Monday, August 13, 2012

Turkey Burgers with Cheddar and Cumin Aioli

I had never used a grill before I met my husband.  The first time I used it by myself, I was petrified.  I didn't know how to use the knobs or make sure that my food turned out okay, so it just seemed like an instrument to be afraid of and not embrace.

Three years later, I loved our grill.  Problem was, when we went to move, the grill that I had used to make so many good meals on, fell apart.  The movers told us that they wouldn't allow us to take it to New Jersey.  I was a little sad, but interested to see what our new grill would be like.  Just this past weekend we bought a new infrared grill.  It isn't put together yet...but I have to say I'm very excited to see what great food it delivers. 

As it turns out, we had this Too Hot to Cook theme for our recipe swaps.  Well, we hadn't purchased a grill before we made these, so I made them on the panini maker, and while I missed our grill, I think the panini maker did a fine job too.

Turkey Burgers with Cheddar and Cumin Aioli
barely adapted from Delicious Meliscious

1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon coriander 
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil plus additional for brushing
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1 garlic clove, pressed

1 pound ground turkey
4 1/3-inch-thick red onion slices
1 large red bell pepper, quartered
4 slices white cheddar cheese
4 hamburger buns
Pickle wedges
Avocado (optional)

1) Whisk mayonnaise, 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, fresh lemon juice, garlic, cumin, and coriander in a small bowl. Season aioli to taste with salt and pepper. Aioli can be made up to a day ahead. Cover and refrigerate.
2) Place turkey in medium bowl. Add 2 tablespoons aioli; mix gently. Using damp hands, divide turkey mixture into 4 equal portions, then form each into 3/4-inch-thick patty, about 3 1/2 inches in diameter. Using thumb, make small indentation in center of each burger. Can be made 4 hours ahead. Cover and chill.
3) Prepare barbecue (medium-high heat) or panini maker. Sprinkle burgers with salt and pepper. Brush onion slices and bell pepper pieces with oil; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Grill onions and bell peppers until soft and charred, about 4 minutes per side.
4) Grill turkey burgers 5 minutes. Turn over; grill until almost cooked through, about 4 minutes.
5) Top each burger with 1 cheese slice and grill until meat is cooked through and cheese melts, about 1 minute longer.
To assemble: Place 1 turkey burger on each of 4 bun bottoms. Arrange grilled red pepper pieces, then grilled red onion slices over. Top each with dollop of aioli and some arugula. Cover burgers with bun tops and serve with pickle wedges, and any other desired toppings.

I turned the smokey aioli into a cumin aioli because I cannot have paprika.  I have to say that I liked the burgers in this recipe because I think that adding the aioli kept them super moist.  I do think that the overall recipe just turned out to be a pretty ordinary burger though.  While there isn't anything horrible to say about them, there isn't much that made them amazing either.  I do think that this recipe taught me that adding wet sauces to the meat mixture will improve how hamburgers come out though, which I'll definitely try on other burgers.


  1. Awww, sorry you didn't enjoy them as much as we did! Different tastes, I guess. Or maybe I'm missing out on even more amazing burgers and don't even know it! ;) Thanks for trying!

  2. Wow that aioli sounds so exotic! Sometimes the sauce really makes a burger pop :).