Sunday, May 13, 2007

Middle Eastern Turkey Burgers

I took a little unannounced vacation from blogging last month. Work is still taking up a lot of my brain cells and while I have been cooking, I haven't been doing a lot of new things to write and talk about.

I'm still finding myself remembering old standby recipes that I haven't made in years. Operation Freezer Burn is still plodding along, but it seems like I am still putting more things in than I am taking out so I am always looking for things to take out. I had two packages of ground turkey in there, and I was thinking of making the Turkey Walnut Loaf I had reviewed from the 12 Best Foods Cookbook. But it was a surprisingly warm day and I didn't want to use the oven. I considered making some kind of Bolognese sauce for pasta, but it just felt like it would be too much bother.

That's when I remembered a recipe I've had forever - something called Middle Eastern Turkey Burgers. I found this recipe back in the mid '80s. At that time, the only Middle Eastern food with which I was familiar were the falafel sandwiches we bought from a cart off the Drag at The University of Texas. They were delicious, but I didn't know they were made from chickpeas. The only chickpeas I knew were those gross garbanzo beans dried out and languishing in a bowl at the condiment end of the salad bar, and who in their right mind would ever eat one of those? As I've mentioned before, tabbouleh was a tasteless mess of bulghur interspersed with little bits of minced tomato and cucumber, garnished with parsley, that someone would inevitably bring to one of our potluck parties that sat untouched at the table and would eventually be thrown away.

Even with my limited knowledge of Middle Eastern cuisine I was pretty sure this was not a terribly authentic recipe. But it is surprisingly good; somehow the added ingredients are just enough to keep the turkey moist and flavorful.

The original recipe suggested making sandwiches with pita bread, but they weren't terribly satisfying that way. I like them served over brown rice with a lemon-tahini sauce. Actually, they're really good with tzatziki, and I guess Greece is close enough, flavor-wise.

I often take these to work for lunch. They travel well and reheat beautifully.
Home Cookin Chapter: Poultry

NOTE: I have no idea where I found this recipe. If you recognize it and know where it came from, please let me know.

Middle Eastern Turkey Burgers

1 lb. ground turkey
1/2 cup chopped green onions
1 clove garlic
1 tsp grated lemon peel
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 cup plain yogurt

Combine turkey, 1/4 cup green onions, garlic, lemon peel, cumin and blend well. Shape into 4 patties. Grill until done.

In small bowl, combine yogurt with remaining green onions.

Good over brown rice with lemon tahini sauce or tzatziki.

Servings: 4

Exported from Home Cookin 5.4 (www.mountain-software.com)

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

glad your back writing :)

consumatron said...

happy birthday!co

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