TURKEY BURGERS with Romesco Sauce

Trust me. Bakers often substitute pureed fruit for oil, eggs, and milk to make low-fat baked goods—the fruit adds some moisture back. It’s the same idea here.

The chicken thighs help, too. They’ve got a little more fat than breast meat. This adds moisture and flavor. And since you need to fully cook these burgers, the fruit and extra fat buy you some time on the grill without sacrificing a lot of moisture.

This Romesco sauce is a take-off of a Spanish sauce traditionally served with grilled fish and poultry—even turkey burgers!

urkey Burgers
(Serves 4)
Work Time: 30 Minutes
Cook Time: 10–12 Minutes

3/4 lb. turkey tenderloin, coarsely ground
3/4 lb. chicken thigh meat, coarsely ground

Add; Shape into 3–4″ Patties (1″ Thick):
1/4 cup applesauce
1 t. salt
1/2 t. black pepper

Serve with:
Toasted Kaiser rolls
Avocado slices

Romesco Sauce
(Makes 1-1/4 Cups)
Work Time: 15 Minutes
Cook Time: 20 Minutes

Toast and Finely Grind in a Food Processor:
1/3 cup slivered almonds

Add; Process until Smooth:
3 large red bell peppers, roasted, peeled, and seeded
2 cloves garlic, minced
1-1/2 T. red wine vinegar
1/4 t. salt
1/8 t. cayenne pepper
1/8 t. black pepper


ONE Toast almonds in a small saute pan over medium heat until golden. Cool completely, then finely grind. Don’t over-grind so they become oily.

TWO Roast red peppers until skin blackens. Steam in a plastic bag until cool; then peel, seed, and coarsely chop. Add to processor with nuts.

THREE Add remaining sauce ingredients to the processor and blend until fairly smooth but still with a little texture. Transfer to bowl and set aside.

FOUR Grind turkey and chicken. Add applesauce and seasonings, then mix with your hands until blended. Shape.

FIVE To prevent the burgers from sticking, brush grill with vegetable oil. Grill burgers, covered, 5–6 minutes. Flip and grill 4–5 more minutes.

SIX Brush both sides of split Kaiser rolls with olive oil. Grill, oiled side down, for about 45 seconds. Top burgers with Romes-co Sauce and slices of avocado.

Sharmin Begum

The author Sharmin Begum

I have loved spicy food, Mexican in particular, since I was a child as my father was from El Paso where I acquired a taste for it on our many visits. I have cooked Tex-Mex all my adult life, but about 7 years ago I began cooking authentic Mexican food using my own ingredients and making my own tortillas, tamales, etc. On one of my visits to NM I attended the Santa Fe Wine and Chile Fiesta and took some excellent cooking classes at the Santa Fe Cooking School and the Old Mexico Grill. I love New Mexican food equally as well as Mexican.

I also grow my own chile peppers, tomatillos, and herbs like cilantro and epazote because they are not available locally.

I got into web publishing because I enjoy “meeting” fellow Chile-heads from all over the world and sharing my passion with them.

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