Sunday, August 2, 2009

Zucchini Turkey Burger & Zucchini Fries [2 ways!]



I took a great picture of the burger and the "fries". And then I deleted my memory card before I uploaded the pictures! So, I reheated a burger to retake the picture, but there weren't any fries left. Trust me, they looked like zucchini fries!



Can you take another turkey burger? If not, it's best if you step away now. There are still a few weeks left in summer, and I can't guarantee their won't be more! It's such a fast, healthy, tasty meal!

Yes, I realize this is the millionth zucchini recipe I've posted. Just be grateful I haven't posted everything. I've been a zucchini cooking maniac. I can't help myself, I love the stuff.

The other day, I had a light bulb moment [I know, they don't happen often], and thought if zucchini adds such great moistness to cakes, brownies, breads, surely it can add that to ground turkey, right? I googled "turkey zucchini burgers" to see if it had been done before.

Sadly, a little publication you may have heard of called "Real Simple" beat me to the punch. Their recipe is good and basic, and was my starting point for my burger. Surely I could make it a little better. [It's a thing called Ego, I realize that.]

I was a bit skeptical of the egg in the recipe. I'm not a big fan of egg in burgers, because I feel they taste more "meatloafy" and less burger-y. It actually works in this burger. To be completely honest here, I'm not even sure you need the egg. My mix was rather wet, but cooked off nicely. Next time I'll omit the egg, and hopefully have great results.

Anna's Turkey Zucchini Burger
  • 1 lb. ground turkey
  • 1 med. zucchini grated
  • 1 med. carrot grated [I used two skinny carrots]
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3/4 tsp. Italian seasoning
  • 1/2-1 diced onion
  • grill seasoning [or you can use salt & pepper, but I have a love affair with grill seasoning]
  • 1 egg
  1. Mix together ingredients with your hands. Be careful not to overmix, or your burger will fall apart on the grill. The amount of "mix" made with this recipe will make about 6 full sized burgers. If you only want 4, I suggest freezing the other patties for later use.
  2. Spray your grill with Pam and cook the burgers over med-hi heat until cooked through.
  3. Turn off the grill and top each patty with a slice of cheese [optional], and close lid to allow cheese to melt. [I used a variety of cheddar and mozzarella, I think.]
  4. Serve on homemade buns or crusty bread. These would also be cool topped with a breaded and baked/fried zucchini circle.

Instead of making the standard oven fries, pomme frites, or even sweet potato fries, I decided to try my hand at zucchini fries. I made them two ways, to see which was better. It ended up being a split decision. Chris [my husband] says they would have been better fried. The same has been said about a snickers, and I disagree. I don't normally fry things, for a few reasons. 1] It is unhealthy. 2] It stinks up my house. 3] It stinks up my hair. 4] It stinks up my clothes. 5] It stinks.

So. Maybe someday I'll try pan frying them, but for now, I was happy with the baked version. My kiddos ate them, so I'll take that as a thumbs up.

The key is in how you slice them, and bake them. Slice them not too thin, and not too thick. And bake them REALLY hot, so they get crispy and not soggy.

Zucchini Fries #1

  • zucchini cut into sticks [like fries]
  • 2 egg whites
  • 2/3 c. flour
  • 1 T. cornstarch
  • salt
  • pepper
  • garlic powder
  • dash of cayenne pepper
  • cooking spray
  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Spray a cookie sheet with Pam.
  2. Beat egg white with electric mixer until soft peaks form. Add zucchini, tossing to coat. [You can use a milk/egg wash mixture, I just like this way better.]
  3. In a ziploc bag, combine flour and spices. Add zucchini, a few at a time, and shake to coat.
  4. Place on baking sheet, spray fries with Pam. Bake 30-40 minutes [watch carefully], turning once, and spraying with Pam again if necessary.

If these were fried in oil, they'd puff up and be nice crispy fries. You can totally do that, just know, it stinks, and it will probably give you a heart attack.

Zucchini Fries #2

  • zucchini
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1/2 c. shredded parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 c. seasoned bread crumbs
  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Spray cookie sheet with Pam.
  2. Beat egg with electric mixer until soft peaks form. Add zucchini, tossing to coat. [Again, you can use egg whites and milk here if you'd like.]
  3. Dip each "fry" into the combined bread crumbs and parmesan cheese mixture. You'll need to "press" the mixture into each fry a bit, so it will stick.
  4. Bake for 23-35 minutes until golden brown and crispy.

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