Ah, the humble burger.
Sometimes I get so caught up in kitchen experiments that I forget to just cook a damn burger once in a while.
We have a red-meat-intolerant hubby in the house though, so burgers here are generally made from alternative meat sources.
And since a plain chicken, pork or turkey patty can’t even pretend to compare to beef, I dress them up a little.
Sometimes a lot.
It starts with broiling some peppers. Really blacken the crap out of ‘em.
The smoky flavor this creates will make you forget all about grilling.
They’ll also keep the turkey from drying out. A dry turkey burger will make you so sad. Believe me.
If you’re feeling adventurous, you can also make an exciting topping or two.
This time I made one of my favorite instant meal boosters of late: a quick pickle.
Toasted spices, some salt and sugar heat up with vinegar and get poured over their soon-to-be delicious victim.
I used red onions, but you could apply the same technique to basically anything you want to pickle. And it only takes 20 minutes! Woop!
Apparently I was very excited about this burger, because I also made a Lemon Rosemary Mayo.
Homemade toppings are totally optional, but quite delicious!
Roasted Pepper Turkey Burger
- 2 bell peppers (I used red & green)
- 1 jalapeño
- 1/3 cup chopped parsley
- 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
- freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
- olive oil
- 1.25 pounds ground turkey
- 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
- Place the bell peppers and jalapeño under a hot broiler, turning them every few minutes until all sides are blackened, about 10-12 minutes total. Place them in a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let them steam for about 15 minutes. Peel the skin off each of the peppers, carefully remove the stem and seeds (they'll still be really hot inside!), and roughly chop. (Leave the seeds of the jalapeño in if you want a little heat, which I always do.)
- In a blender or food processor, puree the chopped peppers with the parsley, salt, pepper, smoked paprika and 1 tablespoon olive oil. In a large bowl, gently but thoroughly combine the pepper mixture with the turkey and bread crumbs.
- Get a large skillet very hot over medium-high heat. Form the turkey mixture into 4 patties. Put about 2 tablespoons of oil in the pan and gently place the patties in the pan. Cook for 5-6 minutes on each side, or until fully cooked through. (If you aren't sure, break out the meat thermometer - they should register 165 degrees F.) Garnish with your favorite burger toppings. I like cheese, sprouts, and the two you see below!
Quick Pickled Red Onions
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
- 3/4 cup white vinegar
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 small red onion, sliced
- Place the onions in a medium bowl. In a small pot, toast the cumin and mustard seeds over medium heat until fragrant. Add the vinegar, sugar and salt; stir. Continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until the sugar dissolves. Once it comes to a simmer, pour over the onions and stir. Allow this mixture to steep for 20 minutes, giving it a stir a few times. Drain the onions and serve.
Lemon Rosemary Mayo
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
- 1 teaspoon chopped rosemary
- kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Combine mayonnaise, lemon juice and zest, and rosemary in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper to taste.