Exotic Turkey Burgers: A Beautiful Mess
All's Well That Ends Well
For the first time in my life... I bought feta cheese! It's not that I haven't eaten it, I just never bought it.
I got it for something... obviously... but the dish wasn't spectacular. I know this, because I can't even remember it. ;)
Anyhow, shortly after I made that first recipe, I found this recipe for Red Pepper and Feta Turkey Burgers on Women's Health. With half a red pepper in my refrigerator, it seemed a happy coincidence!
I have been looking forward to this recipe for days (it didn't seem that long, as I worked it into my dinner rotation, because my anticipation kept me floating happily along). I was in for a rude awakening, then, when I opened up the red pepper for dinner to find it covered with fuzzy, white mold.
I was forced to improvise.
Thankfully, by dinner time, that mess had turned into a beauty: I'll bet it's even better than the original! I would have called it Greek or Mediterranean before... but now, it's a tad more eclectic, which is why I call it an exotic turkey burger. My husband said it tasted like "real" burgers (I don't think he would say so if he had a beef burger at hand, but at least that meant he liked it ;). He, however, didn't go with the suggested toppings; he added mustard, ketchup and a single, lonely spinach leaf (because he doesn't like that stuff).
I preferred the suggested toppings (especially the cucumber -- yum!), but feel free to add whatever toppings you like, and enjoy!
An Alternative To The Yogurt Dressing
Cardini's Caesar dressing is my absolute favorite: it has a spicy, savory flavor that the generic brands just can't match. (If you haven't tried it, you're in for a treat, and a case is not too extravagant. ;) I love putting this stuff on everything: not just salads, but sandwiches, casseroles -- ah, the possibilities are endless. I especially love it on turkey burgers, and when I was adding it to my ham sandwich at lunch, it struck me: why didn't I put it on these turkey burgers?! I'm sure it would be amazing, and I will have to try it next time.
Your Ingredients - Yield: 2 burgers
- 1/2 lb ground turkey (for all you turkey lovers out there -- it's National Turkey Lovers Month)
- 2 oz feta cheese
- 2-4 T chopped red onion
- 1-2 T chopped cilantro
- 1 egg
- 1/4 t black pepper
- Red pepper flakes (however much or little -- or nonexistent -- you prefer; I did a couple shakes, so maybe 1/4 tsp)
- 1 t lemon juice
- 1/4 C plain Greek yogurt (regular yogurt can work, it's just a little more runny)
- 2 hamburger buns or rolls
- A handful of baby spinach (however much you like, to top the burgers)
- 6-8 cucumber slices
Mix The Yogurt and The Lemon Juice - Set Aside for The Dressing
Mix Together The First Seven Ingredients - Divide It In Half, And Form Them Into Hamburger Patties
Set your frying pan over medium-high heat. Carefully slide the patties into the frying pan; (you can skip the plate, and place them directly into the frying pan as you form them -- either way, you just don't want them to fall apart on you).
Cook Over Medium-High Heat for 5-7 Minutes Per Side - Or Until Internal Temperature Reaches 160-165 Degrees (Fahrenheit)
Don't mess around with them too much (sliding them around the pan, poking them or checking the bottom). Just let them cook in peace for a few minutes to let them set before flipping. (If your pan has a lid that fits, you can cover them for the first half to help them cook through faster.)
If you have a digital thermometer, it really comes in handy here. My meats have been so much juicier since I got my thermometer; it makes it easy to cook them fully, yet not overcook them.
My #1 Tool for Cooking Meat!
I love my thermometer! I will never forget the first time I cooked pork chops after I bought it. My husband was groaning with delight at every bite: "Mmmm! Mmmm! This is so good!" :P I had no idea they could be (and were supposed to be) that juicy when they were done! Prior to that, I never could tell when they were done, and I inevitably overcooked them... into leather.
This is my thermometer! It's not the fanciest model out there, but it works great for me. It's not quite as instant in the readings as they make it sound on the packaging, but that's fine with me.
This thermometer has pre-programmed temperatures, which allows you to set the type of meat you are cooking, as well as your desired doneness (rare, medium, well done, etc.). This would be very handy, I think, as I'm always having to look in my cookbook for the correct temperature. I got my friend a handheld thermometer (like mine) that has these settings, and I'm a little bit jealous. ;)
This thermometer can go right into the oven and clip to your pan to hold the probe steady. It beeps when the food reaches your preset temperature. Very handy for roasting!
Add Your Desired Toppings - And Enjoy!
Cucumber, spinach and yogurt sauce are great... Cardini's Caesar may be even better. :)
I served these with some [leftover] Butternut Squash Mac 'n' Cheese and Hasselback Potatoes, because they were quick and easy.
That's it! I hope you get a chance to try these delicious creations for yourself, and that you enjoy them as much as we did.