Dinner Rush! Mojo Turkey Burgers

If you’re anything like me, you'll read about mojo sauce for the first time and immediately ask why your food is in need of a boost of “moe-joe.” Turns out my meal was perfectly shagadelic all on its own – it was my pronunciation that was all off.

Mojo (pronounced “moe-hoe”) has a couple of different Spanish and Portuguese variations in inflection and is a very general reference to a sauce popular in the Caribbean and surrounding countries. As any great local dish would, it takes on various colors, consistencies and combinations of ingredients, but most always includes ample amounts of garlic, vinegar and juice from lemons, limes and oranges. From there, regional preferences beef it up with avocado, tomatoes, sweet peppers or fiery chiles.

This mojo variation crosses a lean turkey burger with a sweet and spicy sauce based on onions, orange juice and lime juice. It of course could be used on any variety of meats, but stick with turkey, chicken or pork to let the citrus flavors shine bright.

Mojo Turkey Burgers
Total Time: 20 min
Prep: 5 min
Cook: 15 min
Yield: 4 servings
Level: Easy
2 tablespoons vegetable or canola oil, divided
1 1/4 pounds ground turkey, mix of dark and white meat
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons fresh oregano, chopped
Salt and ground black pepper
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
1/2 jalapeno, seeded and finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/2 cup dry white wine
Juice of 1 orange
Juice of 2 limes
4 slices bread, toasted

Place a saute pan or cast cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat with 1 tablespoon of oil. Combine the ground turkey with the cumin and oregano, and season with salt and pepper. Divide the meat into four portions and shape into patties. Cook the burgers until deep golden brown, about 3 minutes on each side. Remove the burgers from the pan.

Reduce the heat to medium-low and add the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil. Add the onion and jalapeno, and cook until tender and light golden brown, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until aromatic, 1 minute. Add the wine and citrus juices, and season with salt and pepper. Increase the heat to high and bring the liquid to a bubble. Return the turkey burgers to the pan and continue to cook while the liquid reduces until the turkey is cooked through, 3 to 4 minutes more. Remove the cooked burgers from the pan and cover with foil. Continue to reduce the pan sauce until thickened and about one one-third its original volume.

Serve the burgers open-faced on a slice of toast with the onions and pan sauce.

NOTE: Pair your knife-and-fork burger with a near near-effortless salad of sliced avocado, tomatoes, oranges, torn cilantro, olive oil and lime juice and you’d be hard-pressed to have it any better.

Patrick W. Decker’s life revolves around food. Always has, probably always will. As a graduate of The Culinary Institute of America and past member of the culinary teams for Food Network stars Rachael Ray, Sandra Lee, Marc Forgione and Bobby Deen, he now works on digital production for FoodNetwork.com, CookingChannelTV.com and Food.com in NYC by day and develops recipes at his home in New York’s Hudson Valley by night. You can see what he’s up to by following him on Twitter & Instagram at @patrickwdecker or visiting his website at patrickwdecker.com.


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