Shrimp Burgers

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If I ask JR what he wants for dinner, at least 50% of the time he will respond, "bacon cheeseburgers".  While I'll occasionally eat a cheeseburger, it's rarely something I want for dinner.  Make it a turkey burger and I'm on board, but then JR isn't interested.  It's complicated.  I need to expand our burger horizon and that's exactly what I did with these Shrimp Burgers I saw on Pink Parsley.

These were delicious, but messy!  I adapted the recipe slightly, mainly leaving out most of the cayenne and hot sauce since JR cannot tolerate heat.  See I have issues here, no turkey burgers, no heat...and the list goes on.  Even with less heat (really no heat since it's only used to boil the shrimp then rinsed off) these were packed with flavor!  JR agreed that a burger doesn't have to be made of beef to taste great!

I had some trouble keeping these from falling apart, but since there was tartar sauce to cover them up you probably couldn't tell.  I thought maybe it was because I didn't finely grind the breadcrumbs.  It was hot and I was being lazy, so I just broke the bread up into small pieces.  However, Josie mentioned she had the same problem and she thought it was due to the chopped vs. ground shrimp.  

While the burgers were great, let's talk about this tartar sauce.  YUM!  I've never experimented with tartar sauce beyond mixing relish and mayonnaise, and I never realized what I was missing!  This tartar sauce will no doubt be my go-to from now on.  So even if shrimp is not your thing, make this tartar sauce to accompany fish sticks!

The changes I made are listed here:

For the Burgers:
  • 2 quarts water
  • 1 Tbsp peppercorns
  • 1 Tbsp celery seeds
  • 1 Tbsp mustard seeds
  • 6 bay leaves
  • 1/2 cup sea salt
  • 1 Tbsp ground cayenne pepper
  • 1 pound shrimp, shells on 
  • 2 scallions, chopped
  • corn kernels, cut from 1 fresh cob of corn
  • 1 Tbsp grated fresh ginger
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 Tbsp mayonnaise with olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp Greek yogurt
  • 1 cup fresh breadcrumbs
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 2 Tbsp canola oil
In a large pot, add water, peppercorns, celery seed, mustard seed, bay, 1/2 cup sea salt and cayenne t.  Bring to a boil over high heat.  Add shrimp and boil for 2 minutes until they turn pink.  Remove from heat and run under cold water to cool.  Peel, devein and chop (or grind) the shrimp, then place in a large mixing bowl.

To the mixing bowl with shrimp, add scallions, corn, ginger, lemon zest and juice, mayonnaise, yogurt, breadcrumbs, salt and pepper.  Stir to combine all ingredients together well.  Add egg and gently fold into mixture.

Form mixture into 4 even size patties.  Wrap each tightly in plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes to chill and mold together (I would recommend longer, maybe an hour).

In a large frying pan, heated oil over medium-high to high heat.  Once oil is hot, but not smoking, gently place shrimp burgers into pan.  Cook for 3-4 minutes until browned.  Flip and cook other side 3 minutes until browned.  Remove from pan and place on a plate lined with paper towel to absorb any extra oil.

For the Tartar Sauce:
  • 1/2 cup drained pickle relish
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise with olive oil
  • 1/4 cup non-fat Greek yogurt
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
Mix all tartar sauce ingredients together in a small mixing bowl.

Serve burgers on rolls of your choice topped with tartar sauce, lettuce, tomato or other toppings of your choice.  Serves 4.

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