22 November, 2014

Give Thanks Burgers

There are times when I find myself wanting to eat some comfort foods that just take WAAAY too much time to make if you want to make them taste right.  SO!...I decided that I wanted to get around this issue with a little creative flair.  One of my favorite things to eat every year is Thanksgiving dinner.  With it coming up my brain has been in FULL yummy mode.  Pies, casseroles, brines, squash, olives, dinner rolls...oh my!  That's a whole plate full of food.  How in the he-ZELL could I condense all of my faves into ONE bite...  

Ha lol....I figured it out! and my Give Thanks burgers were born....for this I TRULY give thanks.  I married a man that cannot STAND turkey.  *scratches head*  Not sure what the deal is there, we've discussed this extensively because it limits our diet to...chicken lol...with him.  Forget duck, pheasant, grouse, rabbit...  I haven't been able to hunt in...I don't even remember when.  I think I was 16 tromping with my Uncle through the woods when he pinged a grouse in the head with a 9mm and we went back to the cabin and he cooked it over an open fire on a spit he made in 5 minutes.  Golly...I miss Minnesota; no place like home.  But, I digress.  We've been married over 9 years and I still can't convince my husband that turkey can be a good thing.  I've used it, he's always been able to pick it out.  He thinks it is a bland "blah" meat.  I just blink when he says that, that's my job.  To make "blah" more interesting.  I hope I hit the mark for him with these burgers!

Give Thanks Burgers
1 lb. pkg. of organic ground turkey
1 tsp. rubbed sage
1 tsp. savory
1 tsp. poultry seasoning
4 tsp. dried parsley
1/2 tsp. black pepper

1 c. French's fried onions (not cheese flavored)
1/2 c. bread crumbs
1 organic brown egg
3 T. cranberry jelly
slices of dill pickle
yukon gold & acorn squash burger buns (recipe below)
turkey gravy

To flavor the meat, mix the meat and all of the spices together in a large metal bowl, cover and put in the refrigerator for 3 hours.  While those are roominating, make your burger buns.

  
Yukon Gold & Acorn Squash Burger Buns
1/2 c. riced potatoes
1/2 c. riced acorn squash
2 T. unsalted butter, cut into 4 pats
2 1/4 c. bread flour (HAS to be bread flour or will not rise because of the weight of the potatoes!!)
1 T. sugar
2 tsp. instant or rapid-rise yeast
1 tsp. salt 

5 T. of hot water 
2 large eggs, 1 lightly beaten with 1 tsp. water and pinch salt
1 T. black onion seeds


Peel 3 medium sized yukon gold potatoes, wrap them in saran wrap and microwave them for 4 minutes.  Then mash them through a ricer into a medium sized bowl.  Then halve the acorn squash, clean out the seeds and strings, wrap in saran wrap and microwave it for 4 minutes, then clean the squash out of the skin, and mash it through a ricer into a SEPARATE bowl from the potatoes.  Measure a 1/2 c. of the riced potatoes and remove the remaining potatoes from the bowl so only 1/2 c. of potatoes are in that bowl.  Then measure 1/2 c. of the acorn squash and add it to the riced potatoes.  Add in the 4 pats of butter and allow it to melt and set aside.

Use Bread Flour ONLY!
In your stand mixer or a large mixing bowl put in flour, yeast, sugar, salt, and then add in the potato mixture and begin to blend the dough with a dough hook on lowest setting of your stand mixer.  Add one egg and incorporate thoroughly before adding the 5 T. of hot water.  Mix with the dough hook until the dough is soft and a bit sticky...it will take about 8 minutes.

  
Shape the dough into a ball and allow it to rest and double in size, it will take about 30-40 minutes.

  
Line 3 jelly roll sheet pans with parchment paper and set aside.  When dough has rested and doubled mash it out on the counter into an 8 by 8 inch square then cut the dough into 9 equal pieces with a pizza cutter (I doubled my recipe, so you'll see more than 9 pieces in the photo below!...don't worry, you only need to make 9 pieces).




With your hands work each piece into a round ball and mash slightly.  Making sure the smooth side of the mashed ball is facing up, put the dough portion on the parchment lined pan to rise.  Repeat this 9 times and allow the buns to rise NO longer than 30 minutes.  The dough MAY fall if you let it go longer than that.


After 15 minutes of rising, preheat your oven to 425 degrees.  While those are rising prepare your egg wash by scrambling one egg and adding 1 tsp. of water to it and a pinch of salt.  When the buns have finished rising, brush the top of each bun with egg wash and sprinkle with black onion seeds (You can use sesame seeds instead if you like).  Put in the oven immediately...and GENTLY...and bake for at least 15 minutes but no longer than 18 minutes.  You don't want them to get TOO dark.

When finished remove from oven and allow to cool off of the pan on a cooling rack until it is time to assemble the burgers.


  
To prepare the burgers, turn the broiler on in your oven and line a broiler pan with foil; set aside.  Remove seasoned meat from the fridge and mix in the egg and bread crumbs well.  Once well incorporated add in the fried onions, then form your patties into 1/4 - 1/3 lb sized burgers.  Refrigerate the burgers for 30-60 minutes before cooking.  This helps the burgers (especially turkey or chicken!) retain their shape when cooking.

Cook in the oven until the internal temperature on the burgers reaches 165 (ground meat should always be tested for temperature!).  Remove from the oven and set aside.

Build your burger by first halving the burger buns and toasting them in a frying pan for a little bit, then put the cranberry jelly on the bottom bun, followed by the cooked burger patty, then add your slices of dill pickle and spread your turkey gravy on the top bun like you would mayo.  Now your burger is ready to eat...  We ate ours with potato chips, but you can really eat them with anything yummly like home fries or onion rings.  Fabulous...  I won't lie...this burger was constructed a couple of different ways a couple of different times and the way that I described above to construct it was the easiest to eat, easiest to fit in your mouth (lol...you should have seen me lol...), and the one that tasted most like "Thanksgiving" all in one bite...



What you see in the above photo was version #1 of construction.  It included Dijon mustard, kalamata tapenade, slices of dill pickle, the burger patty, fried onions, and my cranberry jelly mixed with some Duke's mayonnaise.  This was a bad idea.  The mustard...there isn't usually mustard present at my typical Thanksgiving dinner.  What about you?  Right...for whatever reason my brain included it as a default simply because there was a burger involved.  Next...the tapenade with the pickles on top.  Every year of my life growing up Thanksgiving at Grandma's and everywhere else included a "relish tray" that would have dill pickles, black olives, green olives, and "bread 'n' butter" pickles.  Until I was an adult doing Thanksgiving on my own...that tray was there.  The next mistake was initially trying the patties without the fried onions directly inside.  Yeeeeeeeahhh....um, I couldn't really fit this version of burger in my mouth.  It was stacked too high having the fried onions on top of the patty like that in the photo.  Next problem...mayo.  Again...I've never actually had mayonnaise included in my Thanksgiving dinner.  Not ever.  This was another unfortunate right brained default because I was building a burger.

After some more thinking version #2, the final product was born...I removed the mustard, the tapenade, and the mayonnaise from the equation.



  
Instead I simply put some turkey mushroom gravy on the bottom bun after it was toasted with bacon fat, then the fried onions got mixed INTO the burger patties and they were reformed and cooked....the burger patty was deposited on top of the gravy, the pickle ended up on the side of the plate, and then...my homemade cranberry jelly was spread on the top bun after it was toasted.

Bottom Bun



Top Bun


  
This conglomeration was nothing short of a miracle.  I say "miracle" because...guess what??...the Mister fully approves of this burger!  Yay!  I finally scored a touchdown with TURKEY for him.  For that...I am truly thankful!

Try this recipe out on your family...I promise, they'll love it.  There are small modifications you can make here and there, but the essentials are the homemade buns (SO soft!), the seasonings in the turkey, and the cranberry.  You HAVE to include the cranberry component.  Of course I realize not everyone is going to have homemade cranberry jelly laying around to make this themselves.  You can totally use jellied cranberry in a can or store bought cranberry sauce, this is not rocket science.  It is food...and it's meant to be fun, not stressful.  Happy cooking everyone...and if I don't talk to you between now and then on the Foodnatic Facebook page...Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours next week!