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Salt to Meat Ratio
Depending on who you talk to you or which web site you visit, you'll get a different answer regarding how much salt to add to meat. Based on research and my own experience, around 3/4 of a teaspoon of table salt or sea salt per pound of meat works well in most situations. I have also used as much as 1 teaspoon per pound depending on the recipe. You really need to understand your likes and your recipe to determine the best amount of salt. It's also important to factor in the type and brand of salt. Most table and sea salt are approximately the same. For example, table salt is fine so it is tightly packed while kosher salt tends to have irregular crystal shapes leading to less sodium per measurement. Even among the varieties of kosher salt there are vast differences so be warned!

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My favorite pan is a twenty dollar cast iron pan. I remember vividly how my step-father coveted his iron pan and warned us about not using soap to clean it. Seasoned and maintained properly, an iron pan can last forever. It is better than any non stick pan and far more durable. It's thick base holds heat better than any pan in my arsenal and prevents food from burning by dispersing the heat.

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Pesto Turkey Burgers Tuesday, November 24, 2015
Pesto Turkey Burgers

This is a turkey burger mixed with a deconstructed pesto, not the kind you put over noodles. Nothing is blended. No green burgers here. But more than that, you get a different flavor with whole pine nuts and chopped basil rather than a puree. Deconstructing the pesto allows you to taste each ingredient individually in the burger, almost creating an entirely different flavor. Plus, I didn't want green burgers lol. This burger turned out so well I decided to share it with everyone who is looking for different ways to enjoy turkey.

Pesto Turkey Burgers

Toasting the pine nuts before mixing them with the ground turkey brings out the nutty flavor of the Pignolias. Pine Nuts are very easy to burn so be very careful. I like to use a thick pan on medium heat so good heat is distributed evenly across the cooking surface. Turn the nuts every thirty seconds or so and never take your eyes off them as they tend to burn towards the end of the browning process. Trust me, I've burned more than my fair share of nuts. Once they are done browning, set them aside to cool.

Pesto Turkey Burgers

Chop the basil and then mix all the ingredients with the turkey meat including cooled pine nuts, basil, parmesan cheese, salt and pepper. Be careful not to overwork the meat as it will become dense and tough. Form the mixture into loose balls so you can evenly distribute the mixture without overworking the meat. I like to set the meat aside in the refrigerator so the flavors can blend a little but you can put them right on the grill if you like.

Pesto Turkey Burgers

Press the balls of meat gently but firmly onto a very hot oiled grill until they are flat. The patties don't need to be perfectly round but make sure they aren't falling apart. It's important the flat top is very hot so you get a good crust without overcooking the center. Heat the grill on medium high for a good while so the patties sizzle when they hit the metal. Remember, crust equals taste but dried out is never good.

Pesto Turkey Burgers

When the burgers are cooked through, place them on a ciabatta or other bun of your liking. Potato bread buns are also nice :) I like mayonnaise on this burger. Mustard and ketchup will overpower the taste. I always cringe when my son loads every burger with tons of ketchup. Mayonnaise has a nice light taste that compliments this burger. Along with lettuce, tomato and red onion, it's the perfect combination for turkey.

Pesto Turkey Burgers

Serve your burger hot with a nice dill pickle on the side and maybe some chips or homemade french fries.


Ingredients: Serves: 6

  2 Pounds Ground Turkey Meat
  1/4 Cup Parmesan Cheese (Shredded)
  1/3 Cup Fresh Basil (Chopped)
  2 Oz Pine Nuts (Toasted)
  5 Cloves Garlic (Minced)
  1/2 Tsp Red Chile Flakes
  1 1/2 Tsp Salt
  1 Tsp Black Pepper (Freshly Ground)
  2 Oz Vegetable Oil
  6 Each Ciabatta Buns (or whatever you like)
  6 Each Iceberg Lettuce Pieces
  1 Each Tomato (Sliced)
  1 Each Red Onion (Sliced)
  2 Oz Mayonnaise

Steps: Prep Time: 30 minutes

Toast Pine Nuts
Toast the pine nuts in a thick pan on medium heat. Set aside to cool before mixing with ground turkey meat.
Mix the Ingredients
Mix all the ingredients for the burger, careful not to overwork the meat. Form into even balls of meat.
Heat a flat top or thick pan on medium high heat till it is about to smoke. Add a nice layer of vegetable oil and press the meat balls onto the grill till they are flat. Cook patties till crispy on one side but not overcooked. Flip and repeat.
Serve the turkey burgers on a bun with mayonnaise, lettuce, tomato and red onion.

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