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As a freelance writer and editor, I spend a lot of time sitting at my desk (as I’m sure many of you do, too), but what’s great about working at home is that, when time allows, I get to cook up my breakfast or lunch instead of running down the street to Subway (which my little brother is obsessed with for some unknown reason).
It was beautiful out yesterday, and I needed to do some reading for culinary school, so I decided to fire up the grill and do my reading—and cooking—outside. What kind of lunch does the KB dream up on a Monday afternoon? One that will take her taste buds far from the Midwest and to a place a little more festive.
These Green-Chile Turkey Burgers with Spicy Mayo are sure to take you away from it all, to a place where chiles reign and vibrant colors and a spicy kick are commonplace. With just a few pantry staples, you can have a taste of the Southwest in your own backyard.
I always keep a package of ground turkey in my freezer for when I need a burger, but don’t want to worry about the extra calories. Now, I’m not talking about that pale, translucent square of Tyson’s ground all-white turkey you can sometimes find in the meat section of your grocery store. Yes, it’s the most healthful variety with something like less than 10% fat, but it tastes like a shoe and cooks up that way, too.
I go for ground turkey that’s a combo of white and dark meat, with 10-15% fat, and you can usually find this in the frozen section of your grocery store. The brand I like, Ferndale Market, touts sustainability and turkeys raised without antibiotics. Or I purchase the cream-of-the-crop ground turkey from my meat man. Both brands have a little more fat than the all-white ground turkey, but it keeps the burgers moist and flavorful and it still has less fat than traditional beef.
Canned green chiles are a staple in my pantry. I throw them in eggs, burritos, tacos, on baked potatoes, casseroles, etc. Mild, medium and spicy versions are available, so pick whichever variety is most compatible with your taste buds. They add a mild chile flavor to the burgers—the homemade spicy mayo is where the real heat comes from in this recipe.
I’m growing mild Hungarian hot wax peppers in my garden, so I roasted a few on the grill to throw on my burger and make this a serious “green chile” burger, but you could just use another can of green chiles for garnish. Serve with my Roasted Corn with Chili-Lime Butter, and the neighbors will be asking you to pass the leftovers over that fence.
Green-Chile Turkey Burgers with Spicy Mayo
Green chiles are available in the ethnic or Latin food aisle of most supermarkets. Look for ground turkey with both dark and white meat for moist and flavorful burgers. Serves 4. Click here to download a copy of this recipe.
1 lb. ground turkey
1 (4 oz) can green chiles, drained of excess liquid
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. Kosher salt
½ tsp. chili powder
½ tsp. Mexican oregano
¼ tsp ground pepper
For Spicy Mayo:
¼ c. light mayonnaise
1-2 Tbs. hot sauce
Half a lemon, juiced
1 (4 oz.) can green chiles, or 4 Hungarian hot wax peppers or other chiles (optional)
1 onion, diced
1 tomato, sliced
Four hamburger buns
Sliced cheese, if desired
Make Spicy Mayo. Combine mayonnaise, hot sauce, and lemon juice in a small bowl. Set aside.
Make patties. Preheat the grill to medium-high heat. In a large bowl, combine ground turkey and all burger seasonings. Divide the meat into four sections. Form into patties and gently make an indent in the center of each patty with your thumb.
Roast additional peppers (optional). If grilling additional peppers for topping, spray peppers with cooking spray and roast on grill until charred and blackened on all sides. Remove from grill and place in a bowl covered with plastic wrap for 5-10 minutes. Remove from bowl and peel away skin. Seed and stem peppers and dice for garnish.
Grill and serve. Oil grill grate. Grill burgers for 4 to 5 minutes per side for medium well. Add cheese during last minute of cooking to melt. Spread spicy mayo on bun, top with cheeseburger, tomato and additional peppers if desired.
Corn with Chili-Lime Butter
Click here to download a copy of this recipe.
4 ears corn on the cob, husked
½ stick unsalted butter, softened
1-2 Tsp. chili powder
Juice from 1-2 limes
¼ tsp. garlic salt
Make compound butter. Combine butter, chili powder, lime juice and garlic salt in a small bowl. Taste for seasoning, set aside. This can be made a few days ahead of time. Spoon butter onto parchment paper or plastic wrap, and roll into a log. Refrigerate until ready to use.
Grill corn. Grill corn over medium-high heat until lightly charred on all sides. Remove from grill and spread some of the compound butter over each ear.