Turkey

Turkey Burgers

 

There are so many veggies in this recipe that you could call it a veggie burger instead of a turkey burger. I developed this recipe when my youngest son was still repelled by all things that sprout from the earth. I would peel the zucchini and grate it into the turkey so there would be no offending green specks (the bell pepper, basil, and scallions came on the scene later). When you have a child who subsists strictly on white or beige food, you have to get clever with your chef-y tactics. Call it veggie tradecraft.

You could also skip the burgers and make a meatloaf. Just top with quality tomato sauce and sprinkle with some grated cheese. Bake in a 400-degree oven until the internal temperature reaches 160-degrees. Let rest for 5-10 minutes before cutting.

The zucchini and other veggies make the burgers nutritious and keep the lean turkey from drying out.  

1 small zucchini, grated fine

1 pound of ground turkey

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 red bell pepper, diced small

3 scallions, green part only, sliced very thinly

½ cup panko crumbs

½ tsp. salt

ground pepper

1 egg, whisked well

¼ cup fresh basil, minced

Add zucchini, garlic, red pepper, panko, egg, basil, and turkey to a large bowl.

IMG_1609

Mix all of the ingredients together by hand and form patties (I was able to get 5 decent patties out of my meat mixture).

Push your thumb into the middle to create a well in each of the patties to stop them from bulking up in the middle. 

When cooking on a grill, it’s preferable to use a plancha (cast-iron griddle) or some other grill-safe flat surface. The burgers will be very loose and fall apart easily.

They’re done when the internal temperature reaches 160-degrees.

Eat well!

April

“I won’t be impressed with technology until I can download food.” – Author Unkown

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Not Your Nonna’s Meatballs

There was a tasty looking recipe in last Sunday’s New York Times Magazine and I couldn’t wait to make it for dinner. The recipe was published by Sam Sifton, but crafted by Susan Goin: lamb meatballs with spiced tomato sauce. Susan Goin offers this dish on and off in one of her LA restaurants, A.O.C., and you can find this deliciously different recipe in her most recent publication “The A.O.C. Cookbook.” It’s a fantastic spin on the traditional meatballs you’d find in your Nonna’s Sunday gravy.

I finally uploaded all of my photos from Japan and thought I’d share them before we get to the “meat” of the matter. We ate some very different items and believe me when I tell you that there’s no limit to what the Japanese will serve on a stick. Here are some of my favorite photos.

We were invited to a traditional Japanese meal by one of Roger’s Japanese colleagues. The experience was very special and I snuck my phone out a few times to snap a quick photo of a few of the courses; however, there were times when that would have been just plain rude. The next two photos are from this meal.  One course on the menu I just couldn’t choke down: shark fin soup, which had the consistency of a runny custard. Just looking at it brought up my gag reflex. I personally take issue with shark fin soup after seeing a documentary a few years ago where some fisherman chopped the fins off of sharks and then left them to drown, which was probably a contributing factor to my gag reflect. I did not know the origin of the fin, so I put the lid back on and passed.

Miso soup with white fish and topped with a fiddlehead fern. The Japanese call them ostrich ferns. Gorgeous and delicious!

Miso soup with white fish and topped with a fiddlehead fern. The Japanese call them ostrich ferns. Gorgeous and delicious!

Raw tuna with roe, octopus, and an unknown white fish. This dish was garnished with shiso leaf and a plethora of other accents/garnishes.

Raw tuna with roe, octopus, and an unknown white fish. This dish was garnished with shiso leaf and a plethora of other accents/garnishes.

 

I love that they display a plastic image of what you can order. Takes the mystery out of it.

I love that they display a plastic image of what you can order. Takes the mystery out of it (if you can read Japanese).

Octopus pop anyone? I saw people standing by the kiosk biting into the heads like they were Tootsie Pops. No comment.

Octopi pop anyone? I saw people standing by the kiosk biting into the heads like they were Tootsie Pops. No comment.

More tasty lollypop treats!

More tasty lollypop fish treats (Try eating all of this)!

Milk in portable sealed pods.

Milk in portable sealed pods.

If anyone knows what these are, please fill me in. The fisherman at the Tsukiji Market in Tokyo couldn't speak English.

If anyone knows what these are, please fill me in. The fisherman at the Tsukiji Market in Tokyo couldn’t speak English.

So many samples, so little time.

So many samples, so little time.

The making of an egg, cabbage, brine shrimp, and assorted other ingredients, pancake.

The making of an egg, cabbage, brine shrimp, and assorted other ingredients, pancake.

The finished product. It was okay.

The finished product. It was okay.

Fisherman taking a break.

Fishermen taking a break.

Livers.

Livers.

Eyes anyone?

Eyes, anyone?

Brains

Brains

Now let’s get to Susan’s meatball recipe. I substitued the lamb with ground turkey to make it a bit leaner. Because of this substitution, I increased the whipping cream by 1/2 cup and added the entire egg instead of just the yolk. I knew that I’d need more fat to retain moisture. Here is my ground turkey recipe:

Meatballs

  • 1 medium onion, peeled and finely diced
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 2 extra large eggs
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • pinch of red pepper flakes
  • pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 2 pounds ground turkey
  • kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 cup bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley

Sauce

  • 1 small sprig rosemary
  • red pepper flakes to taste
  • 1 medium onions, peeled and diced
  • 1/2 tsp fresh thyme leaves
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • pinch ground cinnamon
  • pinch cayenne pepper
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 tsp white sugar
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 1 3-inch of orange peel, pith removed
  • kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

 

Add all ingredients to the bowl.

Add all ingredients to the bowl.

Mix

Mix

Add the turkey.

Add the turkey.

Mix the turkey into the bread crumb mixture.

Mix the turkey into the bread crumb mixture.

Roll into small balls.

Roll into small balls.

Broil in the oven.

Broil in the oven. Take them out when they’re nice and browned.

Now for the sauce.

 

Process the tomatoes in a food processor or blender. Heat a saucepan over medium-high and heat for a minute, then add olive oil, rosemary and red pepper. Cook for a minute and add onion, thyme, cumin, cinnamon, cayenne, and bay leaf. Saute until onions are translucent, approximately 5 to 7 minutes. Add sugar, OJ, and peel, along with salt and pepper. Cook for 8 to 1o minutes.

Process the tomatoes in a food processor or blender. Heat a saucepan over medium-high and heat for a minute, then add olive oil, rosemary and red pepper. Cook for a minute and add onion, thyme, cumin, cinnamon, cayenne, and bay leaf. Saute until onions are translucent, approximately 5 to 7 minutes. Add sugar, OJ, and peel, along with salt and pepper. Cook for 8 to 1o minutes.

Pour the tomato sauce into a large baking dish that you can put on  the table. Transfer the meatballs to the sauce and bake for 15 to 20 minutes until the sauce is bubbling and the meatballs are cooked through.

Garnish with feta and thinly sliced mint.

Garnish with feta and thinly sliced mint. Served mine over bulgur with an extra douse of EVOO. Delish!

Eat well,

April