Ah Thursday again....where did the week go? I am here on the deck again, with some leftover French Pinot Noir that I bought to celebrate Bastille Day (any excuse to buy a good bottle of wine right?). The grill is roaring, the rain has passed, and its almost Friday. Ah, life is good.
Some of my friends and I have instituted what has been dubbed 'family dinner'. It rotates apartments and whoever hosts, cooks dinner for the rest of us. Last week was Steve and I's turn and it was the perfect excuse to give the grill the second go around.
Side note in real time: I just burned myself on the grill. I can't seem to cook without burning myself, I blame it on my genes. My dad can't cook without slicing one of his fingers off. (okay that may be an exaggeration, but I'm in a bit of pain right now and have had a glass of wine, so...moving on).
So back to family dinner. We threw some mean turkey burgers on the grill and some baby potatoes in the oven for an easy fantastic summer meal.
The best part of the burgers though was the toppings buffet. I think I went a little overboard but it worked out great since everyone got to put together their optimal version of a burger. We had dijon mustard, grilled peppers and onions, avocados, tomatoes, mushrooms sauteed with balsamic vinegar, arugula, and goat cheese. We piled it high onto grilled english muffins and created the tallest burgers I have ever seen. You would absolutely never know that they were turkey, you just don't miss the beef.
The key I have found when using ground turkey in place of ground beef, and not having it turn out a big dry disappointment, is to get the turkey from the butcher or buy the lean (not extra lean). With ground turkey, you need what little fat there is to get the rich juiciness of ground beef. While extra lean is a bit healthier, it usually leaves me wanting to eat something else for dinner, which ends up defeating the purpose anyhow.
A burger buffet is great for a crowd, throw in some gourmet toppings and a few unexpected items, and it will be a hit. The possibilities are endless, different cheeses, bacon, grilled zucchini, roasted garlic, aioli, tapenade, chutney, I could go on, but my food is almost ready so I will stop.
I served the burgers with some roasted baby red potatoes and also provided homemade salsa and chips for people to snack on while I was grilling. Everyone ate just a little too much, but I guess that's what makes for a GREAT family dinner.
Turkey Burgers and Roasted Potatoes
Makes about 12 burgers
3 pounds lean ground turkey
3 shallots, diced
5 cloves of garlic
1/4 cup chopped parsley
1/2 tablespoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon chili powder
Salt and Pepper
12 English Muffins
2 small bags Baby Red Potatoes, quartered
Olive oil to coat
1/4 cup chopped parsley
Salt and Pepper to taste
Mix the turkey, egg, shallot, garlic, parsley, thyme, chili powder, salt and pepper together in a large bowl, just do it, use your hands. Its fun, I promise. Form into about 10-12 patties and let rest in fridge until grill is ready.
Preheat oven to 350. Mix the potatoes, olive oil, parsley, salt and pepper and spread on baking sheet. Cook until golden brown, tossing a few times throughout, about 40 minutes to an hour depending on how large the potatoes are.
Grill the burgers over direct medium heat about 10-12 minutes until no longer pink in the middle or your thermometer reads 160 degrees. I still do not have a thermometer so I go the classy route and cut one in half on a plate on the ground next to the grill. I continue to be baffled as to why people still want me to cook for them?
After the burgers are finished, put oiled english muffins directly over coals for about a minute until toasted. Serve with any and all, but not limited to, the toppings listed above. Oh and beer. There must be beer. :-)