These sassy spuds are a favorite pantry item and a delicious food paradigm: They have remarkable natural sugars, and they’re good for you. They easily tread the line between savory and sweet. They make french fries better. They can be baked, mashed, cubed, grilled, stuffed, fried…. They are slightly hideous on the outside but beautiful bright orange inside.
I’ve been eating a lot of Five Guys and Spotted Pig burgers lately. I realize this is not the healthiest meal plan, so I decided to enlist the overachieving orange tubers to create a better burger. I thought about using ground sirloin. While it is a perfectly fine option, I wanted the sweet potatoes to stand out, not get lost in overwhelming beefy-ness. I chose ground turkey instead. Of course, turkey and sweet potatoes are old friends from the Thanksgiving table, so the pairing was natural. Besides feeling good about all the beta carotenes I was about to consume, I was delighted by the color of the pre-cooked patties.
I live in a highly urban area, and I sadly do not have a grill. If you do, use it! Often! On my tiny kitchen stove I seared the patties and assembled the burgers with my favorite toppings of the moment: avocado, tomato, and pepper-jack cheese. Of course, this recipe is open to interpretation. Next time I might add some curry powder to the burger and top it with chutney and peanuts. Or I could add extra southwest flavor with canned chipotles in adobo.
Makes 8 burgers
2 medium sweet potatoes
1 1/3 pound ground turkey
1/2 cup chopped red onion
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cumin
oil for grilling/sautéing
8 hamburger buns
2 cups pre-washed lettuce
8 ounces pepper-jack cheese, sliced
2 tomatoes, sliced into ¼ inch rounds
2 avocados, sliced ¼ inch
1. Set the oven to 400°F and bake sweet potatoes 40 minutes, until tender. Meanwhile, you can prepare your toppings. Let potatoes cool until you can comfortably handle them.
2. Peel and roughly mash sweet potatoes so there are no pieces larger than pea-size. In a large bowl combine 1 pound (just under 2 cups) mashed sweet potatoes, ground turkey, onions, salt and cumin.
3. Form 4-5 ounce patties. On a prepared, oiled grill, or in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat with a tablespoon of oil, cook the patties in batches, about 4 minutes per side depending on size. The burger should be completely cooked through. Lightly grill or sauté buns.
4. Assemble burgers on buns with lettuce, cheese, tomato and avocado. Add any additional condiments.