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Sunday, December 2, 2012

Turkey Burgers

Turkey burgers baked in a jumbo muffin pan
as mini-meatloaves (same bat time, same
bat temp) with a brush of garlic jelly as a glaze
I just adore Chris Kimball, America's Test Kitchen and their recipes.  They are almost uniformly a few steps more intensive than I'm willing to do on a regular basis, but I forgive them because they are always so, so right.  That said, I am willing to live in the place between Right and Easy, a little place I like to call Rational Compromise ;)

The July 2012 issue of Cooks Illustrated includes an egg-free, carb-free recipe for a moist, light turkey burger.  The one major departure I make from this recipe is that I do not grind my own meat by purchasing a bone-in hunk o' turkey, cutting the meat off the bone, partially freezing it and running it through the food processor for just enough pulses to produce the "perfect" grind.  Huh-unh.  Not gonna do it.  I used 1 1/2 lbs. ground turkey instead and got delicious results.

There are some surprising ingredients here...soy sauce, baking soda, gelatin.  I can't remember all the science but there's a reason for it.  Go to your local public library and check out this issue of CI for details.  A super-cool bonus of the science is this makes a nice tender burger without the usual carb-y additions or eggs for those with egg allergies.

Regarding the mushrooms...the mushrooms get very finely chopped and effectively disappear into the burger.  It's not like eating big chunks o' mushroom with your burger, in case you have some fungi-phobes at your dinner table.  I will say that you do need white button mushrooms here instead of something fancier for aesthetic reasons.  I made this recipe with brown cremini mushrooms, and they just come out looking very unappetizing in the final product.  With brown mushrooms, the burger is still PERFECTLY DELICIOUS but UGLY AS ALL HECK.

Turkey Burgers
Makes 6 burgers

3 tbsp chicken broth
1 tbsp unflavored gelatin
1 tbsp soy sauce
pinch baking soda
6 oz. white button mushrooms, stems removed
1 1/2 lbs. ground turkey
2 tbsp canola oil

Soy sauce, broth, baking soda,
gelatin mixture
Combine chicken broth, gelatin, soy sauce and baking soda in a small bowl.  Let stand 5 minutes.

Pulse the mushrooms in a food processor several times until finely chopped.  Transfer to a bowl.  Don't bother cleaning out the food processor.

Put 1/2 cup turkey in the food processor with gelatin mixture and process 2 minutes until paste-like.  With machine running, drizzle in oil.  Return mushrooms to the food processor and pulse a few times to combine mushroom pieces with meat paste.

Put the remaining turkey in a medium bowl and scrape the turkey-mushroom mixture from the food processor into the bowl.  Use your hands to mix gently and thoroughly.  Shape into 6 patties.

You can fridge or freeze the patties now.  To cook, thaw if needed.  Bake 25 minutes at 400F, flipping once. Pin It

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