Spray a large skillet with olive oil or nonstick cooking spray. Heat pan. Sprinkle burgers with salt and pepper. Cook one side of burgers burgers over medium-high heat for 5 minutes. Turn and cook for 3 minutes longer. Serve each burger in a warm pita with sliced onions, lettuce and some chimichurri sauce. Yield: 5 servings.


Martha said...

Lemonade from lemons. Sounds like a good recipe. Did Bob realize that it was "Plan B"?

Mary said...

Not really, Martha. He did think it was unusual for me to test so soon after returning.

Donna-FFW said...

Mary, I am so glad you are back. I did enjoy all yourposts, I look forward to them every day. These sound delicious. Ricotta cheese, lime juice, cilantro, so yum. You are so funny.. using your contests as an excuse. I had to laugh. Thanks for the smile.

My Carolina Kitchen said...

I love what you said about using recipe contests to cover your tracks - very clever. Love all of the flavors you used. Did Bob like the burger? I suspect he did. Who wouldn't?

Mary said...

Hi Sam and Donna --- he did like the burger but I must admit I promised him the real thing sometime this weekend. He is a very good sport.

Cathy said...

Hi Mary - Welcome home. It's so good to have you back and blogging. I can't wait to hear all about your adventures. I'm sure your home cooked food was wonderful.

Hootin' Anni said...

I am absolutely drooling Mary!!!! I love turkey, and I love turkey burgers. I always eat more fowl than red meat. And your burgers sound like a luscious treat to me. My favorite way to 'dress up' a turkey burger is to make some fresh picante sauce with fresh cilantro and top it with copped onion, grated cheese and guacamole that I make before the burgers are fully cooked. And then....mustard potato salad and tossed greens with spicy Italian dressing.

I AM going to try yours tho. I just KNOW it will be a favorite of mine and Bud's Thanks for the recipe.

Pam said...

Sounds like a tasty burger. I bet Bob loved the burger.

Glad you are back from your travels.

jesse said...

This recipe sounds fabulous, and your pictures showcase the wonderful food perfectly! Yum!

noble pig said...

I like the mint addition! Very nice!

kab said...

I actually like turkey burgers but, you're right, they need all the spicing help they can get. Any strong herbs are helpful, and a good ground curry is a godsend, plus it enables use of chutneys (try Major Grey's sometime!) as a condiment. Love it!

- KAB, GoodStuffNW

Mary said...

Jesse, welcome to my blog. I do hope you'll be back often. Something is always going on around here and I love company.

Acorn Cottage said...

Looks like a good healthy recipe, somrthing I need to incorporate more of in my life! Thanks for stopping over and visiting my blog. I love your photographs nad wit!

Lynda said...

These sound really tasty.I prefer a grilled burger too, but these sound moist and very healthy!

Mary said...

Hi Lynda, thanks for stopping by. I hope you'll be back soon.

Lori Lynn said...

I made turkey burgers the other day. they definitely need a boost with more flavors, I put fresh rosemary. Your idea of chimichurri is a fantastic addition.

Mary said...

Lori, welcome! I'm thrilled you stopped by. I think you'll like the addition of chimichurri to your burgers (turkey or beef). It's so easy to do and it keeps at least a week in the fridge. Love your blog by the way.

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