I think I'm always going to refer to 2011 as my year of branching out, at least food-wise. This is mostly due to trying to stay on the dieting wagon. I really loved Erika's analogy about not so much being on the wagon, as being jammed up in the mechanics. You can find me grasping wildly at the tailgate as it tries to run off without me. Needless to say, most days I would happily barter a kidney for a cheeseburger, and my willpower gets more exercise than anything else.
I have been playing around with ground turkey to replace beef in most of my dishes (I survived the winter on turkey chili, which is a post in itself, I promise) and most recently, turkey burgers. You have to be a little cautious, I learned, about turkey vs. beef burgers. Depending on the quality of meat in the ground turkey you might not be doing any better than the ground beef. Calorie count seems to be a little lower with lean ground turkey vs. lean ground beef, and I really like the website FatSecret.com for all my calorie counting needs. It tells me that ground turkey clocks in at an average of about 160 calories for four ounces (remember, average) and ground beef clocks in above 200 calories for three ounces (why is there a difference in the serving size, anyway?). Every calorie counts, right? Also, the bonus in favor of the turkey burger is that it got the seal of approval from my red-meat loving husband (If this were a twitter post, I would insert #winning right about here).
1 lb. ground turkey
1 wedge Laughing Cow cheese (I find myself putting one of these in, ah, everything I make. I remembered Nora's post about a cheesy stuffed burger, and it was definetly a "eh, what the heck" kinda moment when I decided to add this.)
2 cloves of garlic
1 Tbs. parsley flakes
1/2 tsp. liquid smoke (I would skip this if you're grilling on an actual grill, I was using a griddle)
1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
1 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. Worcestershire Sauce (Yay for auto-correct, can anyone out there spell "Worcestershire" without looking it up? Can anyone out there PRONOUNCE it? ahem)
1/2 tsp. black pepper
Mix everything up and form patties. The mix is going to be a little less firm than a beef patty, but I think it retains the moisture and juice very well this way. I tried a batch once with some bread crumbs and it was not all that great.
I don't want to tell you how to dress up your burger, that's a big no-no around our house. We had them on kaiser rolls and I topped my burger with honey goat cheese and tomato, Justin topped his with American cheese, pickles, and mustard. This is a versatile burger, and I think I'll stick with this recipe from now on with future turkey burger making endeavors.
So we covered goat cheese and pickles, what do you put on your burger? Do you have any tricks or ingredients you never make your burgers without? (Mine is the unpronouncable ingrediant listed above, by the way.)