I’m a bit of a burger snob. People mention Shake Shake or some trendy burger joint, and all I can think is, “Why bother?” Yes, I’ve got a soft spot in my heart for Good Stuff in D.C., but at home I can literally count the number of times I’ve made a burger in the past 5 years on one finger. Then I met the Moroccan Spiced Turkey Patties in From the Ground Up by James Villas, and that all changed. This is my new standard for burger goodness. If you’d asked me before what I thought of ground turkey, you would have gotten a blank stare. In general, I don’t find turkey to be all that exciting. Again, that’s all changed.
I guess turkey is one of those foods which takes on the flavor of the other ingredients. Then there’s the sauce, just yogurt, lemon juice, cumin, and cayenne — a simple but amazing combination. I’ve raved about From the Ground Up and other books by James Villas before, but this is a must-try recipe. Maybe it’s a bonus that it’s probably relatively healthful because the turkey is lean, and it’s super easy to prepare even on a weeknight. Let me know if you try it.
Morrocan Spiced Turkey Patties
–From the Ground Up by James Villas, reprinted with permission
1 1/2 pounds ground turkey
1/4 cup seedless dark raisins (these really make the recipe — do not omit)
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup plain yogurt
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1/8 teaspoon ground cumin
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1. In a bowl, combine the turkey, raisins, tomato paste, cinnamon, ginger, and salt and pepper and mix with your hands till well blended (do not overmix). Gently form the mixture into 4 patties about 1 inch thick.
2. In a large skillet, heat the oil over moderate heat, add the patties, and cook for about 6 minutes. Turn the patties over and cook the other sides till lightly browned, 5 to 6 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, in a bowl, combine the yogurt, lemon juice, cumin, and cayenne and mix until well blended. (Of course you can add a little extra cayenne if you’d like, but don’t go too crazy.)
4. Serve the patties hot with equal amounts of the sauce spooned over the tops.