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Monday, August 25, 2008

Argentine "Style" Burgers

So what do you do with fluffy and delicious homemade pita breads? Anything you want! But my recipe of choice was Argentine Style Burgers from Fine Cooking. I'd had my eye on the recipe for a while, and when Sarah suggested we try pita breads for our first recipe together, I knew exactly what I'd use them for.

Not only are the burgers easy to make, but they are delicious! I love a good burger, and my choice of toppings on a regular old one are just ketchup, sliced tomatoes and lotsa black pepper. Yep, that's my favorite way to have them. I know! Boring, right? Geez, I've gotta get out more, hehe.

But sometimes I start jonesing for a different burger. When I saw this one, I knew I'd make them, it was just a question of when. And then, pita breads popped into my life (I love you, pita bread!), and that's how these burgers are served. Perfect!

The burgers themselves are flavored with onions, jalapeno (seeded or not, you decide) and garlic, that are quickly sauteed to take off the raw edge. I hate raw veggies in burgers. Not on, but in--they just don't belong there unless they're cooked first, right? They get mixed into the meat along with fresh cilantro, cumin and oregano. And speaking of the meat, I used ground turkey. I know what you're thinking...why turkey? Well, we like it. And I already had some. I like finding recipes that I have mostly everything on hand for already, and this was one of them. They're garnished with lettuce, sliced red onion, and chimichurri sauce, and if you read this blog regularly, you know how I L-O-V-E Zen's recipe for chimichurri sauce. I make it often and we use it on all kinds of things! From steaks, to pork chops also rubbed with the piri-piri blend in his post, to parm crusted chicken, and skillet smashed potatoes. It's fabulous on everything--even pizza! I didn't bother making the one from Fine Cooking, and though I'm sure it's delicious, I already have a favorite--so why mess with perfection?

Anyway, here's the recipe. And please excuse my photos, hehe. They look weird, but the taste of the burgers more than makes up for them! I had planned to make another one up from the leftovers, but as it turns out, we had other plans for them, which you can see at the bottom of this post...

Argentine Style Burgers
adapted from Fine Cooking (contributed by Bob Sloan)

2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup finely diced onion
2 tbsp minced garlic
1 small jalapeno, finely diced
kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper
1 1/2 pounds ground turkey (if you use beef, use 85% lean)
1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro
4 - 6 inch pita breads (or really nice buns--heh!)

To garnish:
thinly sliced red onion
Chimichurri sauce

In a small skillet, heat 1 tbsp of the oil over medium heat.
Saute the onion, garlic, jalapeno and 1/4 tsp of the salt for about 3 minutes, and stir occasionally.
Remove to a plate and set aside to cool for at least 10 minutes.
To a bowl, add the turkey, cumin, oregano, cilantro, 1 tsp salt, some pepper, and the onion-garlic-jalapeno mixture.
Get your hands in there and gently mix until thoroughly combined.
Gently shape the meat into four patties (I ended up with five).
You can either cook these on the stove top, which I did, or grill them.
For stove top, heat remaining 1 tbsp oil in a pan over medium high heat. Cook burgers for about 5 minutes on each side, turning only once. (If you're using beef, cook to your liking.)
Cut part of the top off of the pita breads, and serve the burgers in the pitas along with the onion, lettuce and some of the chimichurri sauce.

This is one of my new favorite recipes, and I know we'll be having it again soon. It's fresh and different, and the flavors all work so well together.

So what did we do with the leftovers? We made pizza! Saturday night was pizza night, and I was thinking that the burgers--sliced thinly, along with some of the chimichurri sauce and some cheese would be fabulous. I was right! The only thing I forgot was the thinly sliced red onion on the pizza. D'oh! It would have been perfect on it, but I'll have to try it next time.

I really hope you'll try these! They couldn't be simpler, but the taste is fresh and different. And if you haven't checked out Fine Cooking, you really should. Their recipes are easy and always fantastic. Those of you who gave up Cook's Illustrated because of their mind boggling and stupid behavior may want to spend your subscription money on Fine Cooking instead. :)

So tell me, what are your favorite ways to have burgers?

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VeggieGirl said...

Oooh, such pretty colors!!

Avocados, lots of greens, and garlic are a great addition to burgers (yes, the meatless ones too!! haha) - so that's how I eat them.

kat said...

Those burgers sound mighty fine! Our favorite burger is a turkey burger as well with sea salt & fresh thyme in it, served on a homemade roll with dijon mustard & a good mild cheese!

Pam said...

I am still drooling over the pita bread. The burgers look great - I have yet to make chimichuuri sauce but it's on the top of my list. I love the fact that you used the pita as a bun.

Beth said...

The pita breads do look really light and fluffy. Great burgers too. Have bookmarked these.

noble pig said...

Oh what a great thing to go with your pita! Just lovely Elle!

Mrs Ergül said...

I want to try a Turkey Burger, more so a Pita Turkey Burger!! I love lots of lettuce in my burgers cuz I con myself into thinking it is a healthy burger haha

Lovebird said...


Jen said...

YUM! I will totally have to do this. First we need some more propane.

Looks Delicious!

Adam said...

Elle those look fantastic. The pita makes this perfect pocket for the burgers... and then you make pizza! Pita Pizza... now that would rock the world.

I actually like ground turkey more than beef now. For some reason, I think it can be more adaptable. My fav ways are to put dried cranberries, some sage, panko, and some salt and pepper. It's like thanksgiving on a bun :)

Sophie said...

Your pita breads look so perfectly shaped! I love the warm South American flavors you used for the burgers :). My mouth is watering, what an original and fun take on a traditional American meal!

Lisa said...

The burgers look great, the pitas look fabulous and the pizza looks even better!

Anonymous said...

The chimichurri sauce is back!! yippie! Thanks for the mention my dear. :-)
I want to try those Argentine Burgers now, they look delicious. You are so clever! But you knew that already, right? hehe

Grace said...

i'm a burger purist like you--tomato, ketchup, brown mustard, perhaps some pepper jack. however, the spices and herbs and flavors (the chimichurri sauce specifically) in this burger make it extremely appealing to me, and i love your pita usage. yeah, this should help me break out of my burger rut. :)

Antonio Tahhan said...

I went through a phase where I was ADDICTED to chimichurri sauce. These look like great burgers and, of course, I love any burger nestled in a pita pocket :)

Ben said...

I don't think the pics look weird. They are making me hungry :D

Deborah said...

What a perfect use for your pita bread! Now I'm hungry!

farida said...

This is my type of burger:) Love stuffing pita breads with yummy yums!

Dawn said...

Oh your burgers look fine, photos too. I have had these burgers before and they were so flavorful. I loved them. My hubby doesn't so I make them all for me.
My fav burger is going to gross people out, but here goes: I love a well-done, crispy-char burger with a shi**load of melted cheddar cheese, horseradish, and A1 sauce, all on a toasted onion roll. YUM

[eatingclub] vancouver || js said...

These look so yummy! And you've solved the perennial burger problem too, that of the sliding burger, by having it closed on one side. Genius!

canarygirl said...

OMFG those look SO good, Elle! Pita bread and burgers and chimichurri? My mouth is watering at the prospect.

LyB said...

Oh, now I HAVE to make pitas! These look just too good!

puppymomma said...

Yum! That looks really good, Elle.

Katie's blog said...

I love the look of those burgers - we are grilling today and I can only hope mine turn out as well as yours. The pita bread looks great too!

Elle said...

Thank you, everyone!

Aggie said...

I love this! That pizza looks awesome! Wish I had some for dinner tonight!

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