Friday, June 24, 2011

recipes: turkey burgers, flavored mayonnaise, potato salad and grilled banannas

One of our favorite summer grilling meals centers around these turkey burgers, which we always accompany by at least a trio of flavored mayonnaise. The sides vary, but this time consisted of a Greek yogurt based potato salad, a lettuce wedge with blue cheese, corn on the cob and grilled bananas for dessert.

I can't remember where I originally got this recipe for the turkey burgers (it's jotted on a piece of paper and stapled into one of my recipe binders), so if you find it elsewhere please let me know so I can give credit where it is due:

1 pound or so of ground turkey
1/3 cup cooked couscous (cooled)
1/3 cup grated squash
3 tablespoons scallions, chopped,
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper

Mix all the ingredients together and form into patties; I find smaller patties cook up more evenly. Grill them on medium high heat (around 400F-450F) for five or six minutes on each side.

These turkey burgers are tasty all on their own, but flavor explodes when you top with these mayonnaise mixtures, an idea I got from a Martha Stewart Living recipe (which I've long since lost). Start with half a cup of mayonnaise and simply add one of the following (or experiment with your own favorite ingredient):

chopped black or green olives
chopped roasted red pepper
crumbled blue cheese
crumbled feta cheese
a tablespoon of pesto

Place them in their own bowls and, if you're having guests, write the name of the added ingredient on a plastic spoon which will not only identify each one but serve as a serving utensil as well. Don't forget to lay out the classic condiments as well: cheese, lettuce, tomato slices, sliced onions, ketchup and mustard.

For the potato salad, I've come up with this recipe which has been refined from trying a variety of other recipes. I find the small red or white potatoes work best; I boil a carton of them until they are just cooked and let them cool. Then I roughly chop them and add the following:

1/2 nonfat Greek yogurt (or you can use 1/4 cup sour cream with 1/4 cup yogurt)
2 tablespoons nonfat mayonnaise
2 tablespoons of mustard
chopped pickles to taste
1 small can of chopped black olives (or you can chop green olives instead)
1/3 cup chopped or thinly sliced red onion
1 to 2 tablespoons sugar (or honey)
2 tablespoons vinegar (I use balsamic or red wine vinegar)
1 to 2 cloves chopped garlic
salt and pepper to taste

When I flip the turkey burgers, I put the bananas on the grill. With the skin still on, slice them length-wise and place them skin-side down on the upper rack of the grill (or on a cooler part of the lower rack). When the skin starts to peel back from the fruit, they should be done. Place them on a plate and sprinkle them with brown sugar and a granola mix and they make a wonderful (and healthy) dessert.


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