Mom de Cuisine

Mexi-Monday: Tex-Mex Turkey Burgers, Fully Loaded
August 30, 2011, 4:48 am
Filed under: Main Course, Turkey | Tags: , , ,

I am a total realist.  Not a pessimist, I just think I know when to be positive about something, and when to face the facts.  I know what I am good at, and I know where I could use some improvement.  If you have read my blog before, then you’ll know that I am not the best food photographer/stylist.  I am trying to get better, as a matter of fact, I recently finished, Plate to Pixels by Helene DuJardin and I think I have seen some, ever so slight, improvement in my photography.  Next, I plan to read Food Photography “From Snapshots to Great Shots” by Nicole S. Young(just have to make my way over to Amazon to get it. )

So, with all that being said, I was still disappointed in my shots of my Mexi-Monday Loaded Burger.  I started planning the styling, the photographs, the lighting in my head from the moment I decided to make my “famous” burgers for dinner tonight.  Side note:  my burger is only actually “famous” to my husband. 

 Well, when it came time to start shooting,  I just wasn’t getting the shot I set up in my head.  The more I tried to “style” my burger, the worse it looked.  I realized that it was getting worse and worse because, little by little I had picked at, and eaten my burger!!!!!  Oh well, I guess I will decide that it is a testament to how amazing the burger was!  I thought about trying to style another burger, but then decided that I would probably end up eating that one too and since my husband wouldn’t be home for at least another hour…I would throw in the proverbial towel and just succumb myself to finishing up the crumbs left and pretending the whole event never happened.

But onto the burger….My husband loves these burgers.  In fact, when I tell him that’s what I’m making, he always says, “Please, keep to the recipe.  I like the burgers the way they are, so don’t go changing stuff!”  This time, I pretty much kept to my usual recipe.  I haven’t been able to find the cans of chipotle chilis in adobo sauce here, so sadly, I had to omit those.  I usually love the smokey and slightly spicy flavor those give to the burgers.  I found some local dried chilis that  I was hoping I could soak and puree to maybe give some of the same flavor.  It didn’t work. I do tend to change around the toppings depending on what I have on hand and feel like making.  I’ve made chipotle ketchup, carmelized balsamic onions,  and guac before as toppings.  Today, however, I decided to top these bad boys with left over mango BBQ sauce from my pulled pork empanadas (I totally forgot about it until I was cleaning out the fridge the day before, then I was like, JACKPOT!!!) and crispy sweet potato shoestrings. 

I originally made the sweet potato shoe strings as an accompaniment to the burger.  Stephanie at Eat. Drink. Love. made sweet potato chips about a week ago and they looked soooo good!  I, however, have never had much luck making chips.  They either burn or are soggy in the middle.  I have, however, made shoe string sweet potatoes as a garnish to pork chops, and they turned out perfectly crispy.  I loved Stephanie’s combination of seasoning, and I thought it would go well with the burgers.  but as I assembled the burger, I realized that it was missing some crunch, so onto the burger my shoestrings went. 

All in all, even though my pictures were terrible, the burger was outstanding!

Tex-Mex Burgers, Fully Loaded


1 lb lean ground turkey meat

1 onion, diced

3 cloves garlic, diced

1/4 cup diced pickled jalapeno

1 bunch of cilantro, stems removed, diced

2-3 tablespoons cumin, divided

1 tablespoon tomato paste

salt, black pepper to taste

1 medium sweet potato

1 cup vegetable oil

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon paprkia

Sesame seed buns

fresh red and green spinach (optional)

4-8 slices Pepper jack cheese(optional)

Avacado, sliced (optional)

Mango BBQ Sauce (optional)


To make the burgers: combine onion, garlic, cumin, cilantro, tomato paste, jalapeno, salt and pepper.  Mix in the turkey meat until all the ingredients are evenly combined, being careful not to over mix the meat.  Allow mixture to marinade, covered, in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes, but up to 24 hours. 

Make divide into fourths and make burger patties.  Grill until burgers are cooked through.  Int the last few minutes of cooking, add pepper jack cheese to the burger, close the grill to allow the cheese to melt.

While the burgers grill, Julienne the sweet potato (I used a Julienne vegetable peeler, but the Julienne attachment of a mandolin also works).  Heat oil to 350 and fry sweet potato shoe strings in batches, 3-4 minutes until crisp, but not burnt.  Remove from oil with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Immediately sprinkle with salt, pepper, garlic, paprika and  remaining cumin.

To assemble the burgers:  Spread BBQ sauce on both the top and bottom bun.  Add spinach,, avacado, burger, and shoestrings.  Enjoy!!!

P.S. I know it’s not Monday anymore, at least not here, but real life got in the way of me posting this yesterday 🙂