Tasty Turkey Burger

Turkey Burgers - Uncooked

Turkey Burgers Prepped for Fridge – Double Batch (2 1/2 pounds of meat)

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Turkey Burgers After Grill.

These turkey burgers are moist and tasty and best grilled outdoors.  They take about 10 minutes to make.  I strongly recommend putting them in the fridge for a few hours or overnight before grilling.  This way the burgers firm up more and stick together when grilling.

Makes 4   4-5 oz burgers.

(Recipe can easily be doubled with success)

Ingredients:

1 1/4 pounds 93 percent lean ground turkey

1/2 teaspoon table salt

1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce

1/2 cup ricotta cheese

2 generous teaspoons Dijon mustard

1 tablespoon vegetable oil or canola oil (if indoor grilling)

Directions:
1. Transfer ground meat to medium bowl. Stir in salt, pepper, Worcestershire sauce, ricotta cheese, and mustard until blended, and divide meat into 4 portions. Lightly toss one portion from hand to hand to form a ball, then lightly flatten ball with fingertips into 1-inch-thick patty. Repeat with remaining portions.

2a. To Grill: Grill burgers over medium-low fire (you can hold your hand about 5 inches above grill surface for 5 seconds) until dark spotty brown on bottom side, 7 to 9 minutes. Turn burgers over; continue grilling 7 to 9 minutes longer or until bottom side is dark spotty brown and center is completely cooked or instant-read thermometer registers 160 degrees. Remove from grill and serve immediately.

2b. To Cook Indoors: Heat a large, heavy skillet (preferably cast-iron or stainless steel with an aluminum core) over medium heat until very hot, 4 to 5 minutes. Swirl oil in pan to coat bottom, then add burgers. Cook over medium heat without moving burgers until bottom side of each is dark brown and crusted, 3 to 4 minutes. Turn burgers over; continue to cook until bottom side is light brown but not yet crusted, 3 to 4 minutes longer. Reduce heat to low, position cover slightly ajar on pan to allow steam to escape, and continue to cook 8 to 10 minutes longer, flipping burgers if necessary to promote deep browning, until center is completely cooked, or an instant-read thermometer inserted from the side of the burger into the center registers 160 degrees. Remove from pan and serve immediately.

Serve with normal burger toppings.  I generally do not add cheese on top given cheese is inside the burgers, but don’t let me stop you.

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Giada De Laurentiis’ Turkey Chili Served with Quinoa

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I was on an airplane ride returning from vacation with free TV and Giada from the Food Network made this recipe.  It sounded good so we tried it out.  It got the thumbs up from me, my husband, and our young daughter.  It is definitely flavorful, easy to make, and can be on your table in under an hour including cleanup especially with some quick advanced planning.  Her web link says prep is 1 hour, cook 1 hr 30 minutes.  You likely will not need this much time.  This dish listed below does not have much “heat”.  If you want more keep some chili seeds in and use more chili powder.

http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/giada-de-laurentiis/california-turkey-chili-recipe.print.html

Serves 6-8 large bowls

(This recipe has been grossed up from the web link.)

Ingredients

1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
4-6 large cloves garlic, smashed, peeled and chopped  (short cut pop the peeled cloves in a small cuisinart, or just use jar garlic)
1-2 large poblano chiles, stemmed, seeded and diced (I used one large; she lists two)
2 celery stalk, chopped small pieces
1 1/2 large onion, chopped small pieces
2.5-3 pounds ground turkey (use at least half dark meat to keep flavor up)
1 1/4 tablespoon all-purpose flour
6-8 tablespoons tomato paste
4-5 generous tablespoons chili powder
1 1/2 tablespoon ground cumin
3 generous teaspoons (packed) dark brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon dried Mexican oregano, crushed
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper (see measurements below to start with, add more if desired)
little less than one teaspoon ground cinnamon
little more than 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
4 cups low-salt chicken broth (preferably organic)
One 15 to 16-ounce can white or brown kidney beans rinsed and drained

Simplest Quinoa and Pine Nut Pilaf, recipe follows

Assorted garnishes, such as chopped onion, shredded white Cheddar, chopped tomatoes and/or sour cream

Quinoa and Pine Nut Pilaf:  This won’t look like much pre-cooked but will make a lot.
1 1/4 cups whole grain quinoa (about 7 ounces)
1 3/4 cups low-salt chicken broth (preferably organic)
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro or Italian parsley
1/3 cup pine nuts

Directions

Peal and prep your garlic.  Set aside.

Mix your spices and sugar in a small bowl.  Precision not required.  Set aside.

Now heat the oil in a heavy, large pot over medium-high heat for a few minutes until shiny.

While the oil is heating, quickly prep your carrots, poblanos, celery and onion.  Rough but small cuts are fine.

Add the poblanos, celery and onions to warmed oil pot. Saute until the vegetables soften, 5 to 6 minutes.  Add the garlic.  Stir 1 minute.

Add the turkey and saute until no longer pink, breaking up the turkey with the back of a spoon, about 7 minutes.

Sprinkle the flour over and stir to blend.

Add the tomato paste, and spice/sugar bowl (chili powder, cumin, sugar, oregano, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, cinnamon and cloves).

Cook 1 to 2 minutes, stirring to blend.

Add the broth and beans.

Bring to a simmer – 5-10 minutes.

Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer until the flavors blend and the chili thickens to desired consistency, stirring often, 20 to 30 minutes.

Season with more salt and pepper.

To serve, spoon Simplest Quinoa and Pine Nut Pilaf into deep bowls. Ladle chili over. Serve with garnishes.

Simplest Quinoa and Pine Nut Pilaf **

Place the quinoa in a fine sieve. Rinse under cold running water 1 full minute. Set aside to drain.

Bring the broth, salt and pepper to a boil in heavy, medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir in the quinoa. Cover, reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer until the quinoa is tender and all the broth is absorbed, about 15 minutes. Turn off the heat. Let the quinoa stand, still covered, for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Scatter pine nuts on a small rimmed baking sheet. Toast the nuts until golden, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes. Cool on the baking sheet.

Mix the cilantro and pine nuts into the quinoa.

** Dishthistoday Quinoa Note: For me, I did the quinoa in my Zojirushi rice cooker, quick setting – using 1 cup quinoa to 2 cups chicken broth).  I set it in the morning before work and it stayed warm once cooked with very little degradation of taste.  It usually finishes within a half hour so if you are making as the same time as chili get it started before you start the chill.  I also prepped the veges and spices the night before so that when I got home from work putting the dish together took even less time.  If you have never tasted quinoa, don’t be turned off.  It is a grain and when cooked properly tastes great and is relatively healthy for you.  Also to save time I skipped the pine-nuts but I am sure they are a good addition if you have the time.

Read more at: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/giada-de-laurentiis/california-turkey-chili-recipe.print.html?oc=linkback

Mini Meat (or Turkey) Loaves – Kid Helpers Welcomed

This is a simple dish for a novice to make.  You need one regular size muffin pan.  This dish can be in the oven within 20 minutes and clean up takes about 10 minutes max if you throw everything (muffin pan included) in the dishwasher.  This recipe was adopted from C is for Cooking Recipes From the Street by Susan McQuillan.   This is a kids’ cookbook I skeptically bought but turns out I would highly recommend it.  (It can be found on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Sesame-Street-Cooking-40th-Anniversary/dp/0470523077/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1391978718&sr=1-1&keywords=c+is+for+cooking.  I receive nothing for this mention).

Equipment: Muffin Pan (12 cups), Small Bowl, Large Bowl, measuring items)

Kids can help with all the measuring and my 4 year old loves making the balls for the tins.  I mix the ingredients in the bowl though initially to make sure the consistency is good.

PREHEAT YOUR OVEN TO 350

Ingredients:

1 egg

1 pound turkey ground turkey (I like a combo of thigh and breast; however any type of ground meat is fine- chicken, beef, pork etc)

1 cup uncooked old fashioned oatmeal (I like Bob’s Red Mill Organic Extra Thick Rolled Oats which can be found at Wholefoods)

1 small onion (or half large onion) – diced very small

1 or 2 carrots depending on size (shred with a grater)

1/3 cup ketchup and 1/4 Heinz Chili Sauce (sold near ketchup at most grocery stores)

1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese (I buy this pre-grated to save time)

1/2 to 1 teaspoon of salt (I use half this but recipe calls for full one)

1/4 teaspoon pepper

Topping – (original recipe calls for ketchup; I make my topper below)

1/3rd cup Heinz Chili sauce,  mixed with 1 very generous tablespoon of Light Brown Sugar

Steps:

Lightly spray cooking spray in 9 muffin tins (sometimes you get 8, sometimes 9)

Crack egg in tiny bowl, remove any shells.

In large bowl combine chosen meat, oatmeal, onion, carrot, egg, ketchup, chili sauce (if using), parm cheese, salt and pepper

Mix with your CLEAN hands or use plastic baggies over hands.

Once well mixed, scoop up a ball and place in muffin tin, patting the top down to be smooth.

Brush with topping if using (again I think the Chili Sauce with a little sugar is the way to go)

Bake 20-25 minutes until center not pink (I usually cook it the full 25, but they usually seem done after 22-23 minutes).

Remove from oven and keep in muffin tin for ATLEAST 10-15 minutes so the muffins continue to set.  If they are not set, this recipe will not come out as desired.

After you patiently wait, carefully with a knife lift up muffins (they should be completely stuck together – see pictures) and place on a rack to cool if not serving right away.   I freeze these all the time, and defrost the night before I want to use them.  For a kid under 7, one muffin as a main dish is more than enough.  My husband will eat two at a time.  One would not be enough for him.  For me, one is fine.   Hence I often double this recipe and we eat a few and then we have lots to freeze later.

View after putting on the topping but before being baked.

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View before the topping.

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Done and now resting on a rack after staying in the muffin pan for 15 minutes.

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