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Glazed Gumbo Turkey Burgers with Rings

I had several items on my grocery storage shelves gathering dust (mint syrup, gumbo soup, and spiced apples). They were screaming to be used for somethng special. So, over the course of several weeks (after viewing the 2005 BBB cook-off on FoodTV, I played with incorporating the "dust collectors" into a worthy recipe to enter into the 2006 BBB contest. The first burgers I created were too hot for my wife's sensitive taste buds. As a result, I tweaked the recipe a bit by tempering down the sauce and replacing cayenne pepper with Hungarian paprika.


1) 1/2 (7-oz.) container refrigerated Roasted Red Pepper Dip
2) 1/2 cup cucumber, peeled, seeded & fine diced *(See Comments Section Below)
3) 1/3 cup Balsamic Vinaigrette, divided (1/8 cup for Spread & 3-4 TBS for Sauce)
4) 1 (15 1/4 oz.) container/can Chicken & Sausage Gumbo Soup, divided (Broth & Solids separated)
5) 1/4 cup plus 1 TBS Mint Sauce, divided (1/4 cup for Sauce & 1 TBS for Burgers)
6) 3/4 lb. Andouille Smoked Pork Sausage (4 links), casings removed & meat coarsely cut **(See Comments Section Below)
7) 1-1/3 lbs. Ground Turkey
8) 2 tsp. Hungarian Paprika
9) 1 tsp. celery salt
10) 1 TBS cornstarch
11) Water to prevent burgers from sticking to hands
12) Vegetable spray to prevent burgers from sticking to plate/grill basket/grill grate
13) 12 medium slices French bread
14) 1/4 (6-8 oz.) bag refrigerated Salad Greens
15) 6 (14-oz jar) spiced apple rings
16) 1 (12-oz.) jar mild bababa pepper rings


Prepare a medium-hot fire in a charcoal grill with a cover. CUMBER-PEPPER SPREAD In a small bowl, combine pepper dip, 1/2 cup of a cucumber that has been peeled, seeded and fine diced and 1/8 cup Balsamic dressing. Mix well; cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. MINTED BASTING SAUCE Place a strainer over a medium size bowl. Pour the soup into the strainer allowing the soup liquid/broth to strain into the bowl. Using a spatula or large spoon, press the soup solids against the strainer sides to release as much of the liquid/broth as possible. There should be approximately 1 cup each of soup solids and broth in strainer and bowl respectively. Remove 1/4 cup of broth and set aside. Also set aside the soup solids in strainer. To the bowl holding the soup broth, mix in 1/4 cup of mint syrup and remaining 3 - 4 Tablespoons of Balsamic dressing. GUMBO TURKEY BURGERS Place the soup solids (in strainer) in a medium food processor bowl. Place cut up sausage pieces **(See Comments Section below) in food processor along with the soup solids. Pulse about 8 times at 2 second intervals. Transfer mixture to a large bowl. Place ground turkey in food processor bowl along with remaining 1 Tablespoon mint syrup and paprika. Pulse about 5 times at 2 second intervals. Transfer mixture to bowl holding the processed sausage mixture. In a small bowl, mix together 1/4 cup of reserved soup liwuid (Basting Sauce Section), salt and cornstarch. Transfer this to the contents in the food processor bowl. Mix well with hands without over patting. Shape into 6 burger/patties about 4 inches round or slightly larger than the diameter of the bread rounds. to prevent mixture from sticking to hands, splash hands with a little water. Spray a large platter or several plates with oil (to prevent sticking) and place patties on oiled platter/plates to transport to the grill. With oil, spray 1 or 2 wire grill baskets (and grill grate) to coat. Place burgers in basket(s). Place basket(s) on grill grate. Cover and grill over medium to medium-hot heat for 6-8 minutes, brushing occasionally with basting sause. Turn burgers in basket(s) over, cover and grill basting occasionally for 6-8 more minutes, or until desired doneness is reached. To assemble the burgers, brush one side of 6 of the bread slices with the cumber-pepper spread. Cover that with leaves of greens. Brush the burgers again with the basting sauce and place one burger on each covered bread slice. Place an apple ring on top of each burger. Distribute 3 - 4 pepper rings atop the apple rings. At your preference, drizzle on more basting sauce or sprad additional cumber-pepper spread on remaining slices of bread. Top burgers with remaining bread slices. Serves 6


* Peel cucumber, cut it in half and scoop out seeds; cut each half in half verically, then fine dice. ** Using a sharp knife, cut sausage links vertically into discs. Place knife blade on inside portion of sasage casing and cut around sausage meat. Push sausage round out of or out from casing frame. Discard residual sausage casings. Coarsely cut sausage disks into pieces.