Santa Barbara Southwest Turkey Burger
by George Levinthal
The Best Turkey Burger Ever
George's delicious turkey burger
PHOTOS: GEORGE LEVINTHALL
I wanted to create a burger that would be a little healthier than the traditional beef burger but also had lots of flavor without using much salt. I’ve used ground turkey before in other dishes and decided to use them as burgers. The challenge for me was to keep the meat moist but also making sure that they were cooked properly. What I didn’t want to do was to mask the taste of the burger with too many toppings. The guacamole, and tomato added some textural changes and the mustard and the cheese along with the guacamole added some bite.Santa Barbara Southwest Turkey Burger
2 lbs. of ground turkey (not just the breast meat)
6 green onions, chopped.
3 large cloves of garlic, finely chopped
3 tbsp Olive oil
1/4 tsp kosher or sea salt
1/8 tsp ground black pepper
1/4 tsp cumin
2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup barbeque sauce
1/2 cup panko
6 slices of pepper-jack cheese
2 large Anaheim chili’s, grilled, skinned, seeded and cut into 6 pieces
Vegetable oil or Pam for the grillGuacamole:
4 ripe avocados
5 green onions chopped.
1/4 cup cilantro, finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1/4 tsp kosher or sea salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
1/8 tsp of cumin
2 tsp green Tabasco sauce
1 tbsp lime juiceSandwich:
6 large egg buns with sesame seeds
2 large beefsteak tomatoes, sliced
Kosher pickle spearsPreparation:
• Sauté green onions and garlic in olive oil with a pinch of salt and pepper until soft, 4 to 5 minutes over medium heat.
• In a bowl, crumble the turkey and add the salt, pepper and cumin.
• In a separate bowl, beat the eggs, with the Worcestershire sauce and barbeque sauce and add to the turkey.
• Add the onions and garlic and any remaining liquid in the pan. This helps the burgers from getting dry.
• Add the panko and combine gently by hand until all ingredients are thoroughly mixed.
• Separate into 6 patties and let them rest.
• Grill the whole peppers until the skins are blackened. Immediately put them in a glass bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap and set aside until the skins are ready to peel off easily. Peel, core and seed.
• In the meantime, scoop the avocado out of the skins. Mash the avocados, leaving some of it chunky.
• Add the onions, garlic, cilantro, salt, pepper, cayenne pepper, cumin and Tabasco sauce. Mix well.
• Add the lime juice and blend thoroughly.
• Cover and set aside.
• (Because turkey meat isn’t as firm as beef or other meats, I sometimes use a cast iron grill pan on the barbeque which keeps the meat from falling through the grates. If you don’t you’ll have to be very careful turning the burgers.)
• Heat grill to high, brush with oil or spray with Pam, and put on the patties.
• Lower heat to medium-high. Cook for 4 to 5 minute. Don’t move them until they are ready to turn.
• Turn gently with a spatula and your hand to make sure they don’t fall apart.
• Cook an additional 4 to 5 minutes and check for doneness. (I usually put an extra patty which I sacrifice to make sure it’s cooked properly)
• Lower the heat to medium-low and add the cheese and allow to melt
• Brush a small amount of olive oil or mayonnaise on each bun half and lightly toast the buns.
• Put a scoop of guacamole on the bottom half of the bun and a slice of the tomato. Place the burger on top.
• Place a slice of chili on top of the burger
• Spread the mustard on the top half and cover the burger
• Serve with pickle spears and enjoy.