Turkey burgers you can be proud of


Turkey burgers get a bad rap.  Some people might think "hey it's ground meat; form it into a patty and throw it on the grill!"  But those people are wrong!  Ground beef has tons of great fat and flavor built right in (mmm...fat).  Ground turkey -- although the healthier and less fattening choice -- needs a little extra love.  I'm going to share with you my recipe for making a turkey burger that is not only edible but delicious too. [Note:  I'm not including any pictures because ground turkey doesn't photograph well.  You're welcome.]

Turkey Burgers

1 lb. ground turkey meat
3/4 cup panko bread crumbs
1/3 cup milk
1 egg
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 tsp dried thyme 1 tsp dried parsley (or 1 tbsp fresh, chopped if you have it)
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground black pepper (you could shake a few dashes of Tabasco in there too if you're feeling wild)

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

In a large bowl, beat the egg with the milk.  Add the bread crumbs, cheese, herbs and S&P.  Mix well.  Add the turkey and mix together with the egg mixture with your hands until just combined (don't overwork the meat or your burgers will be dense and dry).  Form into 4-6 patties depending on how big you like them.

Heat your grill, cast iron skillet or saute pan to medium high heat.  Coat the pan with cooking spray or canola oil, then add the patties.  Cook for 8 minutes per side then transfer to the oven to cook another 5 minutes to make sure they're cooked through.  Remove from the oven and let rest for 5 minutes.  That's it!

These are a few of my favorite ways to top turkey burgers:

1)  Toasted pumpernickel bread, Gruyere cheese, and cranberry mayo (idea stolen from Cafe 640 in Atlanta).  If you don't have cranberry sauce (cus really, who does?) sometimes I use a little jam instead (I like blackberry or fig) and some mayo.  It's all good.

2) Pepper jack cheese, avocado and sriracha mayo.  "Sriracha mayo" is a complicated blend of Sriracha hot sauce and mayo.  You heard it here first.

3)  Blue cheese slices, caramelized balsamic onions and Dijon mustard.  Don't even need a bun!