New Location

You can find all the old content and new stuff too at

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Turkey Mushroom Burgers

Turkey burgers are a tricky thing. Turkey is so lean that by the time the turkey is cooked through, your burger is as dry as sawdust. Poultry products need to be cooked to 170°F  and that's high enough to start forcing the moisture out of the proteins. Adding fat is one way to keep the burgers from drying out. Bread products can help as well, but too much and your burger gets gummy and the meaty flavor is lost. I like to add mushrooms because they have a texture that resembles meat and add their own meaty flavor. The downside is that they don't hold together as well as meat or bread. Grilling them is not easy. I panfried them because these burgers are rather delicate. Sorry, grilling fans.

Turkey Mushroom Burgers
(serves 4-6)

4 Tablespoons oil
1 onion, peeled
8 oz. mushrooms, wiped clean (see Note)
2 cloves garlic, peeled
2 slices whole wheat bread, crusts removed
1 pound ground turkey
1 large egg
3 Tablespoons minced fresh dill
1 ½ Tablespoons coarse deli or Dijon mustard
¾ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper

Heat 2 Tablespoons oil in a large cast-iron or non-stick skillet over medium-low heat. Coarsely chop the onion, then mince finely in a food processor. Add to the skillet and cook gently while you prep the mushrooms. Coarsely chop the mushrooms and then mince using a food processor. With the food processor running, throw in the garlic cloves to mince. Dump into the skillet with the onions and cook for 10 minutes.

While the mushrooms are cooking, coarsely chop the bread and pulverize to fine crumbs in a food processor. When the mushrooms are done, remove from the heat and mix in the bread crumbs. Allow to cool. Place the mushroom mixture, turkey, egg, dill, mustard, salt, and pepper in a large bowl. Mix until uniform.

Wipe out the skillet. Heat the remaining 2 Tablespoons of oil over medium heat. Divide the turkey mixture into 4 to 6 portions and form into burgers. Cook burgers until browned on both sides and no longer pink in the center, if in doubt use a thermometer to assure the center reached 170°F.

Serve on a bun as a burger but it's also good served as a mini-meatloaf. Leftovers are delicious cold.

Note: You can use any kind of mushroom but porcini, portobellos, cremini, or white mushrooms will add a nice meaty flavor.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Visiting the Adirondacks: Mountains, Lakes, and Smoked Pork!

I visited the Adirondacks, in northern New York State, recently. It's a beautiful place, full of lakes, rushing rivers, and tree-covered mountains. The Adirondacks were the "wilderness" place to be among the moneyed set long before places like Yosemite or Yellowstone. If you love the outdoors, you should definitely visit. You can canoe and hike and fish, or just relax by a lake.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Strawberries and Rum: What could be wrong with that?

I have gotten rid of most of my Gourmets but there are still a few old ones hanging around
It's strawberry season. And it's rum season's hot!!! I found this recipe in an old Gourmet. Gourmet, my introduction to armchair traveling. As a child, how many hours did I spend gazing at pictures of exotic locales that I thought I would never visit? I've visited quite a few of them, I'm happy to say. And, I expect that had something to do with all those Gourmet's sitting on my mom's coffee table.

This recipe takes some planning. You have to freeze the strawberries ahead. Instead of ice in your daiquiri, we're using the strawberries. This is a concentrated, not at all watered down adult beverage. Will sneak up on you. As my daughter said, "I could get very wasted on these." Yep, you won't notice the booze until it's too late. :-)

Frozen Strawberry Daiquiris
(makes 4)

1 pint strawberries, hulled and quartered
2 Tablespoons sugar
2 Tablespoons fresh lime juice
½ cup light rum
3 Tablespoons triple sec
⅓ cup cold water

In a ziploc freezer bag, combine the strawberries, sugar, and lime juice. Seal the bag, forcing out all the air, and smoosh it all around to dissolve the sugar. Freeze solid. I suggest overnight. Break up the frozen strawberries and put it all in a blender. Add the remaining ingredients, and blend until smooth. Divide among 4 glasses and serve immediately.