Sadly, my week of burgers ended not with a roar, but with a whimper. Clearly, I used up all my new recipe luck for this endeavor with the Asian pork burgers, because today's attempt at turkey burgers was almost the most disappointing of the bunch, even if they were technically tastier than the lamb burgers. As it turns out, I am the kind of person that can't resist messing with a good thing when it comes to the kitchen. I already have a turkey burger recipe that I've been making for years that I absolutely love to pieces (and Justin does too; it is one of his favorite meals now.) It combines many of the classic flavors (cranberry, apple, celery, onion) that one associates with turkey during Thanksgiving, and it never fails to please.
Nonetheless, when I spotted a different turkey burger recipe on a blog a few weeks ago, I was intrigued. It had a Martha Stewart pedigree, and it combined a lot of flavors that I love: green onion, mustard, and Gruyere cheese. Maybe I would be able to add a second turkey burger recipe to my repertoire for a little variety, I thought. After all, isn't variety the spice of life?
Wrong. This recipe proved to me that occasionally, it is better to stick to what you know. The addition of Gruyere to the patty imparted an odd, and to me, unnecessary additional savory element that also bordered on the over-salted. The mustard and onions were nice, but with the cheese, and my two favorite burger toppings already folded into the burger, I was at a loss for what to put on my burger, since it was crying out for a little extra moisture and textural interest. I ended up with cranberry mustard, my go-to sauce for turkey burgers, but it was a bit of mustard overkill.
Mostly my biggest problem with these burgers was the addition of breadcrumbs to the meat mixture. I know some people add breadcrumbs as a binder for homemade burgers, but to me, they always impart an unpleasantly smooth texture, like meatloaf or meatballs. I don't mind that homogeneous texture in those dishes, but to me, a burger should have a coarse toothsomeness that reminds you that you are eating meat. I should have just left them out when I saw them on the ingredient list, but I wanted to heed Martha's wisdom and follow the recipe as written. Predictably, I ended up with burger patties that had an unnatural texture, unbecoming of a burger, in my opinion.
Next time I'm craving a turkey burger, I'll return to my tried-and-true recipe. Not that that will be any time soon -- now that we've worked our way through the pile of hamburger buns on our kitchen counter, I think I've had more than enough grilled meat patties for a while...