Grilled Tamarind Turkey Burgers
Most children today have been exposed to a greater range of flavors than we were when we were very young, and their tastes are more developed, even for spicy foods. I cannot count the number of times I meet children who can rattle off their favorite sushi! So there’s no worry that the warm but not too spicy Southeast Asian seasonings in these turkey burgers won’t appeal to young palates.
Ground turkey, like boneless chicken breasts, is receptive to a wide range of flavorings, making it another option for good, tasty, quick, and affordable meals. This recipe can be halved, but the mixture freezes well, so, unless the turkey has already been frozen, you may want to make it all and freeze some of the burgers.
Makes 8 patties
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 jalapeño with seeds, minced
2 teaspoons chopped fresh cilantro
½ cup thinly sliced scallions, white and about 1 inch of green parts
2½ pounds ground turkey, ½ white, ½ dark meat
Hamburger or other rolls
Garnishes of your choice:
sliced tomatoes, onions, cucumbers, pickles, etc.
for the glaze
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
1 teaspoon peeled and minced garlic
½ cup tamarind concentrate (see page 168)
½ cup honey
2 tablespoons Sriracha (see page 168)
¼ cup water
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
for the burgers
Cooking spray or vegetable oil
½ cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon peeled and minced fresh ginger
For the glaze, heat the oil in a heavy medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the ginger and garlic and sauté for 2 minutes. Add the tamarind concentrate, honey, Sriracha, and water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer the mixture until it is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon and reduced to about 1 cup, stirring often, about 8 minutes.
Let the glaze cool completely, then mix in the lime juice.
Prepare a charcoal fire or gas grill to medium heat or place a grill pan over medium- high heat and coat it with cooking spray or oil. A nonstick or cast- iron pan is also fine for cooking these.
For the burgers, mix together the mayonnaise, ginger, salt, pepper, cumin, jalapeño, cilantro, and 4 teaspoons of the glaze in a large bowl, then mix in the scallions. Add the ground turkey and mix it well but loosely with the mayonnaise mixture; do not overwork. Shape the turkey into eight ½- inch- thick patties (or smaller ones for little people).
Grill the rolls, cut side down, until golden, about 2 minutes; transfer them to a serving platter. Grill the burgers until cooked through and a thermometer inserted into the center registers 160 degrees, about 8 minutes on each side. Brush each burger with the remaining glaze and serve with garnishes, and a spread of your choice for the buns— I like mayonnaise spiked with a drop or two of Sriracha.
Lime- Seared Scallops in Lemongrass Broth
Lemongrass can be nearly addictive, with its delicate lemony scent and flavor. No wonder it is pretty much indispensable in Thai cooking. I am seeing it more and more in ordinary supermarkets, and it is certainly available in Asian and specialty markets.
Get the largest scallops you can find for this recipe and remove any tough ligament that is still attached at the side.
Serves 4 to 6
4 teaspoons extra- virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon finely chopped tarragon
Zest and juice of 1 lime
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 shallots, finely chopped
2 teaspoons peeled and minced fresh ginger
2 pounds fresh sea scallops
2 stalks lemongrass
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 teaspoon fish sauce
1 cup vegetable stock, homemade or good-quality store bought
1 cup unsweetened coconut milk
2 tablespoons thinly sliced scallions or chives
Cooked white or basmati rice, for serving
Whisk together 2 teaspoons of the olive oil, the tarragon, lime zest and juice, and half the garlic, shallots, and ginger in a wide, shallow dish. Add the scallops, toss to coat, cover, and refrigerate for no longer than 30 minutes.
While the scallops are marinating, prepare the broth. Cut away the small pale bottom part of the lemongrass and peel off the tough outer leaves. Place the pieces on their sides and press down, with your palm or the side of a large knife, to bruise them. Heat the vegetable oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat; add the remaining shallots and slowly sauté until they are caramelized— richly browned but not burned. Add the remaining garlic and ginger and stir for about 1 minute.
Add the lemongrass and fish sauce to the pan and stir until fragrant, about 1 minute, then pour in the vegetable stock. Bring the sauce to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for about 20 minutes. Pour in the coconut milk and simmer for about 5 minutes longer. Set the sauce aside and keep it warm.
Meanwhile, drain the scallops of excess marinade and set them on paper towels for a minute or so to dry.
Place a large skillet over medium heat for about 2 minutes, then coat the surface with the remaining 2 teaspoons olive oil. When the oil is hot, gently add the scallops to the skillet without crowding them; sear the scallops in two batches if necessary.
Cook the scallops on one side for about 2 minutes, or until they are browned. Do not move them about or the searing process will be affected. Turn the scallops over and cook for 2 more minutes.
To serve, pour some of the warm sauce onto individual plates and set the scallops on the sauce; garnish with the scallions and place the rice to the side.
Sage and Arugula Pesto
The flavors here are pretty assertive, but this pesto is great on boiled small whole potatoes or tossed with whole- wheat pasta. Use it as a sauce with pork, grilled steaks, or seafood.
Makes 2 cups
1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
4 garlic cloves, 3 whole and 1 minced
½ cup shelled walnuts
4 cups (loosely packed) arugula leaves
½ cup sage leaves
½ cup grated Parmigiano- Reggiano
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Heat about 1 tablespoon of the oil in a small skillet over medium heat. Add the whole garlic cloves and sauté until they are golden brown, about 5 minutes; do not let the garlic burn or it will become bitter. Pour the garlic and oil from the pan and set them aside.
Toast the walnuts in the skillet over medium heat until golden, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove the walnuts from the heat.
Put the arugula, sage, walnuts, and both the sautéed and minced garlic in a blender or a food processor; pulse to mince the ingredients.
With the machine running, or while pulsing the food processor, slowly pour in the remaining oil and blend just until the ingredients are well incorporated.
Scrape the mixture into a bowl and stir in the cheese. Season with salt and pepper to taste.