Here's one good reason my posts on LoVBites have been relatively sparse over the last few months: We eat turkey burgers about once a week. And really, I thought, who needs a weekly post about turkey burgers? Well, the more I contemplate it, the more I believe you do. Because in the dozen or more times I've cooked them, we haven't had two alike.
You might wonder how it's possible to conjure up so many variations of the blah, boring, bland turkey burger. It becomes easier when you neglect to write your recipes down (or, you know, when you're neglecting to blog regularly ... sorry about that). Many of the burgers I've made have been pretty similar, and lots of them have been accidental hybrids of a couple recent recipes. But tonight's version was mostly intentional and totally delicious.
I figured it was time to take these burgers up a notch and way past time to put some of the ingredients hanging out in the fridge to good use. See, I have really high hopes at the beginning of each week that my menu will include something more than the norm. I buy ingredients meaning to make a dish I stumbled upon that intrigued me, but suddenly it's 7:30 and we've just finished working out and the prospect of spending an hour in the kitchen no longer excites me. So today when I stared at the browning baby portobello mushrooms and the quickly ripening gruyere cheese (originally intended for kale and mushroom lasagna and zucchini gratin), I felt a stroke of genius coming on ... even if that genius was to be mixed into some ground turkey.
And so I give you the recipe for a very fancy Fourth of July ... a nice, lean burger, packed with portobellos, laced with gruyere, and smothered with caramelized onions. Mushroom haters take heed ... if you've never tried chopped mushrooms in your burgers, you don't know what you're missing. Yes, they're practically calorie free and they add a good amount of volume to your burger, but they also add loads of flavor and keep what could be a devestatingly dry burger much more moist. Leave them out if you must, but I promise you won't be disappointed!
Fancy Turkey Burgers with Portobellos, Gruyere, and Caramelized Onions
1 lb. ground turkey
3/4 cup baby bella mushrooms, coarsely chopped
1 green onion, thinly sliced
1 oz. gruyere, shredded
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon porcini salt
1 teaspoon granulated garlic
1 teaspoon paprika
Salt and pepper
"Just in Thyme" caramelized onions (recipe follows)
Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. When ingredients are thoroughly combined (but not overly mixed), shape into 2 patties. (Did I neglect to mention these are giant, feed-me-protein-I-just-finished-P90X turkey burgers? You can make 3 or 4 burgers if you're more modest than us.) Place on plate, cover with plastic, and refrigerate at least 30 minutes.
Preheat grill pan over meium-high heat and spray with cooking spray. Grill burgers, about 7 minutes per side, or until a meat thermometer registers 165 degrees. Top with caramelized onions and serve on toasted buns.
"Just in Thyme" Caramelized Onions
1/2 large yellow onion
1 tablespoon butter
3 sprigs fresh thyme
In a small skillet, melt butter over medium-high heat. Add onions and season liberally with salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and beginning to brown, about 10 minutes. Add thyme and continue to cook until onion is very soft and deep brown, about 10 minutes more. Reduce heat as necessary to avoid charring or burning the onions.