Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Summer's Tastiest Turkey Burgers

Recipe by Jake Schmitt
My nephew! 

This is summer's tastiest turkey burger!

My nephew and I share a lot in common, we love to cook, [he's better than I] and we are both creative and detailed to the enth degree!

Thus, the turkey burger recipe...not planning on this at all, I whisked into the kitchen saying "what are we making?" Jake already had a plan for an amped version of turkey burgers since we were are all watching our calories but wanted something great tasting to eat for dinner. 

His recipe turns the humdrum turkey burger into a mouth-watering delight! 

This is how it went...

This is a fun meal to make when you have friends or family in the kitchen with you like we did.

Prep the ingredients to keep things running along smoothly.

One red onion, peeled.

It looks lonely, but just wait til it joins the others!

Cut the onion in half and slice.

This is Jake's hand, not mine. 
This hand goes with a very tall, 6' 7 guy!
Just needed to clarify things.

Slice until it looks like this.

Then, grab a tissue to wipe your eyes from all of the tearing.

I missed photographing the caramelization process as I was too excited about a new bottle of wine I bought and had to have everyone try. I became so enchanted with the sweet taste of the wine, that I had to walk around the house finding all the women to give them a taste.

Luckily, being the good chef Jake is, he continued on without me, not letting my brief escapade interrupt him.

He provided us with exquisite instructions on caramelizing onions at the end of this post, so you won't miss a thing!

These are the caramelized red onions that are so good you could eat them by themselves!

Did I mention that I found a really good wine?

When I was off taste testing the wine, I missed another part of my photography job, the roasted garlic!

I really wasn't gone that long! 

Directions for an easy way to roast garlic is also listed at the end of this post.

You won't miss anything. I didn't!

Next, we made the sauce to spread on the lightly toasted cibata buns.

This is another thing that tastes so good you could almost eat it by itself!

Maybe someone will.

Simple ingredients, lemon juice, roasted garlic, salt, pepper and mayonnaise! Yes, good 'ol mayonnaise, not the other kind...Miracle Whip.

This goodness gets better with a little garlic!

Squeeze the roasted garlic into the mayonnaise mixture.

Get every last morsel into the sauce quickly, because by this point, the sweet smell of the garlic is tempting you to eat it before it gets into the bowl!

Stir the roasted garlic into the mixture until well blended.

Slice the ciabatta buns or any type of bun for your burger.

Lightly drizzle olive oil on ciabatta buns and toast until golden brown.

Get the meat ready!

Divide the turkey into 4 equal parts, form into a ball and create a patty.

Season both sides.

Add a little more seasonings, just because.

Grill the patties on medium-high heat for 4-6 minutes on each side.

This is Jake, the chef and creator of this great recipe!

Gather your friends and family for a moment by the barbeque.

Actually, this is Kevin, (my brother-in-law), with his two boys [men], Mike in the middle, and chef Jake on the right. 

Do not over-flip the patties, this ensures even cooking through the middle. 

Once the patties are cooked, let them rest while assembling the sides on the ciabatta buns.

Salt and pepper the tomatoes and avocado.

Jake likes to place the spring mix on the bottom bun, next the tomato, turkey burger, and top with the caramelized onions.

On the top bun, add the garlic sauce, and avocados slices.

Mouth-watering masterpieces!

You can almost taste it, can't you!

Mike tasted it for you! He likes it!

Enjoy, we sure did!

Much thanks goes to Jake for making such a fabulous meal and for giving his auntie a lot of fun!

You will be seeing a lot more from Chef Jake and I in the future!



1-1.5 pounds of ground turkey
2 red onions
1 avocado
2 cups of spring mix (or whatever lettuce you prefer)
1/4 cup of mayonnaise
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon honey
1 head of garlic
juice of a half of lemon
1 Tablespoon Italian seasoning
4 ciabatta rolls or buns
Olive Oil
Canola Oil
Salt and Pepper to Taste


1. Start off by dividing the ground turkey into four equal portions. Using your hands, roll the turkey in a ball and form them into patties. After the patties have been formed, drizzle them with olive oil on both sides (this insures moistness!). Sprinkle evenly with Italian seasoning and salt and pepper, then set aside.

2. Slice the tomatoes and avocado, prepare the lettuce or spring mix and set aside.

3. For the caramelized red onions, start off by peeling the red onions and slicing them finely. Heat equal parts of olive oil and canola oil (enough to coat the pan) into the pan and add the onions. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and saute on medium low heat for about 10-15 minutes, until tender and translucent. I used canola oil and olive oil because the canola oil has a higher smoke point and wont burn the onions, but the olive oil imparts good flavor, so you get the best of both worlds! After the onions have been cooking, add the balsamic vinegar and cook for another 5-7 minutes until the vinegar has reduced and the mixture looks almost like a marmalade. Add the honey (optional) for the last touch of sweetness and set aside.

4. For the roasted garlic mayonnaise, start off by roasting the garlic. This is an easy way to turn raw, and sometimes unpleasant garlic into a sweet and velvety garlic paste that will melt in your mouth! After roasting the garlic, add the mayo, salt and pepper to taste, and lemon juice into a bowl. After the garlic has cooled, unwrap the tin foil and you can squeeze the garlic straight into the mayo mixture! Simple as that and you have a delicious roasted garlic mayo that can be used for any type of your favorite sandwich. You can also add any fresh or dried herbs to this mixture to turn up the volume!

Easy Way to Roast Garlic:
1.  Preheat the oven to 400°F.
2.  Peel away the outer layers of the garlic bulb skin, leaving the skins of the individual cloves intact. Using a knife, cut off 1/4 to a 1/2 inch of the top of cloves, exposing the individual cloves of garlic.
3.  Place the garlic heads in a baking pan; muffin pans work well for this purpose. Drizzle a couple teaspoons of olive oil over each head, using your fingers to make sure the garlic head is well coated. Cover with aluminum foil. Bake at 400°F for 30-35 minutes, or until the cloves feel soft when pressed.

5. Slice the ciabatta rolls in half, drizzle with olive oil and toast in the oven until they are light brown.

6. Preheat your outdoor grill or saute pan for the turkey burgers. We grilled these bad boys up but if the weather isn't cooperating or you don't have a grill, you can certainly cook them indoors. Cook the burgers for 4-6 minutes on each side, until they are fully cooked. A good way to check to see if they are done is by feeling the burger with your finger and comparing it to the inside of your thumb! They should feel about the same, and if they do the burgers are done!

7. Finally, time to assemble the burgers! Take the bottom and/or top of your bun and slather it with the roasted garlic mayo. On the top bun add the avocados. On the bottom side, add the spring mix or lettuce, the tomatoes, add the turkey burger and caramelized onions to top it off and you have yourself quite the burger! I guarantee you no one will be missing ground beef after they bite into this masterpiece! This recipe may seem a little complicated, but there are many steps and preparations that can be used for all different types of burgers and sandwiches, like roasting garlic and caramelizing onions. I hope this turns people onto the fact that ground turkey is not only healthy for you, but it can be moist and delicious just like a beef burger! Enjoy!


Unknown said...

Outstanding job Jakey and Aunte D!!!

sheryl said...

Looks Yummy! I'm having a link party Cast Party Wednesday. This recipe would be a perfect addition. Would you come over and share some of your recipes with us?
I hope to see you there!

backcountrybelle said...

Hi Sheryl, You forgot to leave your website address and/or email address.

June Scott said...

Oh, my! Love everything about this recipe... thanks to both of you for sharing!

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