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Sunday, 27 May 2012

Curried Turkey Burgers

If you listen to the farmer's almanac and Izzy Sharp there are 4 seasons on our planet.  Their division of the year into quarters is founded in a certain celestial elegance with each season bookended by a solstice and equinox.  However, the starts and ends to the official seasons mean essentially nothing to me.  In fact, unless you're a Wiccan, chances are the last time an equinox meant anything to you was a 6th grade project on the motions of the planets.

When I look at the rhythms of my life I'm torn between seeing a year of many seasons or a year of very few.  The jackets in my closet indicate there are no fewer than 10 seasonal milestones: ski, pea, trench, leather, sports, life, sports, leather, trench, pea, ski (note the skis overlap).  My behaviour outside of work suggests there are only two seasons: ski season and patio season.

However you choose to carve up the calendar, it appears that patio/life jacket season has come early this year and that means it's burger time (I'm told you can cook burgers in ski season but I have yet to try).  These burgers are one of my favourite summer dishes.  They are quick to make, loaded with flavour, reasonably healthy and are just different enough that they can pass as fancier than a normal hamburger.  I top them with chutney, avocado, goat cheese, caramelized onions and arugula instead of "traditional" burger toppings.

There is a lot of debate flying around about what makes a perfect burger and it's only a matter of time before the Panko breadcrumb faction goes to war with the ground chuck purists.  When it comes to beef I'm not sure which, if either, of them is right but when making these burgers I strongly recommend adding the cheese and the egg.  The turkey is so lean that the extra fat (from the cheese) and protein (from the egg) are needed to keep them from getting too tough and crumbly.

Makes 6 dinner sized burgers:
2 lbs ground turkey
1 tbsp Patak's curry paste
1 tbsp goat cheese
1 egg
1 tbsp chopped onions

Mix the ingredients together in a large bowl and form into patties.  Don't make them too large as they won't shrink much on the grill due to their low fat content.  Place on a hot grill or pan until juice starts to bleed through the top of the burger (~5 minutes).  Flip and cook for the same amount of time on the other side.

Serve with chutney, goat cheese, caramelized onions and avocado.

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