Oh, turkey burgers. How every man in my life hates 'em. Why on earth would anyone actually choose to make "burgers" with white meat? Blasphemy, my brother would say. The guy conveniently forgets that he once sincerely enjoyed every bite of a fully-loaded turkey burger recipe of mine. My fiance, Chris isn't a fan either. "Wait, you're making burgers out of turkey? Why would you do that?" Well damn. Let me count the reasons.
1) I make mean turkey burgers. Like so good, people forget their actually eating healthy. (Side note: I even use ground turkey breast so there's literally only a few grams of fat per patty)
2) While I do very much enjoy red meat, eating it often can cause tons of health problems. But I won't elaborate as this is not a "health food blog," per se.
3) I make mean turkey burgers. Wait, did I already say that? But seriously, I throw in all kinds of moisture and flavor-packed ingredients that keep 'em juicy and full of tasty goodness. I've made 'em with caramelized onions, sautéed mushrooms, and bleu cheese and I've whipped 'em up Italian-style with chopped roasted tomatoes, garlic, and parmesan. Most recently, I went a Mexican route and mixed chopped roasted poblanos and avocado in with the meat. And let it be known, these burgers were a game changer. For Chris, that is.
I know, I know. Many of you still aren't convinced. Red meat does make a better burger. I'll give you that. And heck, even following my spotty Paleo regimen, red meat is deemed fine and dandy. But for an easy weeknight meal when you don't exactly want to splurge, this burger has all the delectable quailty in the world to make you (and your palate) very, very happy. The roasted poblanos add a little bit of zing, the avocados contribute some creaminess, and the toppings just take it to another level. Sharp cotija cheese and tangy pickled red onions thrown on top; well it's a combo that even you turkey burger haters will enjoy.
After all, Chris absolutely loved this recipe and suggested that same night...that I make them again. Imagine that.
Avocado and Poblano Turkey Burgers with Pickled Onions, Cotija, and Cilantro Lime Aioli
1 pound ground turkey breast (or just regular ground turkey...or ground beef-I'm not judging)
1 avocado, pitted and chopped
2 small-medium poblano peppers
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 egg white (helps with moisture)
1/2 cup cotija cheese, crumbled
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1/2 tablespoon cumin
salt and pepper
bibb lettuce (if desired)
buns of your choice
For the pickled onions:
1 red onion, thinly sliced
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup white vinegar
For the Aioli:
1/2 cup mayo
1/2 tablespoon cilantro, finely chopped
1/2 tablespoon lime juice
1/2 teaspoon lime zest
1 garlic clove, minced
1) Prepare the pickled onions in advance (the longer they sit, the better- at least a couple of hours)
2) Pre-heat oven to 425. Brush 1 tablespoon olive oil on poblanos, place in a baking pan and put in the oven for about 20 minutes or until just slightly charred. Remove from oven and let cool. When cool enough to touch, remove the outer skin and chop.
3) In a mixing bowl combine ground turkey, chopped poblano, cumin, egg, garlic, salt and pepper. Throughly combine. Then, carefully "fold" in the avocado. Now, form 3-4 patties and set on wax paper or a clean plate.
4) Prepare the aioli by combining all ingredients. Set aside.
5) Bring a grill pan (or skillet) to medium heat with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Once completely heated, place the burgers on the pan. Cook on each side for 4 minutes. When cooking on the 2nd side, add crumbled cotija cheese to the top. "Dome" the burgers by placing a large pan or metal bowl on top of them until the cheese has melted. Add a tablespoon of water to the pan while they're covered with pan/bowl to make cheese melt faster.
6) Feel free to toast buns in the oven. Then, spoon some aioli on one side of bun. Add lettuce. Place burger on bun. Top with pickled onions.
***Makes 3-4 servings (depending on burger sizes)