Thursday, June 10, 2010

Turkey Burgers, Thyme Mushrooms, Feta

Ground beef burgers might be the standard, default, go-to dead animal protein you shape into patty form and then place between a flour-based holding device. 80/20 chuck is the perfect ratio to yield nice, juicy burgers. You wanna get further off the hook then it's organic to grass-fed to wagyu or kobe. If you want completely off the moo moo train, I implore you to mix up something a little different, e.g. lamb, buffalo, turkey, even duck. Today, we're here for the turkey....it's $2/ lb. right now, hard to pass that up. WWDD?

Turkey is a great lower fat substitute for anything that usually calls for ground beef- meatloaf, tacos, burgers, it's extremely versatile. You might remember this flavor profile from the turkey-shroom loaf?

With a lower-fat protein like turkey, a little bit of added flavor is much-welcomed to the blank canvas- a bit of herb and mustard. Your favorite mustard is the key option here, whether it be a dijon, spicy brown, grainy mustard, or maybe a horseradish-spiked version. I used a spicy German-style, slightly coarse with whole mustard grains. This burger is dressed simply with tasty fungi and a touch of salty feta, no other accouterments necessary.

Turkey Burgers, Thyme Mushrooms, Feta
3 servings

1 lb. ground turkey, 97% lean
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 TB shallot, minced
2 TB good mustard
1 ts worcestershire
1/2 ts herbes de provence (or mix of any dried herbs-thyme, oregano)
S&P
2 TB feta cheese crumbles
8-10 cremini or whole button mushrooms, cleaned and sliced 1/4"
1 TB unsalted butter
1 TB red onion or shallot, minced
1/4 ts dried thyme
1 TB bread crumbs
3 burger buns

In a large mixing bowl, add the turkey, garlic, shallot, mustard, worcestershire herbs, bread crumbs, S&P. Gently mix together and split into 3 portions for 1/3 lb burgers. Prepare the grille to medium-high. Grill for 6 minutes, then flip and cook for 4 minutes, or until internal temp reaches 165F. Grill buns during last minute. Let rest for 5 minutes while preparing shrooms.

In a medium saute pan, melt the butter and add shallot and cook for a hot second, then add the mushrooms. Let the fungi cook and release their moisture for 2-3 minutes, while creating the delicious Maillard protein formation. That means don't touch or disturb, and the most important- don't crowd the pan too much. Sprinkle with thyme and S&P, saute for 4-6 minutes or until nicely browned and in tasty shape.

Turkey and mushroom could be the new black. Of course, pair with an earthy Pinot Noir or your other favorite beverage, then enjoy. This might not replace the ground beef burger, but it's certainly letting it know the monopoly it used to have on the grill is a thing of the past. Turkey- it's not just for Thanksgiving anymore.





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