I made these turkey burgers after I saw Anne Burrell whip them up on the Food Network. She is truly a gifted lover and creator of food. Her recipes are so thoughtful. She has a reason for everything she does, and she doesn’t feel the need to dress up her show with phony stories about staged social events. Sometimes that can be entertaining, but Anne Burrell’s straightforward quality is refreshing.
Her recipe for turkey burgers has a couple unexpected and lovely touches, such sautéed onions and garlic (so nice to have them present, but without any raw acrid flavor). Also, the recipe included water chestnuts for crunch. Anne also added some water to the mix to keep the burgers moist, and I fully support this. The burgers are boldly flavored with soy sauce, fresh ginger, and cilantro. I also appreciated that she took a burger with a blatant Asian flair, and gave it the full American-burger-treatment with cheese, buns, a spicy mayo, etc. I recommend a thick slice of white cheddar melted on top. Below is my version of her recipe.
I made these burgers on a Sunday night and continued to enjoy them throughout the week. My mom follows an exacting formula for heating up leftover burgers, and it worked well with these turkey burgers. Start with a frozen bun/piece of bread; add the cold burger and a slice of cheese. Then wrap the sandwich in a paper towel and microwave for 60 seconds. I’m sure there’s other ways to do it as well; reheating burgers isn’t exactly a subtle art form. However, a nice paper-towel-wrapped turkey burger is certainly a nice way to end your day, especially after a good spin class (I love spin class at the moment).
Turkey Burgers (adapted from Anne Burrell)
½ lb. ground white meat turkey
¾ lb. ground turkey thigh
1 small onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2-4 teaspoons olive oil
1 8 oz can water chestnuts, chopped
¼ cup minced cilantro
2 inches fresh ginger, grated
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 teaspoons Sriracha
2-4 tablespoons water
Sliced cheddar cheese
Mayo mixed with Sriracha
- Sauté the diced onion in olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat for 5-10 minutes, until onion is very soft. Season with salt and add minced garlic. Sauté for an additional minute. Remove from pan and set aside. Wipe out the pan.
- Gently mix onions/garlic with remaining ingredients with your hands.
- With approximately a tablespoon of the turkey mixture, form a tiny burger patty. Cook in the skillet about 2 minutes per side, and eat it in order to test for seasoning. Adjust accordingly.
- Form turkey mixture into 4 equal patties. Cook over medium high heat with a drizzle of olive oil, cooking in batches as to not crowd the pan. Burgers with need approximately 8 minutes per side to cook through. When they are done, they will be firm to the touch.
- Add cheese to melt. Make burgers with desired toppings. (It’s nice to leave some burgers without cheese so leftovers may have freshly melted cheese)