Saturday, April 12, 2008

Turkey Burgers

My nephew is sleeping over for the next few nights and I know one of his favorite things to eat is hamburgers. Instead of the traditional ground beef burgers I made Cook's Illustrated Turkey Burgers. I remember the first time I made these, my carnivorous husband raised his eyebrows at me. Turkey burgers?? Yeah turkey burgers. I had eaten the frozen variety for years. I always had a package of them in the freezer for cookouts. After I made this recipe, I stopped buying the frozen burgers. I usually double the recipe and freeze half of the patties. When I cook them indoors I always use my big cast iron frying pan. These are so moist and juicy, you won't even remember you're not supposed to like them that much.

Turkey Burgers
from Cooks Illustrated

This recipe will enrich store-bought ground lean turkey so that it makes excellent burgers. Ricotta cheese can burn easily, so keep a close watch on the burgers as they cook.

1 ¼ pounds 93 percent lean ground turkey
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
½ cup ricotta cheese
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon vegetable oil or canola oil

1. Transfer ground meat to medium bowl. Stir in salt, pepper, Worcestershire sauce, ricotta cheese, and mustard until blended, and divide meat into 4 portions. Lightly toss one portion from hand to hand to form a ball, then lightly flatten ball with fingertips into 1-inch-thick patty. Repeat with remaining portions.

2a. To Cook Indoors: Heat a large, heavy skillet (preferably cast-iron or stainless steel with an aluminum core) over medium heat until very hot, 4 to 5 minutes. Swirl oil in pan to coat bottom, then add burgers. Cook over medium heat without moving burgers until bottom side of each is dark brown and crusted, 3 to 4 minutes. Turn burgers over; continue to cook until bottom side is light brown but not yet crusted, 3 to 4 minutes longer. Reduce heat to low, position cover slightly ajar on pan to allow steam to escape, and continue to cook 8 to 10 minutes longer, flipping burgers if necessary to promote deep browning, until center is completely cooked, or an instant-read thermometer inserted from the side of the burger into the center registers 160 degrees. Remove from pan and serve immediately.

2b. To Grill: Alternatively, grill burgers over medium-low fire (you can hold your hand about 5 inches above grill surface for 5 seconds) until dark spotty brown on bottom side, 7 to 9 minutes. Turn burgers over; continue grilling 7 to 9 minutes longer or until bottom side is dark spotty brown and center is completely cooked or instant-read thermometer registers 160 degrees. Remove from grill and serve immediately.

After dinner it was still so nice out that we decided to have our first fire of the season. John burned up all the stick that he and the boys had raked up in the yard. I like to think of the fire pit as out little handy recycler. We have very little yard waste because we burn most of it, plus it looks and smells so prutty!

Evan and Ryan even ate their cupcakes in the glow of the fire.

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