All my ground turkey dishes start out the same and then go out their separate way. Just like people, perhaps, who all start out the same way, then acquire different fillers, different seasoning, challenges, experiences, and finally, emerge as distinct individuals. I am only waxing philosophical because I have ground turkey, and I am bored with same old stuff, so I have to come up with some new ideas.
A while ago I saw a fabulous recipe on a great food blog Tasty Eats by a fantastic chef Ronit Penso. It was a recipe for Green Tahini, to accompany skirt steak with a spicy eggplant salad. Could it be adjusted to go with my ground turkey, and what should I make of that ground turkey that would go well with tahini?
Meanwhile, regardless of what I decide to do, I still have to soak a couple of slices of whole wheat or multi grain bread in soy or coconut milk, or any milk substitute you prefer.
Once the bread pieces are all soft and mushy, mash them up well with a potato masher. Do not use a food processor for this! You’ll get a sticky mess with no texture.
Now you can add the rest of the ingredients: turkey, egg, finely minced onion and garlic, cinnamon, cumin, salt and pepper. Mix it really well to blend the ingredients together into a uniform mass.
Now is the time to preheat the oven and prepare a large shallow baking pan by barely covering its bottom with sweet red wine. Form round patties about three inches (7,5 cm) in diameter, which is the size of a hockey puck. The mass will be very soft, even liquidy, so you might have to correct shape with a spoon while already in the pan. Place them in the pan about one inch (2,5 cm) away from each other. Cover tightly and cook for 45 – 50 minutes, or until patties have reduced in size and are springy to the touch. Sprinkle with paprika and cook uncovered for ten more minutes.
While your patties are cooking, you can prepare Tahini. You can follow Chef Ronit’s recipe found here, or you can do what I did: replace parsley with cilantro, triple the garlic, reduce water by half. This spicy version complements the sweet and delicate flavor of turkey patties superbly.
A handful or artisan lettuce, a few heirloom tomatoes, and a glass of nice crisp chilled Recanati Chardonnay 2013, and we have a delicious, light and healthy, well-balanced meal.
- 1 lb ground turkey breast
- 2 slices whole wheat or multi-grain bread
- 1/4 cup your preferred milk substitute
- 1/2 small white onion, finely minced
- 1 garlic clove, squeezed
- 1 large egg
- Pinch of cinnamon
- Pinch of cumin
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1/4 cup or more sweet red wine
- Paprika to sprinkle
- 1/3 cup Tahini paste
- 1 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
- 3 – 4 garlic cloves
- 1/2 cup lemon juice
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 – 2 tablespoons water, as needed
- Tear bread into pieces, soak in milk substitute until soft. Mash with potato masher.
- Preheat oven to 350. Pour wine to cover the bottom of large shallow baking pan.
- Add ground turkey, egg, chopped onion, squeezed garlic, cinnamon, cumin, salt and pepper to mashed up bread, mix thoroughly to achieve a smooth mass.
- Form round patties 3 inches (7,5 cm) in diameter, place in pan 1 inch (2,5 cm) away from each other. Cover tightly, pouch for 45 – 50 minutes, or until patties have reduced in size and are springy, not soft, to the touch. Sprinkle paprika, cook uncovered for 10 minutes. Remove. Serve hot.
- Place Spicy Tahini ingredients in a food processor, pulse until smooth paste. Scrape side and add more water, if necessary. Serve room temperature.