I’d told my parents we’d be there for my Dad’s birthday dinner at 5:30 PM, with dinner in tow.
At 5:05 PM, I heard noises in the kitchen. I walked in to find my (usually perfect, and always adorable) dog licking up the last bite of the dinner I’d just finished cooking. The LAST bite!
After calling my parents to say we’d be late because Maple ate our dinner, I got the kids in the car to hurry to the store to buy more ingredients. Then I whipped these burgers up for a second time inside of an hour. Only this time I decided to add the cheese and garlic, and they went from good to amazing! (Sorry Maple, yours were just good.)
My Dad’s dinner was spicy, smoky and packed with love — and he’s still joking about Maple’s behavior, and making fun of me for insisting that she’d later apologized. (Which is completely true, by the way!)
- Olive oil or grape seed oil for the pan and grilling
- 1 cup finely chopped red onion
- ¼ to ½ cup finely chopped jalapeño peppers, seeds removed (see notes)
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic
- 1-pound ground turkey
- 1 cup grated Pepper Jack cheese
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- A few turns of freshly ground black pepper
- Coat the bottom of a medium-large sauté pan with the oil and place it over medium heat.
- Add the onion, jalapeños, and garlic and sauté until the onions are soft, about 5 minutes. Set aside to cool to room temperature.
- Once the onion mixture has cooled, in a large mixing bow, combine it with the turkey, cheese, salt, sugar, cumin and pepper. Use you hands to blend all of the ingredients together so they are evenly distributed.
- Preheat the BBQ or a stove-top grill, shape the turkey mixture into 4 evenly sized burgers, and drizzle them with oil.
- When the grill is very hot, put on your burgers. You should hear a sizzling sound — if you don’t -- wait! You won’t get a nice caramelization and “crust” on the burger if it’s not hot enough. Grill until the bottoms are nicely marked, about 3 minutes, then flip them over and reduce the heat to medium-low. Continue grilling just until the turkey is cooked through, about another 5 minutes.
- Place the cooked burgers on a plate and cover with foil.