OK Fine. It might not actually have magical powers; there was no pixie dust available. But ask yourself this: have you ever had a really magnificent turkey burger? Health nuts, ya’ll sit down; your opinion is void. Beef lovers…have you ever? If I guess correctly, and you are being honest, the answer is no. Turkey burgers tend to be dry and unsatisfying. They don’t have that zing-mm-pow! that great beef burgers provide. And honestly, if you are craving beef, there is no substitute. Remember the Parks and Recreation burger contest?
Like a true beef fan, I would normally never pick a turkey burger over a regular burger from a menu. But several years ago at a Chicago pub called the Gaslight I took the leap. It was one of the most delicious sandwiches I’ve ever had. Loaded with thyme, topped with a garlic aioli, and nestled within a pretzel bun, this glorious pile of goodness stretched my realm of culinary possibilities. I vowed to recreate the turkey burger, and, if possible, improve upon it.
But the years passed. I forgot about my vow. Then last weekend I saw ground turkey for sale and it rekindled my curiosity. I did a little research, made some decisions, bought the necessary accouterments. And so it began.
The big question was how to keep the meat moist. As turkey needs to be fully cooked, I had to take extra measures to ensure moisture. I read in one recipe that adding an egg helps burgers hold together and remain moist. I read in another that adding yogurt does the same. I added both. I also remembered another beef burger recipe that added chopped mushrooms. I did that too. Then I stirred it all up with salt, pepper, and tons of fresh thyme.
Emily’s Thyme and Mushroom Turkey Burgers
2 lbs ground turkey
2 cups chopped mushrooms
1 egg, whisked
3 tbs greek yogurt
1 tbs fresh thyme
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp gr. pepper
Mix the above together and form into patties. Add an indent in the middle of the patties to stop the burgers from poofing during cooking.
Melt 1 tbs butter and 1 tbs olive oil in large skillet. Just before the oil begins to smoke, add sliced red onions and sauté on medium heat until slightly browned. Set onions aside. Now that the skillet is seasoned with the caramelized onions, add more oil and make sure the skillet is well coated. Place the patties in the skillet with at least an inch between each burger. Cook burgers on medium high heat for a few minutes. Flip when the bottom half of the burger becomes firm and starts to brown. Burgers are finished when the juices run clear.
3 tbs mayonaise
3 tbs greek yogurt
1/2 tsp fresh thyme
1 tsp minced garlic
salt and pepper to taste
Serve burgers on toasted buns, preferably pretzel buns; if you can’t find them, consider adding a little sugar to the sauce to compensate for the lack of sweet. Top with sauce, onions, avocado, and mixed greens. SAVOR!
AND FOR EXTRA FUN….
The next morning, slice some onion and potatoes. Toss in a few tablespoons of flour. Heat oil in a skillet to almost smoking, and sauté until potatoes are lightly browned and can be pierced easily with a fork. Chop up a leftover burger and add to the skillet. Remove when meat is warm. Add a little more oil to the pan, get it hot, and lower heat. Fry an egg to desired doneness and top your TURKEY BURGER HASH with your gooey egg. VOILA! Best brunch ever. You’re welcome.