Hi, hello, and welcome back to wineandwhat. It’s been quite a while as life happens. I am ready and excited to get back to sharing some phenomenal recipes and wine pairings.
Fall has arrived…from the change in temperature to shorter days, to the color of the leaves, to the food we eat and share. These meals known as comfort food is what I’m talking about. Food that is hearty and brings back memories.
And this is that type of recipe. These burgers have roots…roots to my childhood…roots to my Mama’s youth, and maybe even to my Babcia’s. Growing up we called them Шницлі and if you were to say the word in English it’s Schnitzels*, but they are far from the Schnitzel you would normally eat in a German restaurant. My mama made these incredible burgers out of ground beef, onion, egg, breadcrumbs, salt, and pepper, and then she would fry them in oil in a cast-iron skillet. I can still remember how my mouth watered just from the aroma that permeated the entire house. I couldn’t wait to cut into one and when I did…they were juicy, tasty, and just plain delicious. But since those long-ago days my sister and I have modified the recipe. They are just as delicious as when my mama made them, but a lighter version since they are made out of ground turkey. Do we still call these wonders Шницлі sure we do because it’s tradition. We love these turkey burgers and hope you do too.
This is what you will need:
- 1 pound of ground turkey (I prefer dark meat)
- 1 medium onion, 1/2 finely diced, 1/4 grated
- 1 egg
- 1/2 cup of almond meal (which I prefer) or 1/2 cup of gluten free oats (you can use regular oats)
- 2 tbsps. of nutritional yeast (optional)
- 1 1/2 tsps. salt
- 1/2 tsp. pepper
- 1 large clove garlic, minced
- 1 medium zucchini, grated (should equal 1 1/2 cups), squeeze out most of the water
For sautéing the patties:
- 1/2 cups or more of breadcrumbs
- 1 tbsp. butter
- 1 tbsp. ghee
- Take one medium sized onion, finely dice half of the onion and grate approximately 1/4 of the remaining onion When you grate the onion, it gives you more onion juices providing a savory flavor.
- Grate the zucchini and if you do not have a zucchini, this recipe works well with a grated sweet potato. Then take your grated zucchini and place it into a fine sieve, salt slightly which helps draw out the water and leave it alone for at least 30 minutes then squeeze out most of the water. I use a box grater but you can also use a food processor.
- In a large bowl, combine the turkey, onions, egg, almond meal, nutritional yeast, salt, pepper, and garlic. Then add in zucchini and mix.
- Prepare a large cutting board by placing a sheet of wax paper or parchment paper on it. This is where you will place your patties. In a pie dish, place a small amount of dried breadcrumbs.
- To make the patties lightly wet your hands (the above combination should make approximately 8 nice-sized patties), shape into a patty form and lightly cover with breadcrumbs. Place your patty onto the cutting board.
- Using a large skillet on the stove, start by heating ghee and butter on medium high heat until it gets hot and then turn down to medium. You want just enough butter to cover the bottom of your skillet. Place about 4 patties into the skillet and slowly brown on one side and then the other until they are golden brown. You may have to add more ghee and butter to brown the second set of patties. Once the patties are brown, place them into the oven to finish cooking. I usually have a platter warming in the oven with the temp set at 250 degrees.
My family loves these, you can’t beat the taste of fall and tradition with this simple recipe.
*To give you a little history, the western part of Ukraine where we are from was under the Austro-Hungarian empire prior to World War I. Many German recipes made it into Ukrainian cuisine among them being schnitzels.
It’s not to say that you can’t make these from ground beef.