I am by no means a vegetarian however in an effort to watch my cholesterol and to try and stay healthy, I only eat red meat about once every 1-2 weeks. This may also be a result of the fact that I was raised that way. My mom rarely made beef growing up and often substituted ground turkey for ground beef in weeknight meals.
Eric, on the other hand, grew up eating ground beef often. When we were first married and I made plain old turkey burgers instead of hamburgers he was less than enthusiastic about it. I try to make meals that we both enjoy and so I set out to reinvent the turkey burger into something we both liked. I knew that in order for it to be a successful recipe, I couldn’t try to make it taste like a hamburger; it would never come close, turkey will always taste like turkey. I had to work with the turkey and not against it.
We were in California visiting my brother a few years ago and he took us to a burger restaurant. I don’t remember the name but they gave each customer a sheet of paper with all the burger options and you could build your own. I noticed they had turkey burgers and began selecting a turkey burger that would remain a part of my recipe reperatoire for a long, long time. I chose a turkey burger, guyere cheese, apricot jam and craisins. It was delicious and a combination of ingredients that I had not even considered until they were placed in front of me.
Everything in this turkey burger works in harmony together. The gruyere compliments the apricot along with the turkey and the craisins bring out a sweetness when combined with everything else. After our trip to California, I began making these turkey burgers at home.
I start with ground turkey thigh or dark ground turkey meat. I like it because it has more fat and therefore more flavor and the fat keeps the turkey moist; the last thing anyone wants is a dry turkey burger. If you prefer, ground turkey breast works too, I’ve used it before successfully. In a medium size bowl, combine the turkey, olive oil, chopped flat leaf parsley and some dried marjoram.Form them into 1 inch thick patties with your hands, one pound of turkey makes 4 burgers for me.
Grill the burgers (if its Winter I use my George Foreman grill) until they’re just cooked through 7-10 minutes.
Once you flip the burgers, top with a slice of gruyere cheese so that it begins to melt. When you pull them off the grill, smear with apricot preserves and a handful of craisins. I like to eat mine on a potato roll but feel free to pair with any kind of roll you prefer. As a side dish, lately I’ve been making sweet potato fries and they compliment the burgers very well.
Eric has approved this turkey burger recipe and I am allowed to make it again! This is a great weeknight meal because it takes about 30 minutes from start to finish. Here’s the recipe:
- 1 pound ground turkey thigh
- 1 tsp. extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tsp. dried marjoram
- 1 tblsp. flat leaf italian parsley, chopped
- 4 slices of Gruyere cheese
- Apricot preserves
- 1 cup craisins
Combine turkey, marjoram and parsley in medium bowl and form into 1/4 pound patties, 1 inch or so thick. Grill over medium high heat until cooked through, 7-10 minutes. While grilling, top each pattie with slice of Gryuere cheese so it begins to melt. Take off grill and place on your favorite roll. Smear with apricot preserves and top with a handfull of craisins. Enjoy!