Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Italian Stuffed Turkey Burgers

Now that June is finally here, I think it's officially grilling season! Not that it really feels like it here in Boise, with the monsoon-like weather we've been having. The days without threat of rain are few and far between, although I did manage to get my first sunburn of the summer while out cheering Megan on at Special Olympics last Saturday! It doesn't matter though... growing up, my parents would grill almost every day, rain or shine, even in the snow. The only reason I've waited so long to grill anything this season is that our propane tank has been empty and both the boy and I have been either too busy or too lazy to refill it. But that is an excuse no longer! Let the summer grilling begin!

I've been in the mood to grill a really good burger for a long time, but I'm trying to eat a little lighter these days since my appointment for dress alterations is in 2 weeks. But when I saw this recipe in my Ellie Krieger cookbook, I knew I had to try it. Even though previous experiences with ground turkey have left me wanting - for flavor and juicy-ness - I will always jump at the chance to stuff anything with roasted red peppers and mozzarella.

Well talk about a hit! These burgers were fan-freaking-tastic. Plump and juicy and full of flavor, these bad boys had everything I look for in a good burger. I added a little dried Italian seasoning to the ground meat before pattying - just because I felt like the recipe was practically begging for it - and it complemented the sweet, smoky red peppers perfectly. Next time, I think I'll marinate some beefsteak tomatoes in a little balsamic vinegar and grill them a little, and top the burgers with a slice and a fresh basil leaf... can you imagine how tasty that would be? But as is, these burgers are great. Even the beef-loving boy said he'd eat these 5 days a week. Give them a try and you'll understand why!

Italian Stuffed Turkey Burgers
adapted from The Food You Crave
yields 6 servings

2 pounds ground turkey
1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup chopped roasted red peppers, drained and rinsed if from a jar
1 cup shredded low moisture, part-skim mozzarella cheese, 1/4 cup reserved
6 whole wheat hamburger buns
vegetable oil, for brushing

1. Preheat your grill.
2. Gently mix the Italian seasoning and salt into the ground turkey. Divide the meat into 12 evenly-sized balls and form each into a patty, creating a small well in the center of each to keep the patties from puffing up too much while cooking.
3. Place 2 tablespoons of each the red peppers and mozzarella into the middle of 6 of the patties. Top each with another patty of meat, and gently pinch and pat to seal the edges as well as possible. Lightly brush each side of each patty with vegetable oil to keep it from sticking to the grill.
4. Grill over medium high direct flame, flipping every five minutes, until the meat is cooked and there is a nice brown crust on the outside. After the last turn, top with the reserved mozzarella and cook until the cheese is melted. Toast buns as desired and serve.

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