Thursday, July 17, 2014

Maybe I'll Do Things Right, Maybe I'll Start Tonight

Bangin' Bahn Mi Ground Turkey Burgers.  I just found a list of ideas that I had saved in a file named 'ideas' and one of them was to write about various stages of my discontent through the years.  Wow, sounds like a real page turner!  Another was to try to recreate the great Bahn Mi Vietnamese sandwiches we used to get at Nicky's on Atlantic Ave before they closed.  And before I gave up pork.  And before I gave up white bread.  And before I forgot about that list.  I write a lot of lists.  I find a lot of lists.  I need to spend less time writing them and more time knocking ones off.
A friend shared this recipe using ground turkey and it's interesting how you feel you have made just about every burger possible without cheese or a bun and then here comes along that one ingredient and combination that can make it so different, so special.  The Fish sauce really does make it.  Fish sauce tastes like the pee of a hundred little anchovies in your mouth.  As you'd imagine, it's salty. That and the Sriracha garlic hot sauce.  The pickled vegetables are pretty important though as are the condiments really.  The sliced jalapeno, sprigs of cilantro.  With the mayo on a crusty toasted baguette you could just leave me alone but honestly I didn't miss the bread. I've almost gotten used to the way a piece of meat between lettuce leaves you feeling.
The Vietnamese use so many of the same Mexican ingredients but their end is totally different and grand but in that simple perfect way.

Recipe from the Cooking Channel:
Banh Mi Turkey Burgers
Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Active Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
For the Pickled Vegetables
4-inch piece daikon radish, peeled and grated
1 medium or 2 small carrots, peeled and grated
3 tablespoons rice vinegar
3 tablespoons sugar
For the Turkey Burgers
1 1/2 pounds ground turkey
1 tablespoon Sriracha
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 tablespoon fish sauce
3 to 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped or grated
1/4 cup basil leaves, finely chopped
Salt and ground black pepper
1 tablespoon sesame or vegetable oil
For the Sriracha Mayo
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon Sriracha
4 crusty rolls or 4 (4-inch) sections baguette, split open
20 sprigs cilantro
Sliced jalapeno peppers, optional
To prepare the pickled vegetables, in a medium mixing bowl, stir together the radish, carrots, vinegar and sugar. Cover the bowl and let the mixture marinate at room temperature for 15 minutes. (This can be made up to one day in advance and stored, covered, in the refrigerator.)
While the vegetables are marinating, prepare the turkey burgers. In a medium mixing bowl, combine the meat, Sriracha, cornstarch, fish sauce, garlic, basil, and some salt and pepper. Divide the mixture into four equal portions and shape each portion into a burger.
Place a large skillet over medium heat with the sesame or vegetable oil and cook the burgers, flipping once, until cooked through, 4 to 5 minutes per side.
While the burgers are cooking, prepare the Sriracha mayo. In a small bowl, stir together the mayonnaise and Sriracha. Set aside.
To serve the burgers, divide the Sriracha mayo between the four rolls. Top with a burger patty, a scoop of pickled vegetables, 4 to 5 sprigs of cilantro and some sliced jalapeno (if using).

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