Friday, September 6, 2013

Spicy Poblano Burgers

Turkey burgers?!?  Say what?  Before all you burger purists out there in cyberspace start to persecute me, let the record show we are normally beef burger loyalists.  This burger blasphemy came about because my mama was visiting and she doesn't eat red meat (gasp)!  Now, I am usually not a huge fan of turkey burgers because they have very little fat, which translates to lack of flavor and juiciness.  The key to making a delectable turkey burger worthy of winning a place in your dinner rotation rests on a few things. 

First off, you don't want to overwork the meat or overcook the patties.  Second, you have to impart as much flavor as possible into those patties before cooking.  It also helps to prepare the patties at least a few hours in advance, to not only let the patties set up nicely, but to allow the flavors to fully penetrate the meat.


It's no secret that my family and I are big fans of Mexican cuisine.  I could probably eat it everyday without tiring of it.  So when I was faced with the task of making turkey burgers that wouldn't incite sighs and complaints from my beef loving spouse, I knew I had to add a spicy, southwest flair to them. 

I picked up beautiful, plump poblano peppers at the Farmer's Market this week and knew instantly I would be roasting those beauties and adorning my burgers with these flavorful peppers.  Roasted poblanos add a wonderful depth of flavor to these burgers, and complement all the southwest flavors perfectly.  Topped with avocado, and served with my Spicy Southwest Slaw, this is a seriously scrumptious dinner, and while it will never replace a juicy beef burger, it definitely deserves a repeat performance at our dinner table.

My family follows the Paleo lifestyle, which means we don't consume grains, so our burgers are served in a lettuce wrap, or simply eaten with a knife and fork.  If you are craving some kind of bread, this recipe for Paleo hamburger buns looks divine, but I have yet to try it. If you do make these, leave me a comment and let me know how they turned out! And if you follow a Paleo diet, but include dairy, these Oopsie rolls are easy and delicious.  Surprisingly enough, my husband misses bread more than my two boys.  I find that I don't even crave it anymore, although I do enjoy Paleo baked goods, 'cause sometimes you just need something "bready"!

Spicy Poblano Turkey Burgers

1 lb ground turkey meat
4 roasted poblano peppers
1/4 red onion, diced
3 Tbs cilantro, chopped
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder
salt and pepper to taste

Optional, but highly recommended add-ons:

avocado or guacamole
sliced red onion
chipotle mayo


For the peppers:

There are a couple different ways to roast poblano peppers.  In the oven, turn your broiler to high.  Place whole pepper on a baking sheet and roast for about 10-15, turning the pepper every few minutes, until the whole thing is blistered. 

On the stovetop, place pepper directly on a burner set to medium.  Turn frequently, until the entire skin of the pepper is blackened and blistered.

Whichever method you choose, the next step is the same.  After the pepper is roasted, place it in a paper bag and fold down the top.  This allows the hot pepper to steam, and makes removing the skin a breeze.  Once the pepper has cooled in the bag, remove it and rub off the skin with your fingers or a paper towel.  It should come off effortlessly.

Cut off the stem and remove the ribs and seeds.  Cut in half or put the whole darn thing on top of your burger!

For the burger:

Put ground turkey in a large bowl and add chopped red onion, cilantro, and all the seasonings.

Form 4 patties, taking care not to overwork the meat.

Cover and place in refrigerator for at least an hour, all day if you can manage it!

Preheat a grill pan on medium-high.  I rubbed a little bacon fat on mine, to prevent sticking because bacon fat rules!  Cook patties 4-5 minutes per side, or until browned and cooked through.

Top with roasted poblano peppers, and any other add-ons you desire!  I used lettuce, heirloom tomatoes, and guacamole on mine, hubby added a slice of pepperjack cheese (cause he's a Paleo rebel like that)!

Serve alongside a hefty side of my Spicy Southwest Slaw and I promise you'll be a turkey burger convert like us!

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