Day 216: Another poultry burger

August 4, 2007

This evening, after a gloriously wet, rainy and coldish day, we made Chicken or Turkey Spanakopita Burgers [recipe] with ground turkey. On the Food Network website the burgers are served with fries and a yoghurt-based dip; in the recipe book we’re following, the burger was served with chips. We have had a lot of poultry burgers with “fancy chips” this year, and this one fell somewhere in the middle, taste-wise. It’s not fabulous, it’s certainly not terrible, but it seemed like a lot of effort for yet another burger.

There is a mistake in the recipe book which is a little confusing. Half of the red onion is chopped and the rest is sliced; you are then told to fry all the onions with the garlic, which is then mixed with the meat to make the burger. At the end of the instructions you are to place the red onions on top of the burger; should they have been cooked and separated or kept separate and raw? Difficult to know, we ended up putting all the onions inside the burger, but the Food Network website does clarify that the sliced onions should remain raw.

Anyway, other than that, this is a fairly simple, if long-winded, recipe. The turkey burgers feature spinach (squeezed not towel-dried, despite instructions) and feta cheese, with grill seasoning, oregano and a drizzle of olive oil, along with the cooked garlic and red onion. As always, this mixture makes for enormous patties, each big enough to feed a small horse or a ravenous pregnant person. A tapenade-type topping is made with kalamata olives, roasted red peppers and parsley. This was supposed to be done in the food processor but it is boxed up somewhere as we have started to pack up the kitchen. Neither of us could face digging the machine out, so L chopped everything by hand into tiny weeny pieces until it was paste-like. If I had been chopping it would have been very rustic-style- ie it would have looked like it had been chopped with a spoon. The burgers were also adorned with sliced cucumber, tomatoes, shredded arugula and optional hot peppers.

The burgers were surprisingly moist, which was a great bonus for turkey burgers which have a tendency towards dryness. The toppings felt a little like eating a crunchy side-salad, which was nice. The Spanakopita element, the spinach and the feta, was overwhelmed by the meatiness of the burger. Perhaps if we’d had better feta (the blocks seem so much better than the reduced-fat crumbles, I wonder how that could be?) this wouldn’t have been a problem, and the salty goodness would have shined through. As it was, the enormous bread bun plus the mountain of meat just ended up feeling like a stodgy burger; any subtleties were unfortunately lost along the way. Tomorrow we will be modifying this recipe to make Spanakopizza, at least it is vegetarian, or so I believe.

Tomorrow brings us another day closer to moving into our own little construction zone. It’s really frustrating because all the things that we were going to do at the weekends- such as painting- can’t really be started until other things have happened. And whilst it was lovely that it rained today, it meant we didn’t go over to the new house because A wouldn’t be playing in the garden. As the inside of the house is in such a state it is ridiculously unfriendly for a curious toddler, so we just stayed away. We are starting to worry about the relative mental health of all of us when we move in, and we have extended that concern to include the cats. Moving is hard enough without having to keep them locked in one room every day while workmen are around. Thinking about how little time we have left in our beautiful and finished condo makes us really sad. And we are starting to entertain thoughts of having to cook pasta in the kettle once we do move. Must. Take. Deep. Breaths.

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  • Reply Joannie August 5, 2007 at 7:00 am

    Does the recipe actually call for a side of “fancy chips?” And what determines if chips are “fancy?”

    You have had so many burgers this year but not a single one of them have sounded any better than regular beef burgers with cheese.

    I really admire you for going through with this even through the move. When we moved last year, I couldn’t do anything even remotely like cooking. But I guess you’ve come this far it’s hard to stop now.

  • Reply Helen | One Year Project August 5, 2007 at 7:52 pm

    I think the criteria for “fancy chips” may be the fact that they are stupidly expensive. The recipes tend to say ‘fancy chips such as Terra brand’ or something like that.
    I entirely agree with the burger observation; there’s been a lot of burger making and we could have just had a cheeseburger each time.
    We’ll try and keep doing this through the move- who knows how that’ll go. We’ve been stubborn/ stupid enough to continue this far, we’ll see if that resolve continues once we are cooking in a camp fire in the garden…

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