Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Smoky turkey burgers with caramelized onions and spicy brown mustard

I spent some time this weekend looking through a Cooking Light magazine with a feature on burgers, and though I can't remember any specifics, I'm pretty sure this recipe is a varation on something that was in the article.

Whether or not I cheated in coming up with the recipe, I'm not sure. I am sure that the finished product was delicious. The usual complaint with turkey burgers is that they're tasteless and dry, but between the smoky cheese, the caramelized onions, and the pungent mustard, lack of flavor wasn't a worry. I'm a strong believer in the idea that all foods can be delicious if prepared correctly, and well-seasoned turkey burgers are no exception. In fact, I came to the conclusion that beef would just be too much for this burger. Try this on a hot day when you're missing the strong flavors of comfort food but not the heaviness that usually comes along with it. Take the time to let the onions caramelize slowly over medium-low heat, use a great smoked cheddar, and you won't be disappointed. (I used Tillamook's smoked black pepper white cheddar, and it was amazing!)

1 Walla Walla (or other sweet variety) onion, sliced into thin rings
2 tbsp. vegetable oil
salt and pepper

1.2 lbs ground turkey (7% fat content - any lower and the burger will be too dry)
1 shallot, finely minced
1/3 cup grated zucchini
1-2 tsp salt (err on the side of more, according to your taste)
1-2 tsp garlic powder
1-2 tsp black pepper
4-5 shakes hot sauce, such as Tabasco

Sliced smoked cheddar

Buns, brown mustard, mayo

Set a heavy skillet over medium-low heat and add oil. Once oil and skillet have warmed up, add onions, stir to coat with oil, and add salt and pepper. Stir onions occasionally for about an hour, more often as cooking time goes on.

In between stirring onions, mix together remaining ingredients and form into patties. Cook on hot grill until meat is done all the way through. Melt cheese slices on burgers over grill and remove.

Assemble burgers on buns with a mound of caramelized onions and dollops of mustard and mayo.

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