Upon reading my last post, you may be wondering, “what can I eat with pear-ginger chutney?”.
Truthfully, its a really good question. Because even though the chutney is wonderful, tangy, and sweet, I didn’t even know that those flavors went well together, let alone with other dishes, before I made it. But after mulling it over for a few days and pairing (or pearing) it with different things, I realized that most meats, except beef, would compliment it nicely.
The key is not overwhelming your taste-buds with too much information. These simple and mellow turkey burgers are perfectly good by themselves but adding condiments like chutney, guacamole or salsa would improve them greatly.
But, flavor aside for a moment. Texture is what’s important with these guys. Do you ever make burgers and get the grease running wildly out like a faucet leak? Or else, the fat begins to congeal on the pan, sticking and causing the burgers to have a heavy, deep-fried quality? Well, I was reading this week in my book What Einstein Told His Cook which is a creative food book that answers the befuddling cooking mishaps that, turns out, are due to science and flukes in chemistry and biology. Some of it flies completely over my head, for example, there is an entire chapter on different properties of salt. But, some of the tips are really quite cool and useful.
According to Robert Wolke, if you sprinkle salt over the pan before grilling your burgers, the juices and fat will remain within the burger. This not only betters the flavor and quality, but it also saves you time scrubbing off the blackened bits later on.
“The salt draws out juices and quickly congeals them, forming a crust on the meat that keeps it from sticking to the pan and leaving its brown [bits] behind. The resulting burger is crunchy on the outside, and deliciously salty” (148)
I pulled from his salty idea but the recipe is mine! Try ’em out
Start by oiling pan and evenly coating the pan evenly in salt.
Now comes the hard part….oh wait….it’s SO EASY
Using your hands or a spoon (use your hands), mix together the turkey with remaining ingredients. Don’t pulverize the meat, just make sure that everything is properly mixed and evenly distributed. The egg looks gross but it helps to bind everything together and saves you from using breadcrumbs.
Then, using hands, make your patties. Mine were medium-small (about 4 inches in diameter) and there came out to be five. But if you want heartier burgers, go for it!
Have a new plate ready to transfer the cooked burgers onto.
Allow the pan to heat up a bit on medium heat before placing the patties on. Once they’re on, turn the heat slightly higher to insure you get a beautiful brown sear. Allow the patties to cook about 5 1/2 on each side before flipping.
Check the burgers by making a small slit and prying open the meat with a knife so as to inspect. When done, set aside on plate. Have with Israeli couscous and, of course, pear chutney!
Salt Seared Turkey Burgers (makes 5 burgers)
2 tbsp salt, sprinkled on oiled pan before grilling
2 lbs ground turkey
3 tsp Worchersier Sauce
1 tsp fresh basil, finely chopped
(plenty of) ground black pepper