Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Stuffed Turkey Sliders and Blueberry Spritzers

My roommate Sam and I made this quick summery meal on the 4th of July before hurrying out to see the fireworks, and I decided it was so good it was worth recreating and posting. Besides the ground turkey meat and buns, we had all of the ingredients on hand, the blueberries in the spritzers were leftover from my Cherry-Blueberry Tart, the feta was bought for the Watermelon & Herb Summer Salad, and who doesn't have an onion, a couple cloves of garlic, a couple lemons, and a bottle of seltzer on hand? And even if you don't have those things on hand, wouldn't it be worth a trip to the store if a light, flavorful, summery dinner and refreshing fruity drink were at stake?

I served these with corn & black bean salad with cilantro and lime, a family favorite.

Stuffed Turkey Sliders:
serves 3-4 people (makes approximately  8 mini sliders)
1 lb ground turkey meat
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon garlic powder

Filling options:
1 medium onion, 2 cloves of garlic, 2 tablespoons crumbled feta cheese
1/2 cup fresh mozzarella,  loose 1/2 cup fresh basil
1 medium onion, 1 cup sliced mushrooms, thyme or oregano

8 small dinner rolls

First, prepare the stuffing. I had a few options of what to use so people could choose their preference if they wished- from caramelized onions and mushrooms to fresh basil and mozzerella, to onion, garlic and feta; let your imagination run, it's hard to go wrong, just keep the texture and moisture of the filling in mind, you don't want something that will drip right out of the burger, or make it soggy.

I cooked up one onion, chopped in olive oil until brown, then added 2 cloves of garlic and cooked for 2 more minutes. Then, once this was removed from heat added any cheese and fresh herbs desired. Set aside.

Next, prepare the meat: I placed the ground meat in a large bowl, and added the soy sauce and garlic powder than mashed it together with my hands until mixed in. I then assembled the burgers, keeping them smaller than the palm of my hand, and the approximate size of the dinner rolls (I used sourdough) which I had sliced and toasted. I put less than a tablespoon of filling into each, to do this neatly I started with half the meat i would need, pressed flat in the same diameter of the burger I planned to make. I spooned some filling on top of this and then topped it  with another spoonful of meat which i pressed into place making sure the sides were sealed.

Onto a heated grill (or if you are stuck cooking indoors like I was, a griddle or foreman style grill.) cook for 2 minutes/side or until done to your liking. Garnish with your favorite condiments, excess filling etc. Enjoy!

A quick disclosure here: I do not like turkey. I don't. At thanksgiving I may take a tiny sliver from the bird just to be polite, but mostly my plate gets filled with sides (of which there are so many!). Turkey cold cuts are something I would eat only if it was really the only food available. Something about the flavor of turkey I just don't care for. That being said, I decided to give ground turkey a try (perhaps with some pressure from my health conscious roommate) because I keep hearing that it is so much leaner and better for you than beef. And actually, all that being said, I LOVE these burgers. They miss out on nothing in my opinion from the exchange in terms of flavor and texture. The only thing I found myself missing was the rich pink-brown coloring of a beef burger. Really, even if you, like me, are hesitant to replace beef with turkey in such a quintessential beef dinner as the all American burger, I urge you to give this a try.

Now, on to the Blueberry Spritzers I mentioned-  and aren't you thirsty by now?

Blueberry Spritzers
makes 1 pitcher of spritzer
1.5 lbs of blueberries
2 lemons
1 liter seltzer or sparkling wine
2 tablespoons Simple Syrup

Depending how much lemon you use this can vary from a very mellow blueberry softdrink to sparkling lemonade with a hint of blueberry and a gorgeous purple color. Use 3 lemons for the more lemonade side of the spectrum.

1. Puree the blueberries. I did this with a hand blender, but a traditional blender or food processor should work just as well. Add a couple tablespoons of water as needed to aid in blending.
2. Strain the blueberry puree to remove the skins. Pour strained puree into a pitcher or punch bowl.
3. Juice the lemons and add the juice to the pitcher/punch bowl. add the simple syrup and mix.
4. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
5. When ready to serve, add the seltzer or sparkling wine. I also suggest garnishing this with chopped fruit such as banana and apple, which will absorb the juice and taste delicious!

Note: this spritzer (made with seltzer, not sparkling wine) also makes a great cocktail with a little vodka or other alcohol of your choice.

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