I’m going to cut right to it. These are fantastic. And it’s not every day that I’d say such a thing about a turkey burger. Because most often, when I choose to use turkey, I’m substituting it for beef. Either ground turkey has gone on sale at the market or Pinterest has persuaded me—whichever happens first—and it always ends the same: I wish I’d picked up beef.
But that just isn’t so with these. Because buffalo-anything is tastier when using poultry. The hot sauce and the blue cheese—they’re far better highlighted when grouped with a milder flavored meat like chicken or turkey. Beef would overwhelm; it’d overpower the fine balance we’re trying to create between fiery hot sauce and the creamy, cool blue cheese.
To add moisture and bulk for a juicier, bigger burger, I added sautéed peppers and onions to the ground turkey before shaping the mixture into patties. I recommend cooking the peppers and onions rather than adding them raw because it brings out more of the rich, natural flavors in the veggies, but if you’re pressed for time or simply can’t bring yourself to dirty a skillet, you certainly don’t have to.
Another key ingredient is a bit of poultry seasoning. This blend of thyme, sage, marjoram, rosemary, black pepper, and nutmeg is incredibly versatile in its usability when it comes to poultry (find it in the spice aisle of any grocery store; I use McCormick brand), and I especially love it in these burgers because it very gently enhances the flavor of the meat. It’s subtle enough that you can’t quite pinpoint each herb, but fragrant enough that the burgers are memorable. I really wanted to stay away from the bland turkey trap that most lean white meat burgers fall into, and I think focusing on enhancing the natural flavors of the bird rather than trying to mimic a beef burger is what allowed me to do that.
Lastly and bestly, the blue cheese sauce. Heavens, yes.
Now, I won’t take credit for having made anything truly groundbreaking here, but I will say that I’ve solved the single most difficult problem that I and all fellow blue cheese lovers have faced for millennia, which is—how to keep blue cheese crumbles from falling off of one’s burger. Nightmare.
The solution as of 12:24pm on Sunday, January 13, 2013: Mix equal parts blue cheese crumbles and blue cheese dressing, stir into a thick sauce, and spread atop your burger.
The ultimate dilemma: blue cheese dressing or blue cheese crumbles? Solved. And condiments? Done.
All that remains to be fixed now is the situation with the blue cheese dribble on my shirt and in my lap, but I’ve got a wide-open afternoon before the Golden Globes to solve that.