RECIPES: Recipe Details

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Casablanca Bistilla Burgers

My favorite Morrocan dish is Bistilla, but making the traditional pie is very time consuming, and not as portable as I would like for summer entertaining. This burger, inspired by the spices and ingredients of Morocco simplifies the dish, while capturing the flavors of North African cuisine.


Ingredients Zesty Lemon Mayonnaise:
¾ cup mayonnaise
zest of two lemons
1 ½ pound ground turkey
2 eggs 1 cup almonds, ground fine
2 Tablespoons fresh chopped ginger
2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 Tablespoon fresh chopped garlic
1 ½ teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
Sweet Saffron Onions:
4 Tablespoons butter
2 large onions, sliced into thin half-rounds
2 pinches saffron
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 Tablespoons sugar
Oil for the grill grate 6 Brioche rolls, hamburger bun size, split horizontally


Make a medium/hot fire in a charcoal grill with a cover, or preheat a gas grill to medium high. To make the Zesty Lemon Mayonnaise, combine mayonnaise and lemon zest in a bowl. Refrigerate until serving. To make the patties, combine the turkey and eggs. Add the almonds, ginger, cinnamon, garlic, salt and pepper. Combine, mixing gently so that the meat does not get compacted. Divide into 6 equal portions and gently shape into patties that equal the size of the brioche rolls. Refrigerate until grilling. To make the Sweet Saffron Onions, heat butter in a medium skillet on the grill. Once the foam subsides, add the onions, saffron and salt. Sprinkle with sugar and sauté until golden brown, about 5-8 minutes. Cover and set aside. To grill the patties, brush the grill rack with oil. Place patties on the rack, cover and grill approximately 4 minutes, until golden brown on the bottom. Turn the patties gently and grill an additional 4 minutes, or until meat reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees on an instant-read thermometer. Remove from the grill and let rest tented with foil, about three minutes. While the patties rest, place the brioche rolls, cut side down on the grill and toast lightly, about 2 minutes. To assemble the burgers, thinly spread all roll tops and bottoms with Zesty Lemon Mayonnaise, place patties on top of roll bottoms, and top patties with equal portions of the Sweet Saffron Onions. Add the roll tops and serve. Makes 6 burgers


These go great with glazed carrots and couscous, or for a more backyard barbeque setting, sweet potato chips.