Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Recipes and Food

May 29, 2013

Turkey burgers really can be juicy and flavorful

Summertime is burger time. And it's so easy to throw a few beef patties on the grill. Not much is required in the way of embellishment, yet they have a big happiness return.

What's the magic ingredient? Fat, of course. Beef burgers are high in fat, which guarantees flavor and juiciness. And because fat enhances flavor, it also makes anything else you put in or on the burger taste better, too.

Heartbreakingly, as you decrease the fat content in a burger, its flavor tends to go bye-bye, too. This is a real problem if you want to dig into a delicious burger and still want the blood to continue sailing through your arteries. The solution? Turkey.

I know. I know. You've tried turkey burgers and it was like eating wet cardboard. Hah! But you haven't tried my turkey burgers...

Let's start with the basic ingredient — ground turkey. While researching this recipe, I discovered that the labels on ground turkey can be quite confusing. You'd figure that a package labeled "lean" would mean what it says. Weirdly, it turns out that the calories and fat in a 4-ounce portion of "lean" ground turkey can range from 120 calories with 1 percent fat to 160 calories with 12 percent fat (which is as rich as a lean beef burger). As always, it's best to read labels and not rely on words such as "lean" or "white meat" when looking for healthy choices.

Or, better yet, grind your own turkey. Start by buying a small package of turkey tenderloins, the flap of meat that lies just under the breast. As little as a 1 1/2 pounds of turkey tenderloins can be ground to produce six burgers. Cut the tenderloins into 1-inch cubes and freeze them for 30 minutes. Pop them in a food processor and pulse until they achieve a medium-grind consistency.

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