This is the first turkey burger I’ve ever made. Ever.
Actually? This is the first turkey burger I’ve ever eaten. True story.
I’ve made plenty of chicken burgers in the past (though I was admittedly nervous about making one of those for the first time, too, and still think that, in the vast majority of cases, a beef burger is best) but never turkey. See, I’m not too crazy about turkey. It’s just…not that great? I guess if you drown it in gravy it’s edible, but I would never go so far as to say I like it. This means I don’t look forward to Thanksgiving as much as most people because I really don’t like most of the food associated with Thanksgiving – turkey, ham, candied sweet potatoes, etc.
But, here’s the thing. I am constantly trying things I’ve never particularly liked and in many cases, I’ve been surprising myself. Recently, we started ordering meat from a local farmer and he has ground turkey for a good price. So, I thought, what the hell? Let’s try it out.
And THEN, I decided to conquer another thing I don’t really love all that much, which is fruit with my meat. By making a pineapple salsa. Holy hell, y’all.
Can you guess what happened? Yep, I liked it. Liked it a lot, in fact.
I decided to try the rub from this pork tenderloin in the burger, because 1. I really like that rub and 2. It was originally intended for turkey, so it make sense to use it on turkey. Rather than use onion and garlic powder, though, I just used fresh for both.
This is basically light years better than roast turkey, at least in my opinion (though I do love the skin, but that’s beside the point). My only problem was overcooking the burgers which is a result of both my fear of undercooking poultry and the fact that I started them too early and my sweet potato fries weren’t done, so the burgers sat in a cast iron skillet continuing to cook for too long. Oops.
Zesty Turkey Burgers with Pineapple Salsa
Seasoning for burgers adapted from zesty pork tenderloin
2 tsp. canola or olive oil
1/2 cup finely diced onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
1-1.25 lbs. ground turkey
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. oregano
1/2 tsp. cumin
1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/8 tsp., heaping, ground allspice
1 lime, juiced
Pineapple salsa (recipe follows)
3-4 burger buns, split
Heat a small skillet over medium heat, and add the onions. Cook, stirring, until translucent. Add the garlic and stir until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Scrape the contents of the pan into a mixing bowl and let cool for a few minutes.
To the bowl, add the turkey, salt, pepper, chili powder, oregano, cumin, cayenne, allspice, and lime juice. Gently mix until thoroughly combined, and shape into 3-4 patties.
Grill the burgers on a lightly oiled grate, or add a small amount of canola or olive oil to a skillet and cook the patties in there. Cook for about 4-5 minutes per side, depending on thickness.
Serve on split buns and top with pineapple salsa.
3/4 cup diced fresh pineapple
1 jalapeno, seeded and minced
1 small orange or red bell pepper, diced
2 Tbsp. chopped cilantro or parsley
1 lime, juiced
salt and pepper to taste
Lightly combine all ingredients until mixed. Season to taste with salt and pepper, and additional lime juice if desired.