Sunday, September 23, 2012

Goat Cheese Turkey Burgers

The name of this burger is pretty much the recipe too.  So simple, the grown up complexity will surprise you.  A real star of a fast meal. 

The main complaint about low fat turkey burgers is that they can be dry.  You have to add lots of other things – grains, nuts, oils-- to get a moist burger.  By that point, you’ve added so many calories and fat and are wondering what the effort is for.

These burgers are super moist and still use 99% fat free ground turkey.  The goat cheese—about a tablespoon of a soft variety in each—adds extra protein and is the not-so-secret ingredient to a juicy burger. 

Goat Cheese Turkey Burgers
Makes 4

1 pound lean ground turkey
4 tablespoons soft goat cheese (or reduced fat cream cheese)
flour to dust
1 T vegetable oil

  1. Sprinkle flour on a flat dinner plate.  
  2. In a medium bowl, use a fork to mix the turkey with the goat cheese.  You can also use your very clean fingers.  
  3. Form 4 patties.  They will be very moist and sticky until coated with flour.  Wet your hands with cool water to prevent meat from sticking to your fingers.  Place each patty on the flour-coated plate.  Turn the patty once to dust with flour and prevent sticking when pan fried. At this stage, the burgers can be cooked at once or covered and refrigerated for several hours.  
  4. To cook, heat oil in a wide skillet over medium-high heat.  When oil is hot, place patties in skillet and lower heat to medium.  Cook 3 minutes on each side, until nicely browned and cooked to 170˚F. 
These burgers tastes great plain.  The goat cheese pervades the meat and provides interest in every bite.  If you like adornment, play around with flavored mustards, fruit salsas or red pepper coulis.

Goat cheese turkey burgers store well and make a great lunch the next day tucked in a pita with salad. 

Variations:  Goat cheese coated with herbs or black pepper is delicious on its own.  If you like these, try using one of these varieties or add a favorite herb (about 1/4 teaspoon dried) when you mix the cheese and meat together.