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 Bergfeld 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.

Sam Hoffer / 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 Bergfeld 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!

Anonymous said...

I like the mint addition! Very nice!

Kathleen Bauer 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 Bergfeld 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.

Nancy Yoakum 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!

Anonymous said...

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

Mary Bergfeld 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 Bergfeld 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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