Updated: Nov 13
I BECAME INTERESTED IN CULINARY MUSHROOMS this past year. In fact, I entered a foodnetwork.com contest this late spring to try to win $10,000 for the best burger recipe using mushrooms.
The rules were simple. You had to include mushrooms (any variety) in the recipe 25% by weight. I do not have a digital scale so I hoped that I wouldn’t get disqualified on some technicality that had something to do with the specific gravity of my creminis and shiitakes. Whatever that means.
I had been using mushrooms more and more in meatloaf recipes and liked their addition for several reasons. Many recipes have you sauté them prior to adding them to the recipe which I found pointless and negative to the benefit they add to ground burgers.
With vim and vigor, I began tweaking my burger recipes by combining ground turkey and various mushroom varieties. I looked at recipes from around the globe and played with new seasonings. I evolved to make meatballs and patties and tried different cooking approaches. I took the challenge very seriously and did a number of trials to arrive at my recipe.
Bob’s Famous Mushroom-Turkey Burger
12 oz. ground turkey 93/7.
2/3 cup of a finely chopped blend of Baby Bella, Cremini, and Shiitake mushrooms. Stems removed.
1/3 cup plain breadcrumbs.
1 TBS soy sauce.
Salt and ground pepper.
¼ tsp dried Thyme.
Sprigs of either fresh Cilantro or Parsley. Finely chopped.
1 TBS finely chopped fresh ginger (1/2-inch rhizome).
Two sweet onions finely chopped ½ white and ½ green portions.
Gently blend all ingredients and form round 2.5” balls. Place on parchment paper and refrigerate for at least an hour. Heat an iron skillet with olive oil and after you flatten to the desired thickness (hands or spatula) cook the burgers over medium heat for 3-5 minutes per side until an excellent crust/bark forms. Toppings are your choice. Mine were red onion, lettuce, sliced tomato, and spicy brown mustard. This makes four to five patties.
I waited and waited for months for the announcement. The two winners were finally posted, and they did not contain my name. I was not happy as the winners both seemed to come from the professional side of the culinary business. What about us average joes?
Hell, I’ll send the Mushroom Council this blog and see if I might convince them that my burger was worth a $1,000 Honorable Mention.
Local Mushroom Sources: