Expanding Our Palate

My kids don’t tend to be picky eaters and I guess part of that is luck and part of it is that we’ve tried to offer them a wide variety of foods from day one. I even swallowed my childhood hatred of peas and offered them to the kids when they were babies. Surprise, surprise…not only do the kids eat peas now but, I’ve grown to like them too.

In our quest for an adventurous palate, I explore dishes from other cultures or I mix up traditional American dishes with some more unusual flavorings. One of the yummiest dishes I’ve made lately combines an American favorite, burgers, with a twist of the Mediterranean…Moroccan Turkey Burgers. I like to pair these delicious burgers with couscous and roasted vegetables. My recipe is a slight variation on one I found online ages ago. I’d link to it but I’ve long since lost the link.

Moroccan Turkey Burgers with Honey Mint Sauce

Honey Mint Sauce

  • 1/2 cup vanilla yogurt with excess liquid removed (or sour cream if you want to take the easy way out)
  • a few drops (between 2 and about 5 depending on your preference) of mint extract
  • 4 tablespoons finely chopped fresh mint
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons of honey

Sauce Preparation: If you plan on using yogurt, the day before you are going to make the burgers, line a strainer with cheesecloth (or a paper coffee filter), place across the top of a bowl, and dump the yogurt in the lined strainer. Place in the fridge and allow extra liquid to drain off for 24 hours. At the end of the time, the yogurt will have a consistency similar too or thicker than sour cream.
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Put all the sauce ingredients into a small bowl and gently fold all the ingredients together. Place in fridge and let chill while you prepare the burgers.
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Burgers
makes 8 burgers

  • 1/3 cup sour cream
  • 1 egg
  • 2/3 cup soft bread crumbs (if you don’t have soft bread crumbs, crumbled saltine crackers will work)
  • 1/3 cup minced onion
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon cumin
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 pounds ground turkey
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil (for the pan or grill)

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Burger Preparation: Put all the ingredients (except olive oil) in a bowl and mix thoroughly. Once burger ingredients are thoroughly mixed, flatten mixture in bowl and “draw” lines to divide into quarters. This keeps you from ending up with any burgers that are too large or too small.
imageScoop out one quarter of the turkey mixture, divide it in two, and shape into a patty. Make the center of the burger slightly thinner than the edges. This will keep the burger flat (no bulge in the center) as it cooks and you won’t need to compress it with the spatula causing all those yummy juices to escape.
imageContinue forming burgers until you have 8 made. These burgers tend to be fairly soft so they do better if you refrigerate them for about an hour before you cook them.

When you cook the burgers, cook for 10 to 12 minutes…half on each side. FLIP THEM ONLY ONCE. Seriously, once you put these burgers on the grill, griddle, or pan, do NOT push down with the spatula and only flip them once. If you are grilling the burgers, use the olive oil to lightly coat the patties so they don’t stick (they are so low in fat content that this is an issue). If you cook on a griddle or pan, oil that. If you follow these instructions, you will get a gorgeous crispy brown finish on each side.
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Place each burger on a bun or a sandwich thin and top with a large spoonful of the honey mint sauce. This sauce is a perfect counterpart to to the spices in the burger…even my kids think so.
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Do you have a favorite kind of burger? Tell me about it.

One Response to Expanding Our Palate
  1. Justine
    July 18, 2013 | 9:49 pm

    yummy … thank you!
    Justine recently posted..ProtectedMy Profile

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