Friday, July 15, 2011

Barbecue - Glazed Turkey Burgers

I like turkey burgers. Actually, I like burgers in general. Turkey burgers seem to be the easiest to experiment with, since they can take on a huge array of seasoning and flavorings. My only frustration is that the leanness of the meat can be tricky when you're trying to reach the correct temp for poultry and skill keep the meat moist. When I received Gwyneth Paltrow's cookbook, My Father's Daughter: Delicious, Easy Recipes Celebrating Family & Togetherness, she claimed that her turkey burgers always stayed moist and juicy. I was intrigued. I was skeptical. I was hooked.

In the "serious food community" (which sometimes equals a lot of elitist snobbery, in my opinion), this cookbook has been mostly panned or laughed at by the critics.  I happen to love Gwyneth. I find her funny (sometimes unintentionally), self-deprecating and whether or not she wrote most of the recipes in the book, the recipes are solid. This isn't the first of her recipes I've made and it won't be the last to appear on my blog. I like how she includes child-friendly or vegetarian options for many of the dishes.  The turkey burger recipe is nothing fancy. In fact, it's downright simple. And it's very good. Even a kid can't object to barbecue sauce and cheese, right? Yet it's still easy enough to dress the recipe up to grown-up standards as well.

The rundown:
  • Flavor/Texture: These burgers were exactly what they claimed to be, and they were definitely the juiciest turkey burgers that I have ever made. I especially liked the glazed barbecue sauce on the outside of the patties. I dislike both jalapenos and pickles, so I skipped that topping.
  • Difficulty: A handful of ingredients and a few minutes on the grill.  Doesn't get easier than that, folks.
  • Pros: A winner all around. East, great tasting, friendly for kids and adults alike. 
  • Cons: The recipe calls for seasoning the meat with salt and pepper only. Next time, I'd add a little bit of garlic powder and perhaps some hot sauce.
  • Misc.: I actually made this recipe twice, because the ingredient list called for "ground turkey". Did that mean the ground all white meat or the mix of white and dark? I bought one package of each and went turkey vs. turkey. The lean white meat came out the best.  The light/dark mix ended up being a very squishy mixture and I actually ended up adding some breadcrumbs to help hold it together so that I could shape it into patties. Definitely go with the all white meat for this one. It's healthier anyway.  I forgot to look for brioche buns, so I just went with regular wheat hamburger buns. I served the burgers with parsnip fries.
  • Repeat Performance: I definitely see myself making this one again.
Barbecue-Glazed Turkey Burgers
by Gwyneth Paltrow
makes 4 servings

1 lb ground turkey
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp jarred barbecue sauce (I used Sweet Baby Ray's Sweet Vidalia Onion)
Canola or vegetable oil, for brushing
4 brioche buns, split and toasted
Pickled jalapeno slices, Swiss cheese and pickle chips, for serving

Light a grill or preheat a grill pan.

In a bowl, season the turkey with salt and pepper and gently knead in 1/4 cup of the barbecue sauce. Shape the meat into four 4-inch patties, about 3/4 inch thick. Brush with oil and grill over moderate heat, turning once, until nearly cooked through, 7 minutes. Brush with the remaining 2 tablespoons of barbecue sauce and cook for 1 minute longer, until cooked through and lightly glazed.

Transfer the burgers to the buns and top with pickled jalapeños, Swiss cheese and pickle chips and serve.

Roasted Parsnip Fries
makes 4 servings

3 medium parsnips
2 tbsp olive oil
3 cloves garlic
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Heat oven to 425 degrees.

Wash parsnips and cut into sticks (1/2 inch wide at the most). Smash garlic cloves and discard skins. In a medium bowl, toss parsnips, garlic and olive oil until the parsnips are coated.  Spread into a single layer on a large baking sheet. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Bake for 25 minutes and then turn the fries. Bake for 10-15 minutes or until nicely browned.  Serve hot.
*I like mine with some malt vinegar sprinkled on them.


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