So, today, I was really craving a hamburger. A big, juicy, drippy hamburger filled with all things naughty. The only thing, was that the Man of the House had asked me to make something light and healthy for dinner. It was a fair request, since he’d been on a business trip all week, which usually means lots of restaurant dining (poor guy, right?).
So, a good compromise was a turkey burger. I know what you’re thinking: turkey burgers have the reputation of being rather dry, boring and short on flavor. With that in mind, I set out to create a burger that was juicy and flavorful and would fulfill that naughty burger craving.
I also made a jar of homemade mayonnaise. Mayonnaise is one of those magical foods that always makes me think: “wow, that was easy! why don’t I make this all the time??” Also in the “magical foods” category is cheese and bread. Now, I have recently come across a recipe for making my own hamburger buns, and one day soon, I’m going to make them…but this was not that day. You can be sure that when I do, I will definitely tell you all about it! So, store-bought whole wheat hamburger buns were the order of the day.
As I said before, mayonnaise is extremely easy to make and once the base is made, you can add whatever flavorings you prefer. A food processor makes it even easier. It’s also good to make the mayonnaise prior to starting on the burgers so that the flavors have a chance to develop.
1 large egg
2 teaspoons dijon mustard
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
1 cup olive oil
2 teaspoons capers, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tablespoon tarragon, minced
salt and pepper to taste
Put the egg, dijon mustard and white wine vinegar into the food processor or blender and puree.
Slowly add the oil while the machine is running. If you are using a food processor, the small clear tube at the top of the machine is made for this. You pour the oil into the tube and there’s a little hole in the bottom that allows the oil to drain into the bowl at a slow speed. Genius, right? It took me a little while to realize that’s what it’s for. After the mixture has emulsified, add the capers, garlic, tarragon, salt and pepper and pulse until well mixed.
Scoop the mayonnaise into a resealable jar and store in the refrigerator.
Now for those burgers! This recipe makes about 5 good sized patties.
1 pound ground turkey
2 sprigs each of fresh thyme, oregano and sage chopped finely, a little more than a tablespoon
2 shallots, minced
1 green onion finely sliced
2 teaspoons dijon mustard
1 tablespoon Major Grey’s Chutney (completely optional, but adds a nice flavor–this is easily found in a regular grocery store)
drizzle of olive oil
salt and pepper
First, cook the shallots in a little olive oil until they begin to soften. This prevents that raw onion taste in the burgers. Add the shallots, mustard, chutney, herbs and green onion to the ground turkey and mix with your hands. Then add a drizzle of olive oil and mix that in as well. This, along with the other wet ingredients really helps the meat to stay juicy.
Shape into patties and place onto a pan lined with wax paper or parchment paper. The burgers will be very wet and sticky, so after you are done, place the patties into the refrigerator for about 30 minutes to “set” them. They will be much easier to work with after they have chilled.
Preheat your grill and oil the grates with vegetable oil to prevent sticking. You may have noticed that I didn’t add salt or pepper to the meat mixture, but have no fear; after the burgers have chilled, generously season the outside of the patty with salt and pepper. Lay the patties seasoned-side down on the hot grill and season the other side of the patty with salt and pepper. Allow the patties to cook about 6 minutes on one side and about 4-5 minutes on the second side. Resist the urge to press on them or tinker with them while they’re grilling. I know it’s hard not to, but that squeezes all the juices out and you don’t want a dry burger! When they are done, remove from the grill and allow them to rest for about 2-3 minutes.
I dressed these burgers with the tarragon-caper mayonnaise, sliced avocados, tomato, sliced red onion and a little arugula. Tasty goodness!