If you are looking for a vegetarian burger, click here and you can find two of my recipes and one by Mollie Katzen and another by the ever generous and deliciously inspired Martha Rose Shulman. She worked hard to feature recipes from Mollie and me, in her column on veggie burgers.
For the recipe of this mouthwatering burger, continue reading and enjoy grilling this Memorial Day weekend.
Juicy Turkey-Cheddar Burgers (Recipe from Masala Farm: Stories and Recipes from an Uncommon Life in the Country by Suvir Saran with Raquel Pelzel and Charlie Burd)
Inspiration for this recipe came from my lamb burger recipe, in which I combine ground lamb with lots of spices and a combination of Parmigiano-Reggiano and Pecorino cheeses. A chef colleague of mine who I work with when I am consulting for the food management company Sodexo asked me why I never use ground turkey in a burger, and added to his question, why I rarely use American cheeses, like cheddar in my recipes? I interpreted his question as a challenge, and this is how my turkey cheddar burgers came to be. First I gently fry herbs and spices like Curry Leaves and Cumin Seeds with chopped red onions, then I add this mixture along with shredded cheddar, chopped jalapeño peppers, and fresh cilantro to ground turkey. The result is turkey burgers unlike any you’ve ever had—absolutely exploding with flavor and Masala. The burgers are also delicious made with ground white or dark meat chicken or ground pork.
2 tablespoons canola oil
8 curry leaves, finely chopped
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 small red onion, finely minced
1 1/4 pounds ground turkey (preferably dark meat or a combination of white and dark meats)
3/4 cup tightly packed shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 jalapeño pepper, finely diced (seeded and veined for less heat)
1/4 cup chopped cilantro leaves
1 teaspoon kosher salt
4 toasted buns
Place 1 tablespoon of oil, curry leaves, cumin seeds, black pepper, and red pepper flakes in a large skillet over medium-high heat, stirring often, and cooking until the cumin seeds are fragrant and lightly browned, about 2 minutes.
Add the onions and cook until translucent, 2 to 3 minutes, stirring often. Transfer the mixture to a bowl and set aside to cool.
Place the turkey in a large mixing bowl and gently knead in the remaining ingredients. Stir in the onion mixture and form into six patties.
Wipe out the skillet with a paper towel. Heat over medium-high for 2 minutes, add the oil, and then add the patties. Reduce the heat to medium and cook until browned, about 4 minutes. Flip and cook the other side until browned and the center is cooked to your preferred doneness (I like mine slightly pink). Dollop with raita (Recipes in Masala Farm: Stories and Recipes from an Uncommon Life in the Country , Indian Home Cooking: A Fresh Introduction to Indian Food, with More Than 150 Recipes and American Masala: 125 New Classics from My Home Kitchen) and serve on toasted buns.