Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Grilled Turkey Burgers with Middle Eastern Flavors on Pita Bread

This is best made with dark meat ground turkey; I didn't have that so I used white meat ground turkey and added a a little extra olive oil and scant tablespoon of water to make up for the lack of turkey fat. (I'd rather eat olive oil than turkey fat any day! :))

Turkey Burgers with Middle Eastern Flavors, on Whole Wheat Pita Bread and Spicy Cucumber Salad

Serves 4

1 1/2 lb. ground turkey meat (because of our dietary requirements I reduce the amount of turkey, 4 ounce patties are about right for us.)

2 medium cloves garlic

Kosher salt

1/4 cup lightly packed chopped fresh mint

1/4 cup lightly packed chopped fresh parsley

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 teaspoons sweet paprika

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon ground coriander

1/4 teaspoon cayenne

Cucumber and Yogurt Sauce (recipe follows)

In a large bowl break the meat into large pieces . Mince the garlic, sprinkle with 1 1/2 teaspoon salt, and mash to a paste. Gently mix the garlic paste, mint, parsley, olive oil, paprika, cumin, coriander, and cayenne into the turkey. Shape, the meat into 4 equal 1-inch-thick patties. Refrigerate, uncovered, for at least 20 minutes and up to 4 hours.

Prepare a medium charcoal or gas grill fire (or stove-top grill pan.) Grill the burgers until nice grill marks appear and just cooked through (an instant-read thermometer inserted in a burger should read 165 degrees F), 4 to 6 minutes per side.

Serve with Whole Wheat Pita Bread (click for the recipe) and Cucumber and Yogurt Sauce.

Cucumber and Yogurt Sauce

Makes about 1 cup (I love this, so I always make a little extra)

1/2 cup peeled, seeded, and finely diced English cucumber

2 tablespoons finely chopped red onion

Kosher salt

1/2 cup plain whole-milk or lowfat yogurt, preferably Greek (I use non-fat Greek yogurt)

2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro

Pinch of sugar

Pinch of cayenne or Aleppo pepper; more to taste

Combine the cucumber, onion, and 1 teaspoons salt in a bowl. Allow to set at room temperature for at least 20 minutes. Drain off the liquid and rinse to remove excess salt. Drain well and taste a few pieces; if it is still salty, rinse and drain again.

In a small bowl, combine the cucumber and onion with the yogurt, cilantro, sugar, and cayenne or Aleppo pepper. Let sit for 30 minutes for the flavors to develop.

Season to taste with salt and cayenne.

Adapted from "Fine Cooking" magazine # 94