Friday, June 17, 2011

Pepperjack-stuffed turkey burgers

The burger adventures continue and just in time for Father's Day weekend!  Lately I've been dining out quite a bit, and I've noticed a pattern to what I'm ordering day in and night out -- burgers.  Not steaks, but thick, juicy burgers.  Burgers whose buns are slathered with fresh cilantro pesto and creamy avocado.  Burgers topped with caramelized onions and mushrooms eaten on couches.  Burgers with rubs called crazy things like "angel dust" (salt, pepper and garlic powder).  Ground sirloin burgers just a stone's throw away.

Burgers, burgers, burgers!  Makes me squeal with delight :)

(Here I sit eating breakfast and wondering why I didn't plan ahead to have a burger instead of cereal and a banana.  Mega sad face.)

Having enjoyed the chicken burger I made a few months ago so much, I decided to give another non-traditional burger a whirl -- pepperjack stuffed turkey burgers!  As if they didn't sound mouth-watering enough, looking at the source of the recipe (Food Network's The Neelys) totally sold me!
Stuffed burgers are an easy way to take an already great burger and make it simply outstanding!  Plus, it's an excuse for adults to play with their food.  Who doesn't love that?

My only hesitation -- and this is really embarrassing to admit -- was the heat of the pepperjack cheese.  Spicy foods and I are not usually on friendly terms.  True story: cayenne pepper once almost made me cry, literally.  Literally?  Literally, my friends.

Anyway, all my panicking was unnecessary.  The pepperjack cheese sure packs a little warmth to it, but I wouldn't go as far as calling it "hot."  I'll save that word for describing the appearance of the overall burger package:

H-o-t, hot!  Right?  These burgers were so plump and juicy that I could barely wait long enough to snap a few pictures before I dove right in.  I let the burgers sit a few minutes, maybe five, before slicing this one in half and still, the cheese just oooooozed right out.  The garlic and onion was just enough seasoning to flavor the turkey without overpowering it.

Any burger purists out there claiming that beef is the only meat to use for burgers simply must sink his (or her) teeth into this number.  Surprise Dad by manning the grill sometime this weekend and serve him a burger he'll never forget.  You'll totally earn the title of favorite child best cook... at least for the time being.  Have a fun, rugged, and fatherly weekend, everyone! :)

One Year Ago: Orange creamsicle cookie

Pat's Stuffed Turkey Burgers
(adapted from The Neely's)
-makes 4 burgers

A few notes: If pepperjack cheese isn't your thing, try substituting sharp white cheddar or even some crumbled blue cheese.  Turkey is a mild meat, so a cheese with some pizazz will do wonders in this burger!

2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup Vidalia onion, minced
1 1/2 pounds ground turkey
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon soy sauce
Ground black pepper
8 slices pepperjack cheese
4 burger buns
Lettuce, tomato, other toppings as desired

Preheat grill or grill pan over medium high heat.  Add the garlic, onion, turkey, mustard, soy sauce, and salt and pepper to a large mixing bowl.  Mix well with clean hands.  Divide the turkey into 8 equal-sized balls and flatten them into patties.

Lay 2 slices of cheese on 4 of the patties, folding in corners (as seen in above pictures) in order to make a rounder shape.  Cover each with another patty and pinch the edges to seal the patties closed, so the cheese will not ooze out as it melts during cooking.

A note from the Neelys: "With your finger, press down on the center of the patty. This will keep the juices locked in and prevents the burger from puffing up."

Grill the burgers until cooked through, about 5 to 6 minutes per side.  Transfer the burgers to the buns and top with lettuce, tomato, maybe a dash of hot sauce if you're feeling particularly spicy, and enjoy!

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