things that must happen: spicy turkey burgers

As much as I have enjoyed and been challenged by eating a mostly-vegetarian diet this summer, I’ve been cheating – I made turkey burgers this week. I’ve been craving a charred, grilled burger for a while now – it’s one of those things that is quintessentially summer to me. Grill + apartment dweller + subletter doesn’t exactly go together, however. What’s the next best thing? Turkey burgers: a healthy alternative, accessible in price (ground turkey meat can be the same price as or just slightly more than ground beef), convenience, and flavor.  They freeze amazingly well, and my favorite way to serve is over a bed of tortilla chips (see here how to make chips in the MICROWAVE, what!), topped with salsa and cheese. Below is a variation on my mother’s recipe, much beloved by my family:


1lb ground turkey meat

1 jalapeno

1 egg

1 heaping tbsp cornmeal

2 tsp cumin

2 tsp chili powder

1/2 tsp pepper

1 tbsp canola oil

salsa, frozen corn, and fresh cilantro for topping/garnish

Slice the jalapeno lengthwise and use your knife to seed and then mince the jalapeno into very small pieces. Combine the meat, the egg, cornmeal, and all the spices in the bowl; combine until well blended and the egg is evenly distributed throughout the meat. Pat down the meat and divide into five even sections; shape each section into burger patties and place on a plate. Heat 1tbsp canola oil over medium-high heat in a large skillet; add all burgers at once. Let the burgers simmer for 3-5 minutes; watch closely. The burgers should be lightly browned on one side before flipping – you’ll want to minimize the flipping in order to maintain the flavor from the juices. In total, depending on your stove, it should take about 10-15 minutes to completely brown them on medium heat.

While the burgers are browning, heat salsa (I used basic bottled salsa just for convenience), corn, and cilantro on the stove on low heat. Cover and let simmer.

Serve burgers on a bed of tortilla chips, and top with salsa/corn mixture and cheese! Yum.




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