A stellar turkey burger from Wicked Good Burgers {The choices we make}

Life is the sum of the choices we make.

My parents and niece came to visit to watch little S dance at her creative ballet performance. (My sister could not come because she’s 8 1/2 months pregnant.)

They took the train down for the day and while they were here I got a tiny pang of “Oh, maybe I should move back to Boston.” The pangs have happened on occasion, more so since having a child, more so lately.

I’ve lived in New York for a long time now (since the late 90s), and I absolutely love it: the energy, the excitement, Central Park, The Met, theatre, friends, food, restaurants, just walking down the colorful streets. I made the choice to live here, away from “home,” during another era of my life. Now I have a child and while I still adore NYC, at times it’s a challenge, I’ll admit; I am the one who makes the trek to Boston for a variety of holidays and family events. I don’t have family here if I need someone to watch S if there’s an emergency (thankfully there haven’t been any). NYC can be crazy with a child (yet it can be very magical, too). Sometimes I think S should be closer to her cousins. And so on. There are moments I want to run over to my sister’s house and watch all the kids play, meet her at the swan boats or at The Museum of Science, go to dinner at erbaluce, stroll down Newbury St, meet friends in Harvard Square, have dinner at my parents’ house or play with their new dog. The four and half hour drive makes these things not impossible but not exactly convenient.

I’ve traded in some things for other things. I’ve chosen to live in NYC—it’s where I’m nesting, living and thriving. If I hadn’t moved here, I wouldn’t have S or the life I created. Of course I’d have a different life, but that’s not something I can speculate on.

Yet the current decision can morph into a new one. The choice I made years ago one day in autumn still stands at this moment. It’s one I like for a variety of reasons, but I can always do something new if I feel like it.

Life is fluid like that. That’s the beauty of  the choices we make.

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A stellar turkey burger from Wicked Good Burgers

A stellar turkey burger from Wicked Good Burgers

I’m delighted to have received a cookbook about burgers by a chef from Boston. Andy Husbands owns a wonderful restaurant, Tremont 457, which I highly recommend if you visit Boston. He teamed up with award-winning barbecue expert Chris Hart to write Wicked Good Burgers: Fearless recipes and uncompromising techniques for the ultimate patty.

So for dinner the other night I made this turkey burger, which was a huge hit with little S, who said: “I like everything you made tonight, Mama.”

I’ll definitely be revisiting Wicked Good Burgers over the summer. I want to make the beach house burger, homemade burger buns, peppered onion rings, the black bean portobello burger, quick kimchi, Moroccan chickpea burger with harissa mayo and something that really caught my eye: fifth dimension powder, which I’ll write about when I make it.

Their chapter on French fries has me doing google searches for a deep fryer and French fry cutter. (Not that I even eat fries all that much, but if I make them, I want them to be perfect.)

If you love burgers (beef, turkey, salmon, vegetarian), definitely check out Wicked Good Burgers.

For now, enjoy this stellar turkey burger that I am definitely making again.

Music: Sweet Caroline (okay, it’s the red Sox theme song and I am not into baseball, but it seems appropriate at the moment)

Wine:  Hawke’s Bay Gimblett Gravels Te Kahu  2010 This Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon and Malbec blend is fresh lively with plum and blackberry fruits with fresh mint and thyme.

Perfect Turkey Burger

Serves 6
Prep time 1 hour
Cook time 15 minutes
Total time 1 hour, 15 minutes
Allergy Egg, Soy
Meal type Main Dish
Misc Child Friendly
Occasion Barbecue
From book Wicked Good Burgers

Ingredients

  • 1 head of garlic
  • 2 1/2 pounds of ground dark-meat turkey (I used white meat and it turned out great.)
  • 1 tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 teaspoons of soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup of chopped, fresh parsley
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/2 cup fine dry bread crumbs
  • Vegetable oil, for cooking
  • 6 Burger buns, such as whole wheat sesame (Wicked Good Burgers has a few great bun recipes )

Directions

Preheat oven to 325 degrees Farenheit. Wrap the head of garlic in tin foil and roast for one hour. Squeeze out the cloves and mash with a fork.

In a large bowl, mix the ground turkey with the garlic, Worcestershire and soy sauces and parsley. Fold in the beaten egg and half of the bread crumbs. Gradually add in the remaining bread crumbs until the turkey mixture is no longer sticky. (You may not have to add in all of it.)

Divide the mixture into 6 even portions and shape into patties. Refrigerate until ready to cook.

If grilling, prepare the grill for cooking.

When the fire is ready, remove the burgers from the refrigerator. Brush oil onto the grill grate. Set the burgers directly on the grate over the coals and grill for 5 minutes per side.

If you're cooking indoors, preheat the oven to 325.

Heat a heavy, cast-iron skillet over high heat until very hot. When the skillet starts to smoke, it's ready. Brush with vegetable oil to cover completely.

Place the patties on the skillet without overcrowding. Cook for 3 minutes. Turn the patties over and cook for 2 minutes on the other side. Transfer the patties to a baking sheet and bake for 7 to 8 minutes. Remove from the oven and tent with foil for 3-5 minutes.

Serve on buns with condiments of your choice, including lettuce and tomato, Sricacha, pickled onions and scallions. You can find more ideas in Wicked Good Burgers.

 

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