MoM Sept‘09 Bon Appetit: Grilled Turkey Burgers with Monterey Jack & Smoky Aioli

You may have noticed that our September Magazine of the Month is, in fact, no longer available on the shelves, as it is the August edition of Bon Appetit. Fear not fellow food lovers, Bon Appetit gives it up for free on their website!

Bon Appetit September 2009 Table of Contents

And, as they say, why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free?

BA Turkey Burger with Cheddar and Smoky Aioli
Photo courtesy of Nigel Cox, Bon Appetit

My first jump into the magazine was their turkey burger and I’m shamelessly starting with the Bon Appetit photo. Reason being, this burger was absolutely rockin’. My own photos, not so much.

I adapted this burger to my own needs quite a bit because it calls for things I didn’t have, wouldn’t purchase, or wouldn’t eat. First, it called for seeds that are first smoked then finely ground. I had the ground spices already (cumin and coriander) and didn’t want to spend additional money just so I could toast a teaspoon of seeds, so I just used what I had and it came out fine. Cumin was definitely the more prominent, but not overbearing, spice. Funnily enough, this burger also calls for smoked paprika, which my spouse hates, but mixed with the rest of the spices, the lemon juice and olive oil, he didn’t notice. You could also toss the paprika in for some toasting if you wanted to. I was worried about bringing out too much of the paprika and turning my spouse off of the meal, so I didn’t. I snuck it into the aioli like a ninja… albeit, a ninja holding a container of bright red spice, but whatever. It worked and he loved it.

BA Turkey Burgers 2

Per usual, I fixed these bad boys on a George Foreman set to high heat. After it was warmed up enough, I gave the bottom plate a decent brushing of olive oil (about a tablespoon or two) and then set the patties on top. As I’ve said previously, compacting a burger is a really bad idea so I did not close the top. I also doubled the burger size. I used a pound of turkey for two burgers and, as you would imagine, at the end of the burger I experienced a waistband emergency as my midsection reached full capacity and was ready to burst.

But they were good. So very good.

Here’s my very busy sideview photo, with the second burger in the background and some onion rings poking into the picture. After I assembled the burgers and took the photos, it occurred to me that I should have put the tomatoes and spinach leaves on the bottom bun, put the patty and cheese on top, and photographed a lovely, open-faced burger. But by that time I was starving and smell of burgers was prevalent throughout the house, so I said to hell with the pretty photos and started eating. I’m sure you understand.

BA Turkey Burgers 3

Grilled Turkey Burgers with Monterey Jack and Smoky Aioli
Adapted from Bon Appetit

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil plus additional for brushing
3 – 4 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 teaspoons smoked paprika
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 pound ground turkey
4 1/3-inch-thick red onion slices
4 slices white cheddar cheese or Monterey Jack cheese
4 sesame-seed hamburger buns (or something that tastes fun – not plain)
Arugula or baby spinach
Tomato slices

Toast cumin and coriander in small pot over medium-high heat until aromatic, shaking skillet often, about 1 1/2 minutes. Cool. Whisk mayonnaise, 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, fresh lemon juice, smoked paprika, garlic, and ground spices in small bowl. Season aioli to taste with salt and pepper. DO AHEAD Aioli can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate.

Place turkey in medium bowl. Add 2 tablespoons aioli; mix gently. Using damp hands, divide turkey mixture into 4 equal portions, then form each into scant 3/4-inch-thick patty, about 3 1/2 inches in diameter. (Or go the MM route and split that sucker into two patties — wear tight, nonstretch pants at your own risk!) DO AHEAD Can be made 4 hours ahead. Cover and chill.

Prepare barbecue (medium-high heat) or Foreman (high heat, just the way Georgie likes it — yeah, that’s a little weird, I know). Sprinkle burgers with salt and pepper.

Toast buns. Grill turkey burgers 5 minutes (or 7 – 8 minutes) for the MM-sized gigantic burgers). Turn over; grill until almost cooked through, about 4 minutes. Top each burger with 1 cheese slice and grill until meat is cooked through and cheese melts, about 1 minute longer. Place 1 turkey burger on each of 4 bun bottoms. Top each with dollop of aioli and some arugula/spinach and tomato slices. Cover burgers with bun tops and serve.

I liked these a lot and will probably make them again. I was, at first, concerned with the turkey drying out because I’ve had bad experiences with cooking ground turkey in the past — typically I choose ground chicken over turkey for that very reason. But it wasn’t a problem. The burgers came out moist and very flavorful, and the scent of the toasted spices was a really nice touch. The turkey makes them very hearty, so I could see myself serving this for a weeknight meal in the middle of winter.

Overall, the time it took to make these was very short — I’d say 30 minutes? Prep time was about 7 minutes to make the aioli and spices, and the rest of the time went to toasting the buns and cooking the beef. By the time my oven was preheated and my onion rings were baked, the burgers were done.


BA Turkey Burgers 4

If you’re anything like my spouse, you will see the above photo and hone in on the bun. Your words will be, “OH MY GOD, WHAT IS THAT WHITE STUFF ON TOP? IS IT FUNGUS? MOLD? DROOL FROM THE EVER-ELUSIVE SASQUATCH?”

It’s flour and the buns were fresh and delicious. Relax and enjoy.

One thought on “MoM Sept‘09 Bon Appetit: Grilled Turkey Burgers with Monterey Jack & Smoky Aioli

  1. Honestly, I didn’t mind the paprika because the spices didn’t stand out too much for me. It just tasted like a really good turkey burger. Not dry at all.

    I’d recommend not putting too many toppings on – I just used a four pieces of baby spinach and one slice of tomato. Anything more would have taken away from the flavor.


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