The incredible versatility of the entire burger concept is something which a great many people perhaps don't fully consider and appreciate. The number of ways in which it is possible to vary the type of meat used in burgers, the nature of the accompanying fillings, the type of "bun" and even the sides which are plated with burgers is virtually infinite and limited only by individual levels of imagination. By putting a little thought in to the general idea of a burger and fries and incorporating some of your own favorite food ingredients in the dish, you can take it to whole new levels of enjoyment and find a whole world of potential new creations to serve to your family.
Ingredients (Serves 2)
- 2 large baking potatoes, washed but unpeeled and cut in to wedges
- 1 pound ground (minced) turkey
- 1 small red chili pepper, seeded and finely diced
- ½ small red onion, peeled and finely diced
- 1 tablespoon freshly chopped cilantro (coriander leaf), plus extra to garnish
- Black pepper
- 2 tablespoons vegetable or sunflower oil, plus extra for frying
- ½ teaspoon ground turmeric
- ½ teaspoon chili powder
- 4 mini naan breads (garlic and cilantro/coriander flavor used here)
- 2 tablespoons mango chutney
The potato wedges are cooked in two separate stages and require to be started first. Begin by soaking them for ten minutes in cold water to get rid of the excess starch. Drain them at your sink through a colander and add them to a pot of fresh cold water, seasoning with a little bit of salt. Put the pot on to a high heat and bring to a simmer for five minutes, adjusting the heat as necessary, before draining again and allowing them to steam off for five minutes in the colander to get rid of the excess moisture.
When the wedges have stopped visibly steaming, lay them in a single layer in a large plastic dish and refrigerate for at least half an hour. You can prepare the ingredients for the turkey burgers and the burgers themselves at your leisure while the wedges are chilling and drying out in the fridge.
Start making the burgers by adding the turkey to a large bowl which will allow you plenty of mixing space. Add the red onion, diced chili and tablespoon of chopped cilantro to the turkey meat. Season with a little bit of salt and black pepper.
It is far quicker and easier to use your hands than a spoon to thoroughly mix the burger ingredients together. Split the resultant combination in to two equal portions, roll in to balls and flatten between the palms of your hands to form burger patties, each one roughly an inch thick.
Put your oven on to preheat to 400F/200C/Gas Mark 6. Pour the two tablespoons of vegetable or sunflower oil in to a large bowl and season with the turmeric, chili powder and half a teaspoon of salt. Stir with a wooden spoon to evenly combine in to a thin paste.
Add the wedges to the bowl and very carefully turn them around in the oil with the wooden spoon until they are all evenly coated. You should use almost a folding rather than stirring motion to avoid breaking any of the wedges. Lay them on a baking tray or sheet in a single layer and bake for twenty minutes, turning with tongs half way through the cooking time.
As soon as the wedges are in the oven, you should start frying your burgers. With big burgers like these ones, it is much easier to use two separate frying pans, unless you are of course using an exceptionally large pan. Pour a little oil in to the pan(s) and fry the burgers very gently for about ten to twelve minutes each side. Remember, they must be fully and properly cooked all the way through.
Try to turn the burgers only once, using a large spatula, to both ensure even cooking and lessen the risk of them breaking up in the pan.
The wedges should be ready two or three minutes before the burgers. Remembering to wear oven protecting gloves, lift the tray from the oven and use cooking tongs to lift the wedges to a plate covered with kitchen paper. Leave them to drain and dry off while the burgers complete cooking.
Heat the naan breads per the instructions on the pack. This is usually done either in the oven or under your broiler (overhead kitchen grill). Lay one on each of two heated serving plates. Lift the burgers from the pan(s) and lay one on each naan bread. Top in each instance with a tablespoon of the mango chutney.
Place a second naan bread on top of each turkey burger and press down very lightly.
Lift half the wedges on to each plate beside the naan burgers and garnish the wedges with some freshly chopped cilantro.
Burgers and fries are of course traditionally eaten with your hands but I chose in this instance to use a knife and fork. I also served bottles of ice cold Indian beer to help wash down the meal.