A new cookbook from America’s Test Kitchen is intended to raise our burger I.Q. “The Ultimate Burger” has 138 recipes for everything from Classic Beef Burgers to Vegan Grilled Barbecued Tempeh Burgers, plus great ideas for sides and drinks. There’s even a chapter with recipes for homemade burger buns.
The book also has shopping and grilling tips, along with recommendations for the best store-bought fixings.
CRISPY CALIFORNIA TURKEY BURGERS
For a West Coast-style burger, we paired avocado and fresh sprouts with turkey burgers. Mixing some Monterey Jack into the lean turkey meat helped the burgers stay moist during cooking, giving us patties with juicy pockets of fat to yield a melting interior texture; the cheese also crisped around the edges of the burger, creating a pleasantly crunchy crust. We found that adding panko and a little mayonnaise to the turkey mixture kept the burgers from becoming too dense. To finish, we slathered some sweet-savory classic burger sauce over simple buns before topping them off. Be sure to use 93% lean ground turkey, not 99% fat-free ground turkey breast, or the burgers will be tough.
1 pound ground turkey
1 cup panko bread crumbs
2 ounces Monterey Jack cheese, shredded (1/2 cup)
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon table salt
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
1/2 cup Classic Burger Sauce (recipe follows), plus extra for serving
4 hamburger buns, toasted if desired
4 leaves Bibb or Boston lettuce
1 tomato, cored and sliced thin
1 ripe avocado, halved, pitted, and sliced 1/4-inch thick
1/4 cup alfalfa sprouts
1/2 red onion, sliced thin
Break ground turkey into small pieces in large bowl. Add panko, Monterey Jack, mayonnaise, and pepper and gently knead with hands until well combined. Divide turkey mixture into 4 equal portions, then gently shape each portion into 3/4-inch-thick patty. Using your fingertips, press center of each patty down until about 1/2-inch thick, creating slight divot.
Season patties with salt. Heat oil in 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat until just smoking. Transfer patties to skillet, divot side up, and cook until well browned on first side, 4 to 6 minutes. Flip patties, reduce heat to medium-low, and continue to cook until browned on second side and meat registers 160 degrees, 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer burgers to platter and let rest for 5 minutes.
Spread burger sauce over bun tops and arrange lettuce on bun bottoms. Serve burgers on buns, topped with tomato, avocado, alfalfa sprouts, and onion, passing extra burger sauce separately.
CLASSIC BURGER SAUCE
Classic burger sauce, sometimes called “special sauce,” takes familiar condiments — ketchup, mayonnaise and relish — and combines them to create a supercharged sauce that elevates a simple patty from good to great.
Makes about 1 cup
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup ketchup
2 teaspoons sweet pickle relish
2 teaspoons sugar
2 teaspoons distilled white vinegar
1 teaspoon pepper
Whisk all ingredients together in bowl. (Sauce can be refrigerated in airtight container for up to 4 days; bring to room temperature before serving.)
Excerpted with permission from “The Ultimate Burger Book” by America’s Test Kitchen.
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