Thanksgiving-style Turkey Burgers

When my good friend Kristin shared her recipe for Thanksgiving-style turkey burgers a few weeks ago, I knew this dish was destined to become a staple in my autumn cooking. I decided to wait until it was seasonally appropriate to share it with all of you. And since it’s officially November and it was a balmy 37 degrees this morning in New York City (yep, I got out the cute winter hat and all), I think we’ve reached that whole seasonally appropriate thing.

Let’s face it, ground turkey can sometimes be a bit...dry. And bland. And ack-inducing. It often needs a bit of assistance in flavor and moistness. Like my turkey meatloaf, I found that adding veggies to turkey meat really gets ‘er done in that department. These turkey burgers are no different. By incorporating chopped celery and apple into the meat, these burgers are not only moist and filling, but heartier to boot.

The clincher for flavor? The addition of poultry seasoning. It’s a key ingredient in these burgers and instantly takes them from tired to hello turkey day! Lastly, hold the ketchup for these little guys. Instead, we’re topping them with a bit of mayonnaise and cranberry sauce. Even Shaun balked a little bit at this one. But being the trooper that he is with my cooking, he asked for his burger with the works and didn’t wait for the first bite to be fully chewed before proclaiming These are darn good!

Thanksgiving-style Turkey Burgers
*Adapted from Taste of Home via Kristin M.
1 small apple, peeled and finely chopped
1 celery stalk, chopped
1 small onion, chopped
1 tsp poultry seasoning
3/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 lb ground turkey
1/2 C reduced fat mayonnaise
6 English muffins, lightly toasted (I used whole wheat)
1 C whole-berry cranberry sauce (I used canned, which worked fine, but will try my own next time!)

In a bowl, combine the apple, celery, onion, poultry seasoning, salt and pepper (if desired, I left it out).

Add turkey and mix well. I used my own two hands for this since the mixture can be a bit sticky and cumbersome. Shape into 6 patties. On a foil-lined baking sheet (it makes clean up a snap), drizzle with a bit of olive oil or coat with cooking spray.

Broil burgers until cooked through, about 10 minutes on each side. Meanwhile, toast the English muffins and prepare with cranberry sauce and mayonnaise to your liking. Add your burger and get ready for a mini (and super simple) Thanksgiving dinner. Note: the original recipe calls for grilling, which is also an option. We opted to broil.

Since this made 6 burgers, Shaun had 2 and we both took them for lunch the next day. We even went sans bread and it was just as tasty warmed up in the microwave on day 2.

So there you have it. A tale of tasty seasonal dinner, and one that makes me want Thanksgiving dinner to hurry up and get here already! Meanwhile, I'll fill my tummy with these seriously delicious (and did you notice they are healthy?) Thanksgiving-style turkey burgers! So the question of the day is: What's your favorite seasonal dish or flavor this time of year?

BLT Burger

As you may or may not already know, I am a real burger fiend. For me, there's just nothing quite like a perfectly cooked, juicy burger loaded with melted cheese and possibly a pickle or two. In fact, if done correctly, I go sans ketchup and just enjoy the simple taste of cheeseburger. Over the last couple of months, I've visited BLT Burger not once, but twice. And for me, that's kind of a big deal. Since I write this little blog and thoroughly enjoy branching out to new places, it's rare that I revisit a restaurant unless it's packing really first-class grub. And BLT Burger just so happens to fit the mark. Named for its creator 'Bistro Laurent Tourondel', it's just one of many restaurants in the BLT family.

Conveniently located in Greenwich Village, just steps from the 9th street PATH station (my preferred mode of transportation back to the JC), BLT Burger is a cozy and inviting burger joint. And when I'm eating comfort food like this, I like to feel...well, comfortable. BLT isn't fact, it's quite small for its level of popularity, which makes it that much more charming. Oh, and even the giant bull's head on the wall kind of goes with the barn-esque decor. Kind of.

During my few trips to BLT, I've only sampled one burger...the BLT Burger with cheddar cheese. What can I say? When I go to a restaurant, I like to try the signature dish and this one just so happens to be quite delicious. Best cooked medium, this burger is dressed with, you guessed it, double smoked bacon, lettuce and tomato. Oh and some sort of 'special' sauce which in theory makes me a little nervous, but again...I try to just go with it. And once I did, I never looked back. It's that good.

The absolutely mouthwatering burger should not, however, outshine the appetizers and side dishes, which were quite scrumptious in their own right. We started the night with fried pickles, one of my most favorite fried foods. Crispy breading with a juicy, salty interior, fried pickles are really the way to go.

And what would a burger be without fries? Over the course of a couple of outings with others (no, I cannot take credit for ordering 3 baskets of fries for myself), I've tried the skinny fries, sweet potato fries and waffle fries. Though I'm typically a fan, I have to admit that my least favorite kind at BLT was the waffle. They were just a tiny bit too crispy for my personal taste.

And absolutely no meal would be complete without dessert. In true burger joint fashion, BLT dessert is all about the milkshakes. When my sister Kimberly and I went last week, we shared the Mocha Mudslide - coffee ice cream with chocolate syrup and an oreo cooke. Say it with me...'Mmmmmm'.

So there you have it. A little roundup of BLT Burger, the super deeelish burger joint in Greenwich Village. But what I really want to know do you like your burger? All gussied up with the fixin's? Straight off the grill?

And if you're jonesing for even more burger tales, check out my adventures at Five Napkin Burger and Bobby's Burger Palace.

Please Pass the Napkin

This past weekend I celebrated my sister Christine's birthday with the family at famed burger stop 5 Napkin Burger. Always one for a great, juicy burger, I cannot tell you how many times I've strolled past 5 Napkin wanting desperately to go inside. Somehow it just never happened...until Sunday. Located on the corner of 45th Street in Hell's Kitchen, Napkin feels like a dolled up diner with a bistro twist. With a menu boasting 7 types of burgers, salads, and lots of tasty apps, I stayed true to what the joint does best - the Original 5 Napkin Burger. Gruyere cheese, carmelized onions, and rosemary aioli on a soft white roll complete this uber juicy burger - classy, no? Enough talking...let's get down to the photo montage, shall we?

Outside the famous Hell's Kitchen Burger Joint.

That's one giant burger. Plenty of Gruyere and sweet, carmelized onions made this burger anything but average. You'll note the small cup of rosemary aioli - I ordered this on the side. Those of you who know me already know my distaste for the herb, but I figured when at Five Napkin...and I have to say, it was pretty darn tasty despite my personal feelings.

Let's get a bit closer. Perfectly medium, the burger was so juicy that it actually soaked through the bottom of the bun. Normally this would be a dealbreaker, but in this case I have to say, it kind of worked.

Never one to pass up dessert, especially when there's apple involved, I couldn't help but order the warm apple pie, a la mode of course. It was one of the best around, really shining with the cinnamon streusel topping, making this anything but your average apple pie.

It wouldn't be dessert in the Cannon family without a little taste testing, so I sampled Christine's S'mores shake. Yup, that's one giant, perfectly toasted marshmallow on top...yum!

In my excitement over dessert sampling, I simply forgot to snap a photo of the espresso brownie sundae so I'll just have to tell you...vanilla ice cream, espresso caramel, and whipped cream topped with salted peanuts (have you noticed my love of sweet and salty together? Genuis). While I felt it didn't stand up to the fabulous apple pie, it was a pretty close second, though my sister Kimberly would probably dispute that to the ends of the Earth.

Ultimately, this made for a perfect birthday celebration and I finally got my Five Napkin fix. They even took reservations for a party of 7 and actually seated us on time.Would I go back? In a clogged heartbeat.