Winter White Turkey Burgers

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Snow is falling outside tonight — apparently didn’t get that whole spring memo. This is hopefully one of the last “winter” weekends we have for quite some time , so this recipe seemed a propos — Winter White Turkey Burgers, courtesy of Rachael Ray. Unfortunatley the pictures don’t look anywhere near as delicious as these burgers are. It’s so simple yet so many awesome flavors happening. First let me say that I’m not a big turkey burger fan. They can be dry and flavorless. But this one works — it’s got Dijon mustard mixed in, which is pretty genius, along with scallions, thyme and lemon peel. And on top of that is pear cooked in white wine — um, yes. Plus cheese, because a burger’s not a burger without cheese, and hot pepper jelly. Yum. This thing is good.

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TW’s Tips

  • I found a pepper relish at the grocery but not the pepper jelly — I bet this would be even better if I found the right thing. I’m on a mission now.
  • I used regular sized English muffins — just make the burgers sized appropriately to fit the bun.
  • Serve alongside a green salad or fancy chips.

This comes together super fast so it’s perfect for a weekday dinner. Enjoy!

Winter White Turkey Burgers

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds ground turkey breast
  • 4 scallions, white parts only, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • Grated peel and juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 ripe bartlett pear, cut lengthwise into 8 slices
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO)
  • 2 cups shredded sharp white cheddar cheese
  • 4 tablespoons hot pepper jelly or jalapeno jelly
  • 4 extra-large English muffins, split and toasted

Directions

In a medium bowl, combine the turkey, scallions, mustard, lemon peel and thyme; season with salt and pepper. Shape into four 3/4-inch-thick patties.

In a small nonstick skillet, add the pear slices, wine, lemon juice and enough water to just cover the pear. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer until the pear is softened, about 10 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the pear slices to a plate.

In a large nonstick skillet, heat the EVOO, 1 turn of the pan, over medium heat. Add the turkey patties and cook, turning once, for 12 minutes. Top with the cheese and pear slices, tent the pan with foil and cook until the cheese is melted, 2 minutes.

Spread 1 tablespoon hot pepper jelly on each English muffin bottom; top with a patty and an English muffin top.

New England Chicken Patty Sandwiches

What makes these “New England” you ask? As a New Hampshire native, I say that’s an excellent question. And I have no idea. (The apple? Cheddar? Eh. Weak.) Despite that, they were very tasty and you should make them.

It’s no secret that I’m a sandwich girl. Sandwiches, burgers, melts, paninis — you name it, I love it. They’re so easy — everything is right there in one handy little package you can hold in your hand. What’s not to love?

I’ve got some quirks when it comes to sandwiches, though. If it’s a cold sandwich, it has to be made by someone else. I just don’t like cold sandwiches I make myself. I’ll eat them, but I won’t like them. Not so with hot sandwiches, so this one worked out just fine for me. Rachael Ray calls this a “sammie” — in my opinion, there’s not much that’s more annoying than that word. Nails on a chalkboard. So let’s just call it a sandwich, shall we? Okay then.

TW’s Tips

  • I made this with ground turkey instead of chicken because it’s easier to find and I had some on hand.
  • I thought I had an onion on hand and I didn’t (oops!) so I just sauteed the apples. I’m not a huge onion fan, but I’d definitely add *maybe* half of one for a little extra flavor. Not a fan of too much onion.
  • I made my own honey mustard with honey and Dijon mustard (duh) and it was quite tasty.
  • If you don’t want to bother with the broiler, just put the cheese on the burgers when they’re almost cooked and tent the pan with foil for the last few minutes so it melts.
  • Serve with salt and vinegar chips — my fave!

New England Chicken Patty Sandwiches

Ingredients

  • 1 package of ground chicken (usually around 1 – 1 1/3 lbs)
  • Salt and black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon poultry seasoning
  • 4 tablespoons EVOO
  • 1 small red onion, thinly sliced (I recommend 1/2)
  • 1 Granny Smith apple, quartered, cored, and thinly sliced
  • 4 English muffins, split and toasted
  • Sliced sharp cheddar cheese
  • 4 tablespoons honey mustard
  • 1 1/2 cups watercress (a small bunch), chopped

Directions

Preheat your broiler.

In bowl, mix chicken with salt, pepper and poultry seasoning. Form 4 thin patties. Preheat one large and one medium sized skillet over medium-high heat. Add about 2 tablespoons of EVOO, twice around the pan, to each skillet. Place chicken patties in large skillet and cook for 5-8 minutes on each side (or until cooked through).

Meanwhile, add apples and onions to second skillet, season with salt and pepper and cook until tender, 6-7 minutes.

Place a chicken patty on each English muffin bottom and top with some of the apple/onion mixture and a slice of cheese. Slide them under the broiler for a minute or two to melt the cheese. Spread each muffin top with a tablespoon of honey mustard. Top the chicken patties with a handful of watercress, set the muffin tops in place, and serve with a few chips.

Crock Pot 3 Bean Turkey Chili

I’m trying to use my slow cooker more. There’s nothing better than coming home from work to dinner — already prepared! — and the house smelling delicious. I love chili — the spicier the better — but a couple of things clinched this one for me. 1) There wasn’t a lot of prep needed. I’m always surprised by the amount of “pre-cooking” that slow cooker recipes call for. Isn’t the point of the slow cooker that you don’t have to do much? Just throw it in and voila…meal prepared? Sigh. 2) I’d never had a chili with chickpeas and I was curious. Yes, I realize this isn’t “real Texas chili.” But I give equal attention to both bean-inclusive and bean-free chili. I don’t discriminate.

This is a VERY basic chili, and the version that resulted from this recipe was not the best one I’ve ever had. BUT. (But!) It was solid, super easy and the turkey was surprisingly tender. With a few little tweaks this could be a winner.

My main problem was that it wasn’t spicy enough. I had to doctor up the end product with a good amount of Cholula (my fave) to give it enough zip. But this is an easy fix. First, add more chili powder. Two tablespoons wasn’t nearly enough. I’d also call for some other spices too, to add some more flavor depth. Go with cumin, cayenne pepper, even a little bit of chipotle chili powder. In fact, season up the meat a little bit with salt and pepper and chili powder before you cook it. All of this will make the chili more flavorful and give it more heat. And chili should be spicy. Period.

For the rest of my ideas…

TW’s Tips:

  • I added in a pint of yellow grape tomatoes I had on hand to add some fresh tomato flavor. The more fresh veggies you add, the better.
  • Add a chopped fresh jalapeno (or even a jarred one, with some of the juices) for some extra heat.
  • Try adding some cheese on top to garnish, with chopped onion and cilantro. Even some crushed up tortilla chips to give it some crunch and texture.
  • If you don’t want to cook turkey in the morning (and who does?), cook it the night before and refrigerate. Then throw everything in the slow cooker in the morning.
  • I served this with cornbread, a guaranteed winner. Best brand (if we’re talking not from scratch): Marie Callendar’s. It’s super moist and the perfect chili accompaniment.

Crock Pot 3 Bean Turkey Chili

Ingredients

  • 1 pound lean ground turkey (package)
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 can (28 ounces) diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 can (15 ounces) chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can (15 ounces) kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can (15 ounces) black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can (8 ounces) tomato sauce
  • 1 can (4 ounces) diced mild green chiles
  • 1 to 2 (TW revised: 2-4) tablespoons chili powder
  • Salt to taste

Directions

Cook and stir turkey and onion in medium nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until turkey is no longer pink. Drain and discard fat. Transfer to 4 1/2-quart slow cooker.

Add remaining ingredients; mix well. Cover; cook on HIGH 6 to 8 hours.

(Don’t you love how short those directions are?)

Enjoy!