Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Garbanzo Turkey Burgers

Now that the month of many birthdays is, mercifully, behind us, I'm endeavoring to return to my diet. Getting back to the straight and narrow is often more difficult than starting along that path, but I think I'm doing okay. It's a little easier right now because for large stretches of time, I'm too busy to eat. Also, V. has trotted off to Paris for a week for a vacation. I would like to say "a well-deserved vacation," but it might stick in my throat just now. Certainly, he worked enough years to earn his retired status, but, really, if one feels like taking a vacation, one can just as easily choose from the hundreds of places that one's partner has no desire to visit rather than to choose, say, one's partner's very favorite city in the whole world.

Not that I'm bitter.

Anyway, V.'s absence does have the very slight silver lining of allowing me to make my own dinner, which, in turn, makes dieting easier. Having very little time, however, I have to come up with things that can be prepared quickly. I stopped at the supermarket tonight to pick up bananas and found that ground turkey was on sale. So I also picked up a can of chick peas, and some cilantro, and I threw together these thoroughly delicious turkey burgers. Were I not on record elsewhere on the Internet as saying I never make the same thing twice, then I would certainly be planning to make them again (with the second package of turkey and the second can of chick peas that I also bought tonight). Alas, I cannot, and instead I shall spend a moment thinking about what V. might possibly bring me back from Paris that would make up for having abandoned me for a week to visit my favorite city. I hope he doesn't have any trouble bringing Jérémie Elkaïm through customs.

Anyway, when I put the first round of these burgers in the pan, I realized that I hadn't added any mustard. I thought that this would turn out to be a mistake, but I believe that this particular ground turkey dish is better without the deliciousness of dijon.

I cannot speak for everyone, but ground turkey is not something that I want to eat medium rare (the way I want a beef burger). If you make this mixture into eight patties that are no more than an inch thick (they should be about four inches in diameter) and use medium heat, five minutes on a side should leave them fully cooked without drying them out. They will also be very nicely browned.

Garbanzo Turkey Burgers

Chick peas, one 15-ounce can
Ground turkey, one 20-ounce package, 93% lean
1 t. smoked sweet paprika
1 t. kosher salt
1/4 t. garlic powder
1/4 t. cayenne pepper
Black pepper, to taste
One egg
1 T. sesame oil
Cilantro, minced, to taste

Drain and rinse the chick peas. Put them in a bowl and mash them. Add the other ingredients. Mix well.

Form into eight patties. Fry over medium heat for five minutes on each side.

I really did measure almost everything this time. I never measure black pepper, and I almost never measure cilantro. I'm not sure if I've just become more accustomed to the taste over time, but it seems to me that the cilantro that was available when fresh cilantro was first readily available was stronger than the cilantro that's generally available now. Though I will say that the bunch I bought today did have a very nice aroma. A quarter cup is probably about right, but you're unlikely to use so much that you harm the burgers.


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