Thursday, April 25, 2013

Saved by Turkey Burgers!

I was in college while my brother was in high school, so I never really knew how my mother feed Dave and all his  friends when they came over. I'm sure spaghetti was involved and on more expansive whims, hamburgers or even a grilled tri-tip. 

Until fairly recently, my two sons did not have tremendously huge appetites. They are late bloomers in many respects, both still living at home while they attend the very fine local community college, so their current state of hollow legged-ness has taken me a bit by surprise. They both know how to cook eggs - poached, fried, scrambled - and fry bacon, so breakfast burritos and BLT's are staples in their repertoires. They are also avid grill masters and cook up some pretty good eats for friends on warm afternoons in our back yard. Of course, there are always a few extras that I just happen to have on hand that make eating at Chez MacKenzie all the more appealing to their friends and I'm always happy to oblige.

Yesterday afternoon, I had an excess of ground turkey for some weird reason, so I went to one of my go-to resources, Pepperplate and imported a recipe from one of my other favorite resources, Real Simple. I ran out for the ingredients I didn't have and got to work assembling the burgers.

I should have wiped off my grubby finger prints before taking this photo - sorry!

I made far more than we could eat that evening, so I pulled out my trusty FoodSaver vacuum sealer and proceeded to save a few burgers for future use.  If you don't have a FoodSaver, I recommend getting one, especially if you are an avid Costco shopper and like to have plenty of meat, poultry, sausages and the like on hand for hungry 20-somethings who like to grill on a moment's notice.

Back to the turkey burgers...Bill got the grill going and if by Pavlovian response, 3 friends joined my two sons and they were all hungry. Of course, they know there is always an excess of food at our home and they would be welcomed to help take care of that excess. Happy 20-somethings abounded and these turkey burgers flew off the platter!

Turkey Burgers with Zucchini and Carrot

Healthy and hearty, these burgers will surprise even the most turkey-adverse folks you know.
Adapted by Margie MacKenzie from Real Simple

  • Turkey Burgers

    • 1 1/2 to 2 pounds ground turkey
    • 1 medium zucchini, grated
    • 1 medium carrot, grated
    • 1 sweet onion, finely chopped
    • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
    • 1 cup dried bread crumbs or panko
    • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
    • 1/2 teaspoon dried pepper flakes, or more if you like heat
    • 2 large eggs
    • salt and pepper, generous amounts according to your taste
    • Grated Parmesan cheese, to taste (optional)
  • For sandwiches

    • Ciabatta loaf, cut into medium-thick slices
    • 2 to 3 Garlic cloves,
    • Olive oil
  • Prepare grill

    1. If using charcoal, the coals should be white hot for cooking. I recommend using a grill grate to cook the burgers on either gas or charcoal grills. Alternately, you may broil the burgers.
  • Burgers

    1. Place all the burger ingredients into a large bowl and combine gently but thoroughly. Pat into patties, approximately 4-7, depending on how big you make each one. Place grill grate on the grill to heat up and then place the burgers on the grate. Cook for 3-5 minutes and then turn. Cook another 5-8 minutes, until reaching an internal temperature of 160 degrees with an instant read thermometer. Remove from grill
  • Toasts

    1. Rub both sides of the sliced bread with a garlic clove and brush them with olive oil. Place the slices on the grill and toast. Keep an eye on them, do not let them burn! Remove from the grill. Alternately, the toasts may be done under the broiler, just keep a sharp eye not to let them toast too much on either side.
  • Burger Assembly

    1. Slice the grilled turkey burgers in half. Spread a light coating of mayonnaise on each toasted bread slice, add some Dijon mustard if you are so inclined . Top with a leaf of Boston lettuce and then the turkey burger and enjoy!
Be sure to vacuum sealer and then freeze any burgers you are not going to use right away.

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