Thursday, August 29, 2013

Turkey Burgers with Tomato-Onion Jam

Turkey Burger with Tomato Onion Jam

I've been doing quite a bit of home cooking since I got home from my trip a few days ago, and these Turkey Burgers with Tomato-Onion Jam are the latest.  But can I tell you how I ate like a king last week?  I had such a great time at the Asian American Journalists Association's annual convention in New York City.  I caught up with so many old friends, made some great new connections, and got some ideas to think about.  I've never stayed at a hotel in my hometown before, and I figured if I'm going to eat out, I'm going to eat out.

NY eats
Top row: Bouchon sweets and Havana Central shrimp mofongo. Bottom row: Pie Face hand pies and Ippudo ramen.
And boy, did I!  I had the lamb burger at The Breslin with my friend Bao, dinner with my mom and sis at Havana Central (not my favorite), and sweet treats at Bouchon.  I went to a dinner for 50 "fascinating" people at Zengo (good food, but terrible and rude service), and amused myself by wondering how I'd scored an invite.  I braved the summer heat for a bowl of the Akamaru modern ramen at Ippudo Westside, and made repeat visits to Pie Face.  The beef with tomato chutney, the pear with ricotta, and the chocolate hand pies make me swoon.

Tomato & Onion Jam

When I got home, I was faced once again with my surplus of garden tomatoes.  I had bookmarked the turkey burgers to try, and thought the tomato-onion jam would be a great use for my little orange tomatoes.  The recipe calls for plum tomatoes, but these tiny tomatoes worked just as well.  It will look like they've released way too much water, but that will evaporate by the last few minutes of cooking.  It's like ketchup meets caramelized onions, but chunkier, fresher, and naturally sweeter.  I'll be making more jars of this stuff as my garden gives us tomatoes faster than we can eat them.

Raw turkey burgers

And you can see while the burgers were still raw just how much stuff was packed into them.  They don't quite hit the spot for me like a red meat burger can, yet they're super moist and loaded with flavor.  Look at the herbs, chunks of feta, and chipotle pepper.  And if your spice tolerance tends to be mild, I would halve the amount of chipotle.  They're also a bit fussier to make than your ordinary burger, since they're seared and then baked, and you have to cook some onion and garlic first.  But they're well worth it.  Turkey can be plain and dry, but all the steps and ingredients ensure a juicy and flavorful burger.  And don't skip making that tomato-onion jam.  You'll miss out, big time.

Spicy Turkey Burgers with Tomato-Onion Jam
From Joanne Chang's Flour, Too

Note: This also included a recipe for homemade burger buns that I didn't make, and am too lazy to type up.

For the jam:
3 tbs olive oil
½ medium onion, cut into ½-inch pieces
1 pound plum tomatoes, halved, pulp and seeds removed, roughly chopped (I threw my tiny tomatoes in whole)
½ tsp coarse salt
¼ tsp black pepper
¼ tsp hot red pepper flakes

For the burgers:
3 slices white bread, about 85 grams
3 tbs olive oil
½ medium onion, minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 pound ground turkey (I used 93% lean)
2 tbs dijon mustard
1 tbs seeded and minced canned chipotle chile
1 large egg
3 tbs chopped fresh basil
2 tbs chopped fresh parsley
4 oz/115 grams feta cheese, crumbled
½ tsp coarse salt
¼ tsp black pepper

In a medium saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat.  Add the onion and tomatoes and cook, stirring occasionally, for 30 to 40 minutes, or until the mixture has thickened.  Add the salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes and stir.  Remove from heat and let cool.  The jam can be made 4 days in advance and refrigerated in an airtight container.  Bring to room temperature before serving.

In the food processor, process the bread until it turns to crumbs.  Set aside.

In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil over medium heat.  Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, for 4 to 6 minutes, or until softened.  Add the garlic and cook for another 2 minutes.  Remove from heat.

In a large bowl, combine the turkey, cooked onion and garlic, mustard, chipotle, breadcrumbs, egg, basil, parsley, feta, salt, and pepper.  Using your hands, mix until well blended.  Form the mixture into 4 large, flat patties 4 to 5 inches in diameter, to compensate for shrinkage later.

Preheat the oven to 350°.  In the same skillet used for the onion, heat another tablespoon of the oil over medium heat.  Add two burgers and cook, turning once, for about 2 minutes per side, or until nicely seared.  Transfer the seared burgers to a foil-lined baking sheet.  Add the last tablespoon of oil to the pan and sear the remaining two burgers.

Bake the burgers for 14 to 16 minutes, or until cooked through. They should register an internal temperature of 165° when checked with a thermometer.

Spread some burger buns with the tomato-onion jam.  Top the bottom half with a lettuce leaf, and then a burger, then the other half of the bun and serve.


  1. I made a tomato chutney a few weeks ago and this sounds similar. But yours has onions and mine didn't! Definitely trying it with onions next time. :)

  2. I can't wait to try the tomato jam! Love the add of onions.

  3. That tomato onion jam sounds fabulous!

  4. Your burgers look so delicious!!! I really, really love this tomato-onion jam! A Japanese hamburger shop put this kind of sauce on top of burgers and this remind me of that delicious burger... Your burgers look extremely delicious!

    1. Thanks, Nami! Makes me wish I had homegrown tomatoes year-round to make this jam.


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