Island Turkey Burger with Plantain Chips

It’s summertime and I need an island inspired meal! And this meal transported me to sandy beaches, clear turquoise waters and scents of coconut. And it was great, I even felt the hot sun until Daisy started pawing at my leg, she wanted a taste too. My tropical daydream was over as I gave her a little of the sweet Hawaiian bun. She was happy and I was too. Hope you enjoy this as much as we did. I multiplied it so it’s easy to make for a family of four. May happy tropical thoughts be with you!

  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 1/3 cup minced Vidalia onion
  • a little zest of lime
  • 4 “Hawaiian” sweet hamburger buns, regular buns will work just fine
  • a few lettuce leaves
  • 1 ripe avocado, sliced
  • 4 tablespoons Island flavored ketchup
  • 4 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • bottled hot sauce
  • 4 green plantains, peeled and cut diagonally about 1/2 inch thick
  • canola oil
  • salt & ground pepper

Combine the turkey, onion, lime zest, a little salt and pepper. Heat your grill and lightly coat your turkey burgers with a little canola oil. Once your grill is hot, about 400 degrees, throw your burgers on and let them grill for about 5 minutes per each side, until they are cooked through. Once done, pull them off the grill and keep them warm. Grill your “Hawaiian” buns until toasty, keep an eye on them as they toast quickly. Heat a nice amount of canola oil on medium heat until hot. Add your plaintain slices and fry them for about 5 minutes on the first side, until lightly brown. Flip them over and fry them for a few more minutes. Drain them on paper towels. On a wood board, one at a time, smash the plaintain until it is thin, about a quarter of an inch. I used the flat side of a meat mallet. I used to make these with my neighbor when we were teenagers. She called these “tostones” and I give her credit for teaching me how to make them. It was so much fun and she even had a cool wooden plaintain smasher to make them. I need to find one, but for now the meat mallet works great! Once all are smashed thin, place them back in the hot oil until they are light brown. Turn them so the other side browns also. Once done, drain them on paper towels, and quickly season them with sea salt. You might want to make a few more, they are addictive, especially when piping hot and freshly salted. Make your island sauce by combining the ketchup and the mayonnaise. You can now assemble your turkey burger. Spread a little sauce on both sides of the buns. Layer your lettuce leaf, turkey burger and avocado. Serve with your plaintain chips. Any extra island sauce is great on the side to dip your plantains in and hot sauce is great on the turkey burger if you are looking for a little extra heat. Grilled pineapple would be a great dessert to end this meal. Enjoy!

Going clockwise starting at the top is plantain no.1 just out of the oil, plaintain no. 2 is just smashed and no.3  is the re-fried plantain freshly salted.