August 21, 2012
My mother’s parents used to have the family over for dinner quite a bit. My grandmother, Yetta, would cook. She didn’t seem to love cooking. When referring to food, she said ‘diet, ‘fattening’ and ‘bad for you’ a lot. Yetta made us food because we had to eat. I don’t remember a lot of the dishes she served. I remember salad – generally big pieces of wet iceberg lettuce, big chunks of tomato and probably some kind of oil.
I remember rolls, likely purchased from Dierberg’s, the local grocery store with an in-house bakery. I also remember turkey burgers. I ate a lot of them. They were fine. They were just seasoned enough. They were browned in a pan. I remember chunks of onion in them fondly. When I learned about the Beyond Bubbie project, I thought about what I’d make. And looking back at Yetta’s cooking, this is what I remember. So I called her and got her recipe. The instructions below are pretty true to her approach (she said eggs were optional; she didn’t use carrot.) I liked making these. They are simple, filling, and can be riffed on endlessly. I served it with some beet horseradish from The Gefilteria. When it was cold, I mixed in some sambal. Enjoy.
2 Cup(s)s Ground Turkey (I used Dipaola’s from the green market in New York)
1 Carrot grated
1/2 Onion grated or diced
1.5 Teaspoons Salt
1/2 teaspoon Pepper
4 Tablespoons Bread crumbs
2 Tablespoons Olive oil Add more to taste
Mix all ingredients in a medium-sized bowl.
Heat a cast iron skillet or a pan with canola oil to a decent level of heat. Meanwhile, make patties, trying to make each one the same size. Make patties somewhat flat to encourage even cooking.
Grill burgers til slightly to decently brown. Serve with greens, horseradish, sriracha, olive oil, and/or anything else.