Thursday, May 24, 2012

H is for Harissa {Turkey Burgers & Yogurt Sauce}

I have a condiment crush on harissa.

Yup...I think it may have surpassed Tapatio and Sriracha as my new favorite spicy accompaniment. Don't worry, if you don't know what harissa is, I didn't either until a few days ago. That's one of my most favorite things about my blog. I find things that start with the letter of the week and I teach myself how to make it. Sounds simple, but I get geeky excited about it.

So back to harissa. Probably my first experience with it was the harissa aioli I had a few months ago at NOPA, which they served with their fries. It's a North African chili sauce, most commonly associated with Tunisia, Libya, and Algeria, while also making some appearances in Moroccan food. You can buy it in specialty markets, but as I discovered, it's super easy to make on your own!


Most recipes and articles I've read recommend a mixture of gaujillo and New Mexico chiles, so that's what I did. Put seeded/stemmed chiles into a medium bowl, cover with boiling water, and let sit until softened, about 20 minutes. 


While your peppers are soaking, toast your spices. (Your house will smell AH-mazing!) Heat caraway, coriander, and cumin seeds in an 8" skillet over medium heat. Toast spices, swirling skillet constantly, until very fragrant, about 4 minutes. Transfer spices to a grinder with the mint and grind to a fine powder. Set aside.


Drain chiles and transfer to the bowl of a food processor with the ground spices, olive oil, salt, garlic, and lemon juice. Purée until the paste is very smooth. Transfer to a sterilized 1-pint glass jar and fill with oil until ingredients are submerged by 1⁄2". Refrigerate, topping off with more oil after each use. Harissa paste will keep for up to 3 weeks.


From there, it was a matter of deciding what to do with my harissa. I considered doing an aioli, but since I've never actually made aioli from scratch, I didn't want to tackle it on this particular day. I remembered I had some ground turkey in the freezer, so I came up with turkey burgers! I combined the turkey along with panko, egg, grated onion, garlic, basil and the harissa in a bowl with my hands, taking care not to over mix. Form into patties and place on a baking sheet lined with foil and/or coated with cooking spray. Refrigerate for at least 20 minutes.


As I mentioned, I'm officially obsessed with this stuff, so I also made a harissa yogurt sauce to put on the burgers. I mixed Greek yogurt with a little harissa, onion, garlic, lemon juice and mint. Refrigerate until ready to use.


I opted to bake my turkey burgers in the oven, but you could totally grill these as well. Top with harissa yogurt sauce on a whole wheat bun and serve with a side of sweet potato fries. (And if you REALLY like harissa as much as I do, try mixing it with ketchup or mayo to make a dipping sauce for your fries. :))

The verdict? I LOVE, LOVE, LOVED these. My usual "beef" with turkey burgers (haha) is that they often end up kind of dry and bland. Not these. They were so moist (I know, I hate that word too) and so flavorful. Considering I have two more packages of ground turkey in the freezer...this will definitely become a new regular in the rotation!

Harissa Sauce

by Jaymee Sire
Keywords: condiment harissa chiles cumin coriander

Ingredients
  • 6 dried guajillo chiles
  • 6 dried New Mexico chiles, stemmed and seeded
  • 1/2 teaspoon caraway seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon coriander seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon dried mint leaves (optional...I couldn't find any)
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (plus more, as needed)
  • 1.5 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • juice of one lemon
Instructions
  1. Put chiles into a medium bowl, cover with boiling water, and let sit until softened, about 20 minutes.
  2. Heat caraway, coriander, and cumin in an 8" skillet over medium heat. Toast spices, swirling skillet constantly, until very fragrant, about 4 minutes. Transfer spices to a grinder with the mint and grind to a fine powder. Set aside.
  3. Drain chiles and transfer to the bowl of a food processor with the ground spices, olive oil, salt, garlic, and lemon juice. Purée, stopping occasionally to scrape down the sides of the bowl, until the paste is very smooth, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a sterilized 1-pint glass jar and fill with oil until ingredients are submerged by 1⁄2". Refrigerate, topping off with more oil after each use. Harissa paste will keep for up to 3 weeks.
Powered by Recipage


Harissa Turkey Burgers with Yogurt Sauce

by Jaymee Sire
Keywords: bake grill entree harissa turkey yogurt

Ingredients
    For the burgers
    • 1 pound ground turkey
    • 2 heaping tablespoons harissa paste (or less if you don't like spicy)
    • 1 small onion, grated
    • 2 cloves garlic, minced
    • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh herbs of your choice (I did basil)
    • 3/4 cup panko bread crumbs
    • 1 egg (or 2 egg whites if you prefer)
    • salt & pepper, to taste
    For the yogurt sauce
    • 1 (6 ounce) container Greek yogurt or sheep's milk yogurt
    • 2 teaspoons harissa paste
    • 1 tablespoon grated onion
    • 1 garlic clove, minced
    • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
    • 1 tablespoon fresh, chopped mint
    • salt & pepper, to taste
    Instructions
    For the burgers
    1. Combine all ingredients in a bowl with your hands (avoid over mixing!) Form into patties and place on a baking sheet lined with foil and/or coated with cooking spray. Refrigerate for at least 20 minutes.
    2. Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees. Bake burgers, turning once, until internal temperature reaches 165 degrees (about 30-35 minutes). (Alternately, these can be cooked on a grill that has been carefully oiled). Serve with harissa yogurt sauce.

    For the yogurt sauce
    1. Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Refrigerate until ready to use.
    Powered by Recipage

    9 comments:

    1. Homemade harissa is the best and those burgers are looking good!

      ReplyDelete
    2. Nice! The Grove has Harissa Mayo for their BLT and Club Sandwiches.

      ReplyDelete
      Replies
      1. Oh nice! I'll have to check it out.

        Delete
    3. This is an exceptional recipe... I love how you included harissa in the burgers as well as in the yogurt sauce! Yum! Plus, turkey burgers are so so good & guilt free!
      xo
      http://allykayler.blogspot.co.uk/

      ReplyDelete
      Replies
      1. Thanks Ally! I liked them so much I'm making them again tomorrow. :)

        Delete
    4. nice idea.. thanks for posting.

      ReplyDelete
    5. I'll have to make some of this. I've only had the cooked version at New Kapadokia Turkish restaurant is Redwood City. It is excellent. Just slightly hot; but a phenomenal roasted pepper taste.

      ReplyDelete
    6. nice posting. thanks for sharing

      ReplyDelete

    I would LOVE to hear what you think. I read every comment and get a little giddy when I see someone has left one on the blog. Thanks for stopping by!

    Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...