Thursday, September 9, 2010

Ground Turkey: Then and Now

The first time I ever cooked with ground turkey was a disaster. Mr. H, my aunt and I went to the beach and rented a condo for a week during the summer of 2003. I was set on making foil packets since they were simple and required little effort. So while we went to lounge on the beach, build sand castles, fight the waves and pick up sea shells, I set the frozen package of ground turkey in the fridge to thaw. I was afraid I'd get food poisoning if I set it out on the counter to thaw, so the fridge it was.

After about 4 hours we came back in, covered in sand and sunscreen. We all showered and got ready to make dinner only to find that the ground turkey was still frozen! I let it sit out for about another 30 minutes but we were starving so I proceeded on. Since I was making foil packets and I needed 3 portions, I broke the the frozen meat into three hunks of meat. I think about this now and it makes me cringe and laugh at the same time, but back then it sounded like a good idea :-) I placed the turkey atop thin slices of potato and onion, seasoned it with salt and pepper and wrapped it up in double sheets of foil. Into the oven it went. An hour later, it was smelling good. We dove in, took our first bite and practically spit it out. It was SO dry and bland and not even a mound of ketchup could save it, though we tried. Note to self: A hunk of frozen, unseasoned turkey thrown into the oven can't perform miracles on it's own.

Many years later, turkey and I have become friends. We have an understanding of eachother. I have promised to treat it with respect, season it nicely and not over cook it, and it in return has always been moist and flavorful. These burgers are simply flavored with a little steak sauce (trust me!), salt, pepper and a little parsley, dried or fresh. They're topped with buttery sauteed mushrooms and a slice of muenster or provolone cheese to hold them in place. Sometimes I serve them 'as is' if I'm watching my carbs and other times I like them between a bun with a little ketchup. It's become one of my favorite burgers and as long as I don't overcook it, it turns out perfect everytime unlike that hunk of meat back in 2003.

Turkey & Mushroom Burgers
from Monica H
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  • 1 lb. ground turkey
  • 3 Tbsp. A-1 steak sauce
  • 1/2 tsp. dried OR 1-2 tsp. fresh chopped parsley
  • salt and pepper to taste (use the salt sparingly since the steak sauce can be salty)
  • sauteed mushrooms (recipe below)
  • cheese slices
  • buns
  • condiments
Mix up all ingredients but be careful not to over handle the meat. Mix just until combined. Form into 3 or 4 patties.

Cook in a saute pan with a little butter over medium high heat. Cook on one side til golden brown, then flip over and cook the other side til browned, about 4 minutes on each side. Cook just until done, once they're over cooked they will become dry.

Top with sauteed mushrooms (recipe below) and a slice of white melty cheese. We like muenster or provolone. Allow to melt then place on burger bun of choice with desired toppings.

Sauteed Mushrooms from Monica H
  • 1 container fresh white or brown mushrooms, sliced
  • 3 Tbsp. unsalted butter
  • salt and pepper to taste
In a medium saute pan, melt butter over medium high heat. Add sliced mushrooms and saute til slightly golden brown. Stir mushrooms a couple times and cook until tender. Season with salt and pepper after they've been cooked.

What kitchen Disaster to Success stories do you have?


Esther said...

Mmmm. I really want to eat that now. Thanks for sharing this recipe. I think I'll make it some day on a special occasion. I happen to have a whole bunch of burger buns in the freezer b/c my mom went to Costco and bought a whole bunch. I'm sure my brother would love to have some of this.

From the Kitchen said...

Monica: I have to say "you've come a long way baby!!" Your present-day turkey burgers look delicious!!!!! I never thought of securing the mushrooms with a cheese. That's a yummy idea.

I would share some of my many cooking disasters (like putting a very expensive bar cookie in the oven and grabbing the trash to take it down the hall--my single apartment days--letting the door close behind me with no key and standing in the hall waiting for the super while smoke rolled out under the door) but I want my blogging friends to think I'm infallible!!!! = ) Maybe someday I'll explain what happens when you mix up baking soda with baking powder in a layer cake.


Unknown said...

This looks like a nice turkey burger, my fails include OVER use of seasonings and cakes that do not rise to the occasion

Tiger Fan said...

My timer came today and I love it!! It was wrapped so sweetly--and made my afternoon!!!! Thank you so much. I blogged about it and your blog today!!

Sue said...

I use ground turkey quite a bit. I like it better in things...tacos, spaghetti sauce, chili...but, we do have burgers on occasion. I love mushrooms...I'll remember this one!

kelly said...

i just did foil dinners with turkey burgers and it was awful! like hockey pucks, will not be doing it with turkey again, back to ground beef. i can do turkey burgers ok though like you said you just have to watch them!

Healthy and Homemade said...

OH MY GOODNESS yum. Seriously, those look insane!

Thank you so SO much for my package. You totally 100% made my day, and since it was a crappy day it definitely made me smile ^_^

J e l e n a said...

Americans have a great love affair with turkey, and it should stay that way. Such a great product! I often ground my chicken drumsticks and thighs since I am bored with just baking them and they are much more juicier then the white meat!

Avril said...

Super yum turkery burgers you have going on there Monica! Drooling!!!!

My most recent "kitchen disaster" was a couple weeks ago. I was going to make a lovely pizza with homemade crust, fresh mozz cheese, fresh tomatoes and fresh basil.....well, unfortunately I killed the yeast by using water that was TOO HOT. But then I continued on with the whole deal thinking that maybe everything would be ok. Yah right! FLAT FLAT pizza crust is what happened. I was sooooo disappointed. But now I know....don't kill the yeast by using HOT water! Definitely a learning experience for me. :-)

Natasha @ Saved by the Egg Timer said...

My saying is "Most important thing to remember is that every good cook has aweful tradgedies..." I love how your patties turned out so round and mounded, I need to work on that. I still have a thing with raw meat so patty making is not my specialty :)

Keeley said...

Your burgers look so moist and tasty! I use ground turkey for every recipe that typically calls for ground beef: tacos, spaghetti, chili. I don't care for beef (much to my husband's dismay), so I'll only occasionally use beef (or ground pork or veal) for chili or meatballs.

I thaw my ground turkey in the microwave for a few minutes before cooking it. It works for me. I know some people hate ground turkey, but I grew up on it (my mom doesn't eat much beef, either).

Maria said...

I love the mushrooms on top!

Unknown said...

LOL! Poor thing!!! I can imagine how disappointed you must have been back in the day.

I've been cooking with ground turkey for about 10 years now and I love it. I'm glad you were able to move past that first incident and become friends with ground turkey.

These burgers look so good! The Hubble won't touch them because of the mushrooms but maybe if I'm having a girl's night I can have them. Or he can have them sans mushrooms. Thanks for sharing!

Debbie said...

Your burgers look so delicious. I love turkey burgers and add shredded zucchini in them. It makes them so moist. I have had numerous kitchen many, but there is one that comes to mind. About 15 years ago I decided to make cut out butter cookies. Sandwich type with jelly in between. They came out looking so delicious, but when you tried biting them, OMG, they were as hard as a rock. Guess I did too much rolling and rerolling and

oneordinaryday said...

Your burger definitely looks moist and tender. Let's skip the mushrooms, shall we, and we'll be right over.

Foodiewife said...

What a burger! I wouldn't change a thing. I would eat two, honest! I don't have a kitchen cooking disaster story but-- last Thanksgiving, I went to drain the turkey stock I was making (for the gravy). My brain thought "pasta", and I dumped that beautiful stock right down the sink-- I forgot to put a put underneath the strainer. D'oh!

Kristen said...

I still haven't convinced DH that ground turkey is a good idea - I know I would love this

nanny said...

I am still overcooking turkey.....

These burgers look yummy!!!

Jessica said...

This burger really looks juicy and delicious. Yum!

cookies and cups said...

I have made peace with the turkey also, and like you it took many attempts.

disaster to success is just about 90% of my baking/cooking stories...I am a slow learner ;)

Abby said...

I rarely replace beef with ground turkey, with the exception of a few recipes. Turkey burgers is one. This looks great; we'll definitely give it a try!

Kerstin said...

I'm glad you're friends now - looks like the perfect burger!

Roz | La Bella Vita Cucina said...

Monica, I'm a turkey addict and will try anything with it as an ingredient. So healthy and good for us too; thanks for the recipe! I really need this! Roz

Ingrid_3Bs said...

Cooking with ground turkey scares me. Okay, I need to be totally poultry scares me a lot. I worry it will be undercooked and the kids will get sick, which leads to my over cooking it hence the kids' leeriness in eating chicken.

Okay, send me a burger, hold the ketchup along with my slice of zuchini cake, please!

Unknown said...

Made this last night, they were great. Great flavor, the real thing.

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