May 11, 2010

Cilantro Turkey Burgers with Chipotle Ketchup

What you're looking at is one of the best burgers I've ever had. Now, I know what you're thinking. "But, Rachel! There's no cheese. No bacon. No special sauce. Not even any beef, for goodness sakes!"

I hear ya. As a child of health conscious parents, I grew up envying my friends not because their trunks were full of toys, but because of their plates full of white bread, nuggets and real beef. See, in our household, turkey was the meat of choice. Not necessarily the kid's choice, however.

I eventually came to love turkey. Turkey tacos. Turkey lasagna. Turkey sausage. With the right seasonings, you can’t even tell the difference. But turkey burgers? Those have always remained a thorn in my side. With so much of the spotlight on the meat, and no sauce to hide under, my poor attempts at turkey burgers have always fallen flat and remained dry, tasteless failures in the shadows of juicy beef. Even gobs of cheese and piles of veggies couldn’t cover the fact that I was, indeed, eating an impostor.

So I've always just stuck to what I can trust: A quarter pounder stacked with cheese and dripping with mayo. But this recipe gave me hope. Could cilantro put an end to the turkey burger discrimination? Could breadcrumbs and Parmesan save the day? Would a spicy chipotle ketchup change my mind forever? I think you know the answer.

Of course, anything with this much cilantro has got to be good, right? I doubled the recipe, so I used the entire bunch. After a few rounds in the food processor, I mixed the amazingly fragrant cilantro with Parmesan, breadcrumbs, salt, pepper, and ground turkey, rolled it all into eight balls and flattened them into patties.

Onto the pans they went, where they cooked perfectly at four-five minutes on each side. While they sizzled,  I rinsed the purple lettuce and chopped the chipotle chiles for the spicy ketchup. The adobo sauce is glorious. Like a hot bbq sauce. But you may want to taste as you go - these peppers have some kick!

To say the least, I was drooling as I put these burgers together. Luke was off yelling at some basketball player on TV and I was tempted to hide in the pantry and eat his portion, too. He'd never know! But, like a good little wife, I brought him his burger. And a bacon-chipotle twice baked potato (recipe coming soon). And a beer. Am I good or what? That there is dive bar service right at home, folks.

And the food? Well, to say the least it definitely tasted like something you would find at a good bar or restaurant. And not from the healthy section, either. The heat from the chilis was the perfect compliment to the juicy, flavorful burger. So, so good. You just have to make this. I know I will be all summer long. (I imagine they're even more fantastic on the grill!)

And seriously...this burger really doesn't need any cheese. In fact, while I loved the spicy ketchup, it doesn't even need that, either. Or the lettuce. Or the bun. Those are all great, but really just icing on the cake. The only thing this burger really needs to fully enjoy a fork.

Cilantro Turkey Burgers with Chipotle Ketchup
Cooking Light, APRIL 2002
Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 1 burger)

1/3  cup  dry breadcrumbs
1/4  cup  minced fresh cilantro
1/4  cup  (1 ounce) preshredded Parmesan cheese
1/4  teaspoon  salt
1/4  teaspoon  black pepper
1  pound  ground turkey
Cooking spray
1  (7-ounce) can chipotle chiles in adobo sauce
1/4  cup  ketchup
4  (2 1/2-ounce) whole wheat hamburger buns
4  red leaf lettuce leaves

Combine first 6 ingredients in a large bowl. Divide turkey mixture into 4 equal portions, shaping each into a 1/3-inch-thick patty.

Heat a large grill pan or large nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat. Add turkey patties, and cook 5 minutes on each side or until done.

Remove 1 chile and 1 teaspoon adobo sauce from can. Reserve remaining chiles and sauce for another use. Mince the chile. Combine chile, adobo sauce, and ketchup.

Place 1 patty on bottom half of each bun; top each patty with 1 tablespoon chipotle ketchup and 1 lettuce leaf. Cover with top halves of buns.

Nutritional Information: Calories: 406 (30% from fat), Fat: 13.6g (sat 4.3g,mono 4g,poly 3.7g), Protein: 26.6g, Carbohydrate: 44.5g, Fiber: 1.5g, Cholesterol: 73mg, Iron: 4.4mg, Sodium: 977mg, Calcium: 229mg.


Cool Lassi(e) said...

Hey dear,
Lovely Turkey Burgers. I do at home with Turkey too simply because I don't eat Beef due to religious reasons and that works well for me from the health point of view as well. Yours look fabulous! My variation doesn't have cilantro though. Bookmarking it!

Amy said...

My fiance is anti-turkey-burger (he loves red meat), but I think he'd like these. Good job! :)

Pam said...

This sounds great and healthy too with the turkey!

Kat said...

This look really good and really interesting! I love all the fresh ingredients!

julie said...

We don't eat red meat here either so I'm always on the lookout for a good turkey burger. I love cilantro so it's already a winner in my book. Can't wait to try it out!

Lisa said...

We'll have to try these! Turkey is also #1 in our house because I don't eat red meat. We've tried so many times to make turkey burgers and end up disappointed like you said. So I'm always looking for a new recipe to try! I also like this one a lot too:

Me, Myself and Pie said...

Yum, those look good too, Lisa!

Ma What's 4 dinner said...

Oh I love cilantro. I'm one of the people who do. I'm told you either love it or hate it. I'm a love, my hubs is a hate. We have problems. :)

Lots of yummy love,
Alex aka Ma, What's For Dinner?

teresa said...

oh my gosh, i love these! the cilantro really takes them to the next level!

Florida Girl Meets the Midwest said...

This might be kismet because I promised my Hubs turkey burgers tonight. Guess who is running out to pick up some cilantro???

Thanks again, Pie.

Florida Girl Meets the Midwest said...

OK. Just ate it. It was delish.

WhisperingWriter said...

I would LOVE that. *Drools*

Writing Without Periods! said...

Good idea with the cilantro. I would have never thought about that. They look fab. I'm going to try.

Lis said...

I think turkey burgers can be just as delicious, if not more, then regular burgers. And this recipe looks absolutely yummy!

Pam said...

I've never cooked a turkey burger and must try it! It looks delicious!

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