Turkey Burgers

This recipe was on a Hellmann's Mayonnaise ad in a Woman's Day magazine back in the 1970s.  Generally a turkey can be a very economical food item year round, & since you now have this recipe, always buy the largest turkey possible because you get more meat per % of bone.  This is another of those "I don't know what I would have done without this recipe!"

After you have your 1st or 2nd meal of actual turkey, all the rest can go into burgers & will disappear in no time flat.  It is fabulous to freeze.  Here's what I do:

Remove all the meat from the turkey bones after the 1st meal.  It is SO much easier when freshly cooked & slightly warm.  Store in sealed containers in the fridge.  When cold & you've had enough of the plain turkey, (making SURE all tiny, thin bones are out - especially from the leg), cut into 1"-or-so-sized pieces, chop up about 1-2 c. at a time in a food processor with about a half-dozen on-off pulses.  Then I make up packets (in a zip-seal bag) of  2-3-4 c. turkey (1 c. per adult) with the corresponding amount of chopped onion, celery (you've already got the food processor out!), bread crumbs to mix in, & almonds if I have them.  Freeze.  Use in the next 4-or-so months.  Thaw overnight in the fridge & it's zip-zip to add the rest of the ingredients, mix, make patties, coat, fry, & eat!  Yummy!!!


In a large bowl, MIX:
1 egg
1/3 cup mayonnaise (Thank You, Hellmann's)

ADD & then MIX together:
2 cups chopped, cooked turkey
1/2 cup diced celery (or more w/leaves & all)
2 Tbls. finely chopped onion (I use 1/4-1/3 c.)
1/4 cup fine dry bread crumbs (flavored or                             plain)  (sometimes I add more if mixture                                  is too soft to hold patties together)
2-4 Tbls. sliced almonds, broken up (optional)
1/4 tsp. salt (Optional for me- I've never used.)   1/4 tsp. pepper (Your preference, also)

PUT about a cup or so of dried bread crumbs in a flat-bottomed dish.

Have a frying pan heating on MEDIUM with: 

1-2 Tbls. olive oil &
1-2 Tbls. butter or margarine 

With very clean, just washed hands, SCOOP UP about 1/2 c. mixture, SHAPE into a patty, COAT in the bread crumbs.  This is a soft mixture, so don't make the patties very large as they will easily break apart.  You may want to use a turner-flipper-spatula item to turn them over to coat the other side.  FLIP it into your hands & let the excess crumbs fall off.

coated & ready to fry . . .
coated & ready to fry . . .

HAVE the oil-butter sizzling when you set the burgers in it.  You want the HEAT NO HIGHER THAN MEDIUM so the burgers heat all the way through without burning.  About 4-5 minutes per side.

the sizzle . . .
the sizzle . . .

ADD more oil & butter/marg. for each batch.

The original recipe says "Serves 6," but that's if each patty is with a bun which I've never done.  These have always been a meal meat item to us, & I make a "1 cup turkey" per person quantity for adults.  It's easy to eat 2-3, 2 1/2" patties of this!  They are so good!  Besides, it's wonderful to have any as leftovers - cold or hot.  

Dried Bread Crumbs 101

Make your own dried bread crumbs.

When you have bread, buns, rolls, etc. that are beginning to go stale, but not yet moldy, set it out on some tray or rack to air dry for 1-2 days, till fully dry.  Then break it up into pieces & pulse on-off in a food processor till fine crumbs.  Check to see that a chunk isn't stuck between the blade & bowl.  Store in an air-tight container.  If it is so rock hard that I can't break it (like a hot dog bun), I use the largest butcher knife & slice it.  OR you break it all up into pieces before drying it out.     

This is virtually a no-cost food product!  It's best to keep it in your freezer or a refrigerator drawer.  If it's in an air-tight container in a cupboard away from heat for up to a month or two it should be o.k.  But train yourself to the smell so you can detect "rancid."  Anytime it smells "off" to you, just throw it out & don't chance it.  (Even once opened, crackers, pretzels, cereals, brown rice, some chips, etc. could become rancid.) 

1)  You could also add crushed crackers - especially if you want a flavor.

2) You can shake a handful over the top of a quiche to give it a crusty surface.

3)  Coat a buttered baking dish/pan with the fine crumbs to have a crust-less savory dish.

4)  When you pour some into a dish & dredge (i.e., coat) food, like the Turkey Burgers, or shrimp, croquettes, etc., NEVER keep the remaining crumbs.  ALWAYS throw what's not used, out because some of the fresh food could be in it.  The same goes for flour, cornmeal, or any other coating that comes in contact with fresh foods.  

NOTE:  If a recipe calls for "soft" bread crumbs, use 3-7-day-old bread & pulse with a food processor into fluffy crumbs.  They won't be dry & fine.  If you have some unused left over that you want to keep, it MUST be kept in the freezer for storage as it was "fresh bread" & will mold.  Alternatively, you could spread the crumbs out on a cookie sheet to dry out and then store.  And again, throw out any unused portion of crumbs which were in the bowl for dredging!

Give thanks in all circumstances

I Thessalonians 5:18
I Thessalonians 5:18

More will come another day!

P. S.  It's hard to soar with the eagles when you work with turkeys.