Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Totally Edible Turkey Burgers

We've all had a dry, lackluster turkey burger. I'll eat em' but I don't love em'. I like the idea of a turkey burger. Lower in fat, better for your heart...I've just never tasted one that "wowed" me. And then when I was in Vegas over the weekend I had some phenomenal turkey "sliders" at The Grape, a wine bar and bistro in Town Square, near the strip. If you're in Vegas, this restuarant gets my seal of approval. Also delicious at this little gem; the baked brie, the garlic hummus, and the fresh mozzarella salad. Lucky me, my friend is married to the chef, so I got to sample quite a few dishes. I returned to my kitchen with a new found respect for the turkey burger and the courage to try again. I found this recipe a while back in Taste of Home and decided to give it a try. I should add that one of the reasons I've kept this recipe on the back burner is that my husband claims to despise turkey burgers. I've know him for 13 years and I believe that I learned of his distaste for the turkey burger in the first few weeks. He's stuck to his story over the years. As a result, I've never served him a turkey burger. Sure, I've secretly mixed turkey with beef in chili or in a casserole, and turkey sausage is a different story altogether. It's easy to disguise turkey sausage in soup or spaghetti sauce. But just a turkey patty on the grill? I wouldn't dream of it. Until now. These turkey burgers with caramelized onions will make you reconsider your position on the turkey burger if it tends toward the negative. I loved them, and so did my husband. He just didn't know he was eating a turkey burger. Ha. Ha.

In a bowl, combine ground turkey, chopped green onion, Worcestershire sauce, hot pepper sauce, salt, and pepper. Combine. My pastry cutter did an excellent job here.

Form the mixture into 6 patties and fire up the grill. I grilled these for 5-7 minutes on each side. You want them done, but not dry. You may notice that the two burgers on the left look different. I left those plain and just sprinkled them with seasoning salt for the kiddos. Theirs were topped with good ol' American singles rather than caramelized onions before serving.

About 2 hours before serving time, I started cooking my sliced onions in a little olive oil over low heat. An hour into the cooking, I added salt, pepper, and sugar and turned up the heat a bit to caramelize the onions for about another hour. I sprinkled with freshly chopped thyme before serving on the burgers. If you don't have 2 hours to caramelize onions before dinner, no problem. Caramelize them a day or two before when you do have time and reheat while the burgers grill.

I spread some garlic butter on the buns before toasting them under the broiler. Then I put the burger on the toasted garlic buns and topped with a generous amount of caramelized onions. Boy, were they good!

A funny story: My husband was late for dinner. I built his burger and made him a "late plate" and put it into the fridge. When he arrived home, he grabbed for the burger and after the first few bites announced how good they were. I think he even said "really good", maybe even "awesome". I don't remember exactly because I was too busy getting our daughters ready for bed and suppressing the urge to blurt out, "Ha Ha. They're TURKEY burgers." before he finished. Instead, I just smiled to myself and went about my business. I took the much awaited opportunity to let him in on my little secret a couple of hours later as we sat on the sofa, the house quiet and the kiddos sleeping. Me: So you liked the burgers? Him: Oh yeah, those were great! Me: They weren't beef. (He gave me a look) Him: Oh? Me: Turkey burgers. Hahahahah. Him: Silence and another look. But he couldn't say anything. He knew he'd been duped and he liked it. I have to say that I'm pretty proud of myself.

Turkey Burgers with Caramelized Onions adapted from Taste of Home

2 large sweet onions, cut into 1/8-inch slices
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 teaspoon butter
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoons minced fresh thyme or 2 teaspoons dried thyme
2 green onions, chopped
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
1-1/4 pounds lean ground turkey
salt and pepper, to taste
6 hamburger buns, split
4 tablespoons butter
1-2 cloves garlic, minced

In a large nonstick skillet over low heat, cook onions in oil and butter for 1 hour or until tender, stirring occasionally. Sprinkle with the sugar, salt and pepper; cook over medium-low heat for 45-60 minutes or until golden brown, stirring occasionally. Sprinkle with thyme; keep warm. In a large bowl, combine the green onions, Worcestershire sauce and pepper sauce; crumble turkey over mixture and mix well. Shape into six patties. Coat grill rack with cooking spray before starting the grill. Grill burgers, covered, over medium-hot heat for 5-7 minutes on each side or until a meat thermometer reads 165° and juices run clear. Meanwhile, mix 4 tablespoons butter with garlic. Spread a thin layer over each bun. Toast under broiler. Serve turkey burgers on buns with caramelized onions.

Yield: 6 servings.

Nutritional Info:
One serving: 1 burger with about 1/3 cup onions (without the bun)
Calories: 311 Fat:12 g Saturated Fat: 3 g Cholesterol:76 mg Sodium:596 mg Carbohydrate:28 g Fiber:2 g Protein:21 g Diabetic Exchange: 3 lean meat, 2 starch

Weight Watcher's Points: 7

For a printable copy of this recipe, click here!


theUngourmet said...

This burger looks wonderful and what a terrific idea to use a pastry cutter! I've never thought of it.

Your photos of the plain burgers on the left reminded me of how things are done at my house too. My son likes things very plain. :0)

Coleens Recipes said...

I am thrilled to find your recipe. I have eaten my share of dry turkey burgers as well, and the only thing that REALLY helps you choke it down, is the thought that its better for you lol. I'm really looking forward to trying your recipe, thanks!

Katy ~ said...

When I saw turkey burgers, I wrinkled my nose, but now I think I will HAVE to try these. I want to try turkey burgers for the reasons you give but never have for the reasons you gave. LOL. I'll have to do the same thing, just slide it past Ole Sweetie-Pi because he thinks he doesn't like them either.

Cute post!

Donna-FFW said...

Yes, they sound moist and delicious. Not dry at all and flavored perfectly. caramelized onions.. perfect touch!

Rachel said...

I have a major "ground turkey phobia"...don't ask me why?!? I love turkey, but I can't quite psych myself up to eat ground turkey. (It's totally in my head, I know!!!) These burgers actually make me contemplate giving them a shot!!

By the won my giveaway!!! I had to laugh, b/c I saw that you entered with literally a minute to spare...isn't it funny how things work out?!? Please email me your address and I'll mail it out right away!

Reeni said...

I've had some bad turkey burgers - but not these! These look wonderful, especially with the two-hour caramelized onions! I can see why hubby loved them!

Chicago Mom said...

Wow, those sound really good - I am not a turkey burger fan either. I loved the story of how you tricked your husband! ha!

chow and chatter said...

yummy these look great

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