Southwest Turkey Burgers with Chipotle Mayo

So it was turkey burgers again the other other night. I love turkey burgers — they can be so moist and flavorful if you make them right. I found a recipe for a chipotle mayo online and decided the patties needed some spicing up as well. So instead of just salting and peppering the ground turkey, I mixed in a bunch of spices for flavor, an egg and onion for moisture, and crushed tortilla chips to keep with the southwestern theme.

The star of this recipe is the chipotle mayonnaise. It’s creamy and tangy but has a lovely crunch from small pieces of onion. It has a background of fiery heat, which you can increase by adding adobo sauce if you like more heat.  It didn’t take too long to put together and only needs a bun, some greens, and maybe a tomato slice to make you happy.

The chipotle mayonnaise also makes a yummy dipping sauce for french fries and keeps up to 2 weeks in the fridge.

Adapted from Bon Appétit

Chipotle Mayonnaise

makes 1 cup of sauce

3/4 cup mayonnaise, store-bought or homemade (recipe for homemade mayo here)
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons red onion, minced
2 tablespoons parsley or dill, chopped
1 tablespoon chipotle chilis, minced
1 tablespoon adobo sauce (optional, for extra heat)
1 tablespoon capers, drained and chopped

1. Combine everything in a small bowl. Cover and chill at least 1 hour and up to 2 weeks.

Turkey Burgers

makes 6 small or 4 large patties

1 lb. ground turkey (preferably dark meat. mixed or white meat will yield a drier and leaner burger)
Scant 1/2 cup tortilla chips, finely crushed
1/4 cup red onion, chopped
1 egg
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon cayenne powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

  1. Mix all ingredients in a large bowl just until combined. If you have the time, cover and chill 2-3 hours. If not, proceed to step 2.
  2. Form meat into 4 or 6 patties with a depression in the center of each one. If cooking on stove top, heat small amount of oil in a heavy pan over medium heat. Sear burger 8-10 minutes each side, until cooked through. If using grill, heat to medium-high and cook over indirect heat 8-10 minutes each side, until cooked through.
  3. Serve on buns with chipotle mayo, lettuce, and a slice of tomato.

Make sure those tortilla chips are crushed up very fine. You can use your food processor or put them in a zip lock bag and hit with a rolling pin/bottle/anything else heavy.

Seasoning the meat is really important. You don’t want a bland burger patty! Take the time to add some spices and you’ll have a beautiful complement to the chipotle sauce.

I like to incorporate the ingredients using a pastry cutter — it distributes everything into the meat evenly and it keeps ground turkey from getting under my fingernails.

When I shape burgers, I use a tip from Bobby Flay: put a depression in the middle. When burgers cook, they tend to puff up and the chef presses down with a spatula, forcing out the juices. If you have that depression in the raw meat from the get-go, they won’t puff up and they will retain more moisture.

The ingredients for the chipotle mayonnaise sauce: olive oil, capers, parsley, red onion, mayonnaise, and a chipotle in adobo sauce. Mince everything up and combine for a very tasty sauce!

Chill in the fridge and keep the extra for dipping tortilla chips or sweet potato fries!

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