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Friday, February 29, 2008

Doctoring the Burger

Who doesn't love a big, fat, juicy burger?

Well, my husband for one. He shuns beef. Instead he loves big, fat, dry, tasteless turkey burgers. When I asked him what he wanted for dinner earlier this week he said, "I don't know. Spaghetti? Turkey burgers?" When I think about it, I would say that "Turkey Burgers" is a standard answer when I ask him what he wants for dinner. I made spaghetti earlier this week, but when the leftovers ran out last night, I decided that I couldn't escape the turkey burger request. My quest was to make them as edible as possible.

Doctoring ground meat to make it into something it's not always smacks of Rachael Ray to me. But I justify it by saying I'm just trying to make bland meat taste better. I'm not trying to condense a perfectly good food (like chicken cacciatore or spanikopita) into burger form.

I came up with the idea of making the burger really spicy and adding lots of interesting condiments. Because I'm trying to be better about posting actual recipes instead of streams of consciousness about how I made a meal, I will now present my results in approximate, legitimate recipe form.

Chipotle Turkey Burgers with Roasted Tomato "Ketchup" and Guacamole

The Burger
1 pound ground turkey - dark meat (I WILL NOT use dry, flavorless breast)
1 Tablespoon chipotle powder
1 Onion finely diced and sauteed.
2 Tbl chopped fresh cilantro.

Mix to combine. Form into patties. I will not presume to tell you how to cook a burger. Grill it outiside. Grill it on your Foreman. Cook it on a flat griddle. Fry it in a frying pan. Whatever floats your boat.

Roasted Tomato "Ketchup"
1 15oz. can Fire Roasted Tomatoes (Uh-oh, we're heading into Rachael Ray territory)
1/4 cup tomato paste
2 Tbl cider vinegar
1 Tbl sugar (I would have used brown sugar, but found out I was out of it)
1 tsp smoked paprika (Yikes. Another RR "secret ingredient")
1 tsp. salt

I drained a little of the excess liquid out of the tomato can so my sauce wouldn't be too thin (the thin watery stuff at the top, and not the thicker more tomatoey stuff at the bottom). You can mix this all and leave it chunky, or you can throw it in the blender or food processor or do what I did and moosh it up with a stick blender. If you like it thicker, add a couple more tablespoons of tomato paste. You will have more than you need for the burgers, so put it in a container with a tight lid, stick it in the fridge, and try to come up with something else to do with it.

Guacamole
(Does anyone really need a recipe for this? Here's how I made mine last night.)

4 Small avocados
Juice of 1 lime
2 Tbl fresh cilantro
2 cloves of garlic smooshed up with 1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cumin (Hmmm...do you know I have about as many forgotten jars of cumin that Rachael Ray probably has of poultry seasoning?)
1 tsp finely minced jalapeno (I removed ribs and seeds and didn't use too much because I really do love my husband. Feel free to add more jalapeno and throw in the seeds if that floats your boat.)

Guacamole is like peanut butter. Some like it smooth. Some like it chunky. Some just don't care. Mash as you see fit or throw it in the food processor. If you own a mortar and pestle and don't use it for your guacamole, you risk me hating you forever. I mashed mine last night.

Assemblage

Open 4 kaiser rolls. Toast or not as you see fit. One one side generously spread the tomato sauce. On the other side mound up lots of the guac. Place a few leaves of lettuce (well, you want to feel good about having a vegetable in your meal, right?) on the guacamole side and lay the burger on the tomato side. Attempt to close.

Eat with lots of napkins.

After eating his burger, Kevin began using a fork to pick up the last of the guacamole on his plate. He has never been a plate cleaner. Without my prompting him, he told me it was delicious. It was a much better response than what I got for the coq au vin. What exactly does it say about him?

3 comments:

Emiline said...

Wow, he really likes turkey burgers.
I don't think I've ever known anyone that likes turkey burgers that much. Beef burgers, yes.
I've made sliders before, and they turned out well. I love sliders!

Job well done.

Bellini Valli said...

Now this is my kind of burger:D I think that guacamole on my burgers has to be my favourite:D

Donna-FFW said...

OK now I have to try the ketchup