Wednesday, April 27, 2011

A lot has happened since I started working on this particular post. We talk in just about every post about prepping your ingredients ahead. Well, I did just that. Wednesday night, I prepared my patties, so on Thursday I would just have to fire up the grill to get dinner going. Little did I know, that was not going to happen. I went into labor that night and our new addition arrived Thursday afternoon around noon. Since the burgers were already made, we grilled them the day I came home from the hospital.  I have since been a little sidetracked, but I’m back and trying to get caught up. I have posted a picture of our newest little blogger at the end. Enjoy…
Backyard Burgers
 There’s the smell of fresh cut grass in the air, the flowers are starting to bloom, and after a long winter, we all have the urge to break out the shorts and flip flips and get outside to grill! When you want to have a few friends over for an easy dinner, nothing beats a backyard burger. However, this post, we are going to put a little spin on things.
Because we are all still trying to hold on to those New Year’s resolutions, Lenten promises, or just trying to get in shape for the upcoming bathing suit season we are going to lighten up the typical backyard burger. We are having turkey burgers! Before you run away screaming about the horrors of diet food, stick around and give this one a chance. This recipe is from the Cooking Light magazine, July 2010. I LOVE this magazine. If you have never flipped through, I highly recommend it. You can find pretty much any recipe you desire in the pages of this magazine. The best part is that they have done all the work and lightened up the recipe. Double win!
This recipe in particular has a secret ingredient I will reveal towards the end. It promises to help the burgers taste more like the traditional beef we are used to. Stay tuned and see how they turn out.

Make your patties the night before and keep them in the fridge for a time-saver!
Light your grill and give it about 30-40 minutes until all the coals are white. This will ensure there is a pretty consistent temperature in the grill and also help prevent flame-ups.
While your grill is coming to temperature, mix together your ingredients and form large, loose patties. Try to handle them as little as possible. This helps to keep the meat tender. I tend to make my patties bigger and a little thinner than you would think. They tend to shrink up on the grill. If you don’t take this into account, you’ll end up with tasty little meatballs. We will soon find out if turkey shrinks like beef. Since turkey is so low in fat, we are going to lightly spray each side with a non-stick cooking spray so they don’t stick to the grill. (Note: Turkey does not shrink like beef on the grill.)

ALERT: Please, please, please, resist the urge to smash your burgers with the back of the spatula. This does not make your burger cook quicker. It can cause your burger to be dry and tough. Also, try to resist constant flipping. It is best to flip once during cooking.
For this particular burger, place on grill and let cook for about 4 minutes. Flip and cook for about 3 minutes on second side or until they are cooked through.
The burgers were very tasty; however, they did NOT taste like beef. They were full of flavor and I would definitely make them again. Are you ready for the secret ingredient? Roasted eggplant!  You roast it whole in the oven, puree, and mix in with the meat. It helps to hold it together while giving it added flavor and nutrients. Even if you think you don’t like eggplant, just try it. You won’t even know it’s there.  This recipe also calls for an ingredient called Marmite. I am not familiar with it and our local grocery stores do not carry it. Because it only called for ¼ teaspoon, I just left it out. I feel like the burgers were still very tasty.

This is what your roasted eggplant will look like.

Pureed Roasted Eggplant

**A burger is the perfect vehicle for many vegetables and condiments. My husband prefers the mushroom/swiss version.
**Sometimes when I have a little extra time on my hands, I make super thin patties; place a piece of cheese in the middle and top with another patty. Seal the edges and voila! Instant cheeseburger surprise.
Get out there and be creative with your toppings. Let us know which are your favorites!

Our newest little blogger, Wade