While going through a folder of old recipes recently, I spotted one for curry-scented lamb burgers topped with a simple yogurt sauce plus dollops of mango chutney. I remembered how much I had loved all the vibrant spices in this dish created over a decade ago, and was anxious to make it again–but with a few changes. In place of lamb I decided on turkey (both dark and white meat for a juicy mix), and instead of purchased mango chutney, I would opt for fresh mango salsa.
The new version turned out to be as tempting as the original. The turkey meat benefitted from its spiced layer of seasonings. The mango salsa was, with its accent of lime and punch of heat from a serrano pepper, far better than store-bought chutney. Grilled until slightly charred outside and well done inside, this variation of the burgers was a big hit with my assistants.
So, if you are still musing over what to serve during Memorial Day weekend, think of including these special burgers on your menu. Add a salad of cucumbers, radishes, and watercress in a cider vinaigrette, and some grilled asparagus spears as sides.
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Turkey Burgers with Mango Salsa and Yogurt Sauce
1 pd ground turkey, preferably 1/2 pd dark and 1/2 pd white meat or all dark meat
1 1/4 tsp curry powder
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground turmeric
1 tsp kosher salt
4 hamburger buns, either whole wheat or white, lightly toasted
Several lettuce leaves such as butter or Boston lettuce, optional
Olive or vegetable oil for oiling grilled rack
1/2 cup Greek-style yogurt
2 tbsp chopped cilantro
1 tsp ground cumin
Fresh Mango Salsa
1 large, ripe mango
1/4 cup chopped sweet red onion
1/2 tsp lime zest
1 tbsp lime juice plus extra if needed
1 serrano chili pepper, seeded and finely minced to yield 3/4 to 1 tsp (See note.)
2 tsp chopped cilantro
1. For turkey burgers, in a large bowl, mix together ground turkey, curry powder, cumin, tumeric, and salt. Knead mixture with your hands until well blended, and then shape into 4 equal sized patties about 4 inches in diameter and about 3/4 inch thick. (Burgers can be prepared 1 day ahead; cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate.)
2. For yogurt sauce, whisk yogurt, cilantro, and cumin together in a small bowl and set aside. (Yogurt sauce can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate.)
3. For mango salsa, peel mango, then cut the flesh away from the large flat seed in the center of the fruit. Discard seed, and cut flesh into 1/2-inch dice, and place in a nonreactive mixing bowl. Add onion, lime juice and zest, serrano pepper, and cilantro, and mix well. Season salsa with salt and with a little extra lime juice, if desired. (Salsa can be prepared 6 hours ahead; cover and refrigerate. Bring to room temperature 15 minutes before serving.)
4. To cook burgers, oil a grill rack and arrange it 4 to 5 inches from heat source. Prepare grill for a hot fire (high temperature). When hot, add burgers and grill 4 to 5 minutes per side, until completely cooked through. Cooking time can vary depending on type of grill used and intensity of heat. Salt burgers lightly.
5. If desired, arrange 1 to 2 lettuce leaves on bottoms of buns, and then top with burgers. Spoon some yogurt sauce over each burger and then some mango salsa. Cover with tops of buns. Pass any extra salsa in a small bowl. Serves 4.
Note: Be sure to wear rubber gloves when chopping the pepper to prevent any of the pepper’s hot oil coming into contact with your skin or eyes and causing a burning sensation.
Copyright Betty Rosbottom 2019