By: Brady Evans
I’m a first year teacher. I knew the job would be hard. But I didn’t know it would be damn hard. I teach 6 sections of remedial biology each day. Exhausting doesn’t describe it, but it comes close. Exhilarating doesn’t describe it either – but there is a similar emotion felt when a kid that reads on a 3rd grade level, hates high school, and doesn’t believe in college suddenly understands why DNA is important to life.
My wise husband knew how difficult this first year would be for me, even though I didn’t. To show his appreciation, support, love and understanding he planned a surprise vacation for me.
We arrived at the Outer Banks of North Carolina with a very specific purpose: to learn about and enjoy the herds of wild horses descended from shipwrecked Spanish mustangs in the 1500s. As new horse owners who practice natural horsemanship, this was a fantastic experience for us. We stayed in a bed and breakfast housed in a home built in the 1700s. Our innkeeper was a fantastic cook – she and her husband were both trained at the Culinary Institutes of America. On our first day there, she asked if there were any foods we preferred not to have for our breakfasts.
We said there were none. Sure, my husband doesn’t prefer fish or mushrooms, but we didn’t think they’d show up at breakfast.
The first day we had orange walnut waffles with eggs scrambled with tarragon and cream. The second day we had luscious raspberry French toast. The third day we had omelets with spinach and…portabella mushrooms.
It was quite a funny scene: my husband shuffling mushroom pieces onto my plate as our innkeeper hustled in and out of the dining room bringing biscuits, coffee, and juice. I think we were able to keep my husband’s secret hate of mushrooms a secret. He did confess, however, that he liked the taste the portabellas imparted on his breakfast.
Thanks to that remark he saw himself faced with a turkey burger filled with dried mushrooms. He won’t know that the flavor is from until he reads this blog post. I had seen these mushroom encrusted burgers on Pink Parsley a few weeks ago, but dismissed them due to the mushroom content. Who knew he could love the flavor and despise the texture of the same vegetable!?
We really, really enjoyed this burger. They were moist and richly flavored. I cooked them in a skillet, but surely they’re worthy of firing up your grill.
Mushroom-Crusted Turkey Burgers (adapted from Pink Parsley)
- 1 oz dried mushrooms, divided
- 1/4 tsp kosher salt
- 1/8 tsp ground black pepper
- 1 lb ground turkey
- 1 scallion, minced
- 2 Tbs minced fresh parsley
- 1 tsp Dijon mustard
- 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
- cooking spray
- 4 burger buns, split
- In the bowl of a food processor, grind the dried mushrooms until they are a coarse powder. Reserve 2 tablespoons of the powder, and transfer the remaining mushroom powder to a bowl. Add salt and pepper.
- Combine the turkey, reserved mushroom powder, scallion, parsley, mustard, and worcestershire sauce with the mushroom powder.
- Form into 4 equal-sized patties.
- Preheat a large skillet over medium heat, and spray with cooking spray.
- Working one burger at a time, coat the outside with the mushroom powder, pressing lightly to adhere.
- Cook the burgers 4-5 minutes per side, or until the meat is cooked through. Add the cheese for the last minute or two, and continue cooking until it has melted.